GRIM TOLL IS 4 TIMES HIGHER THAN 2017

The People - - NEWS FEATURES - By Stephen Hay­ward by

ALARM­ING fig­ures re­veal 28,000 jobs have been lost on Bri­tain’s high streets this year – four times as many for the whole of 2017.

And a stag­ger­ing 40,000 more are ex­pected by the end of 2018.

The grim statis­tics emerged as traders are still reel­ing from the clo­sure of more than half of House of Fraser’s 51 stores.

New anal­y­sis shows 3,025 restau­rant jobs have gone – up from 750 last year.

Shops fall­ing into ad­min­is­tra­tion ac­count for 9,936 job losses, up from 2,800.

Some 9,830 posts – a mas­sive 400 per cent in­crease – have gone af­ter re­tail­ers cut costs and closed some shops to keep oth­ers afloat. And yet more high street clo­sures have cost 5,894 jobs. Warn­ings of fur­ther ca­su­al­ties – in­clud­ing a pos­si­ble 6,000 at House of Fraser – came from the Cen­tre for Re­tail Re­search.

Pro­fes­sor Joshua Bam­field said: “We’re go­ing to see a lot more clo­sures and, sadly, more peo­ple los­ing their jobs.”

Nimesh Sanghra­jka, of commercial finance spe­cial­ist Mantra Cap­i­tal, said high street re­tail­ers need to adapt to com­pete with on­line firms, ad­ding: “The en­tire re­tail land­scape is chang­ing at a break­neck pace and companies with legacy mod­els are drop­ping like flies.”

A string of big names hit in­cludes Toys R Us and Maplin, with the loss of 5,000 jobs, while Mother­care plans to close 49 branches – hit­ting around 800 staff.

Fash­ion chain New Look is clos­ing 60 of its 583 UK stores at a cost of 980 jobs. Marks & Spencer will shut more than 100 stores by 2022, while there are fears for bud­get chain Pound­world and its 5,300 work­force. Ex­perts blame a toxic mix of high rents, busi­ness rates and liv­ing wage costs. Sep­a­rate fig­ures show 3,200 re­tail­ers have gone bust since 2014. The Bri­tish Re­tail Con­sor­tium said: “Two years ago we said up to a third of re­tail jobs could dis­ap­pear by 2025 and this has be­gun to play out. “At the same time, new jobs are emerg­ing in­clud­ing 100,000 re­tail jobs that didn’t ex­ist five years ago.”

PLAY­ING FOR A POINT: With An­to­nia

CLO­SURES: High Street gi­ant

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