The retail crisis engulfing Britain’s embattled high streets shows no sign of abating as large multiple retailers slash nearly 15,000 jobs already in what has been described as a “brutal start to the year”.
Figures compiled by experts at the Centre for Retail Research, based upon company announcements, show that since the start of the year a total of 14,874 retail jobs are being lost from high streets as well as main shopping destinations across the U.K. by large multiple retailers, those with 10 or more stores.
3,185 jobs are being to be lost through large retailers undergoing some form of insolvency proceedings whilst a further 11,689 jobs are being shed by large retailers through “rationalisation” as part of cost cutting programs.
Tile Giant, Paperchase and M&Co have all gone bust whilst the likes of New Look, Wilko, Tesco and Asda are all cutting jobs.
Despite many of the poor retail performers having already collapsed in recent years, Professor Bamfield at the Centre for Retail Research says, “the process of rationalisation will continue at pace as retailers continue to reduce their cost base” adding “we are unlikely to see any respite in job losses in 2023 after a brutal start to the year.”
Business rates, one of retails biggest operating costs, will however be reset from 1st April under a national revaluation which is set to reduce rateable values which are used to determine bills. New bills are also being discounted by 75% up to a cash cap of £110,000 per business with HM Treasury saying “the sector (retail) is set to see its overall bills paid fall by 20%” as a result.
However, Alex Probyn who is Global President of Property Tax at the real estate adviser Altus Group, warned, “the reality is most multiple retailers will only benefit from the discount on a handful of their stores given the cap.”
Robyn added, “whilst the adjustments brought about by the revaluation are welcome, 10% overall just does not go far enough given the state of the market on the valuation date which is likely to lead to a tsunami of appeals.”