Jun 13, 2022
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Nearly 650,000 retail jobs disappear in half a decade - report

Jun 13, 2022

A massive 645,204 jobs have been lost in the UK’s retail sector over the past five years, new figures from the Centre for Retail Research shows. This included 105,727 jobs lost last year as the continuation of the furlough scheme kept numbers below previous years.

Photo: Public domain

Meanwhile, 72,580 stores have also closed across the whole of the UK since 2017, the report, seen by the PA News Agency, shows.

The stark figures come as high streets face a significant increase in business rates after benefiting from tax breaks during the pandemic. And industry experts are calling on the government for caution over business rates levels next year in order to protect the future of UK high streets.

In April 2023, a revaluation of around two million commercial properties for business rates in England will come into force.

Experts say that while revaluations are designed to be revenue-neutral, they do create winners and losers generating significant changes to tax liabilities.

Real estate adviser Altus Group said that, under the previous scheme introduced at the last revaluation in 2017, the retail sector would have been denied £1.28 billion in tax reductions and denied the Northwest £611 million in reduced bills.

Experts have also warned that the next revaluation must not limit the size of reductions for certain areas.

Robert Hayton, UK president at Altus Group, said: “Taking from those sectors and regions that have struggled, where rents have significantly dropped, would be foolhardy, affording them no respite to recover and rebuild.

“It’s robbing Peter to pay Paul and certainly doesn’t aid the levelling up of prosperity.”

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