Experts have warned that more than 250,000 high street jobs are at risk as lockdown has been a “catalyst” for Britons to shop online more during the pandemic.
Last week John Lewis and Boots both announced that over 5,000 jobs are to be axed with store closures, which experts have warned this is “just the start.”
Arcadia, Monsoon, Poundstretcher, Top Shop and New Look are set to make similar announcements in the coming months, according to industry insiders.
Retail expert Richard Hyman told the Sun newspaper, “If you think there are 9.5m people on furlough, 250,000 redundancies is quite a reasonable number.
“Pre-pandemic online sales accounted for 30% of non-food sales. That will rise to 40%, which means hundreds of thousands of job losses.
“Lockdown has been the catalyst, not the cause. Big firms like John Lewis have needed to shut stores for years.
“Fifteen years ago, online shopping wasn’t really used, now it’s worth £70bn. But in that time, they have still opened more stores. It’s not sustainable.”
Just last week more than 60,000 workers were made redundant or were axed from their positions due to the current crisis which has decimated the high street and retail sector.
Unite chief Len McCluskey warned, “Redundancy notices are already flying around like confetti so today was the day we needed the Chancellor to put a stop to this with policies as bold as the jobs retention scheme.
“This statement failed that test.”