Source: Adapted from THE TIMES newspaper, 30-12-19, by Arthi Nachlappan

The increasing pressure on the UK's High Street retailers has resulted in the biggest loss of jobs the sector has suffered in a quarter of a century, research suggests.

143,128 jobs were lost in 2019, and about 16,000 shops were closed - so says the Centre for Retail Research. Job losses were 20% up on 2018.

Over a quarter of the job losses were due to outfits going into administration. 18% involved company voluntary arrangements, which allow outfits to shut down WITHOUT going into administration. 

Panic on Britain's High Street has led to chain stores like Mothercare and Carpetright to close stores and shed jobs.

As it turned out, smaller outfits lost fewer jobs in 2019 than before. Redundancies actually fell by just under a quarter from 55,030 in 2018 to 42,985 in 2019. Even still, that's nearly 100,000 job losses over two years. How sad.

Small retailers have had the benefit of business rate relief that came into force in April 2019 - slashed by almost a third in for businesses in England with a rateable value below £51,000. The discount is set to rise to 50% in 2020.

During 2019, large retailers shut down 5,901 shops - up by 79% on the 3,303 shops closed in 2018.

Why? Why all this?

Customers are shopping online more and more. Big outfits are going into mobile apps because they can afford the high fees.

In the independent sector, closures in 2019 actually fell by 10%, with 10,172 stores shut down permanently. But that's still a considerable figure.

A spokesman for the Centre for Retail Research believes that profits will continue to be undercut by increased labour costs, business rates, and relatively weak demand. That will force the most fragile outfits to close shops or enter administration.

vicgeorge.net can help those outfits by supplying them with low cost, bespoke, native mobile apps for their businesses.

The Centre for Retail Research says that "The High Street and suburbs will continue to decline."

Since 2010, 289,000 High Street jobs have disappeared, according to the Royal Society for the Encouragement of Arts, Manufactures and Commerce. These jobs are chiefly made up of roles such as retail tellers, bank and Post Office clerks, and sales assistants.

Women have been hit particularly hard by changes on the High Street, accounting for 81% of the job losses. How sad.

Customers now prefer to shop online because it involves less effort, but there's a much BIGGER market with customers who own bespoke, well-configured, native mobile apps.

And they no longer cost the eye-watering amounts charged to the big app building companies.