100k shops jobs lost ‘TORIES KILLING HIGH STREETS’
AROUND 100,000 retail jobs have been axed in the last three years, with more losses to come, figures reveal.
Nearly a fifth of major stores say they plan staff cuts in the next three months, says the British Retail Consortium. Now Labour has called for urgent action in the wake of a string of collapses and branch closures involving big names such as House of Fraser, Marks and Spencer, Mothercare and New Look.
Shadow Business Secretary Rebecca Longbailey, pictured left, said: “Our high streets are dying but the Tories are doing nothing about it. They need to act quickly before we become a nation of ghost towns.” She wants to see reform in business rates and a register of landlords of empty shops in each local authority.
Labour also wants an inquiry into excessive parking charges levied by private firms. Research last year found 90 per cent of shoppers would visit high streets more if parking was free.
Last year 4,000 high street shops opened but 5,800 closed, latest figures show. A BRC survey revealed 94 per cent of people say they miss the community feel of their high street.
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