UK loses 50,000 jobs in first half, retail hit hardest

As many as 50,000 people have either lost their jobs or been put ‘at risk’ in the first half of the year in Britain with retail bearing the brunt of the cuts.


Store closures have hit fashion jobs hard


The 50,000 figure was calculated by the Press Association and while it takes in a variety of industries, many thousands of jobs have gone at a swathe of retail chains. And fashion has been suffering in a big way as small-scale collapses such as Bench and East have been accompanied by major restructuring action taken by bigger businesses such as New Look, Mothercare, M&S and House of Fraser. HoF is planning 6,000 job losses and New Look another 1,000.

The problems this year follow a period of weakness for retail with other headline-grabbing job losses having included the 11,000 at BHS in 2016.

Many of the job losses in 2018 have happened as firms have struck company voluntary arrangement (CVA) deals that allow them to continue operating while downsizing their store estates to focus on the most profitable branches.

But even companies that are faring better are scaling back with M&S, for instance, withdrawing from a number of full-line stores and cutting the numbers that sell its clothing & home offer. Meanwhile, N Brown is closing its remaining stores to focus on e-sales.

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