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20,000+ UK stores could permanently close after lockdown

Experts from the Centre for Retail Research say as many as 20,620 UK stores could never reopen.

A stark warning has been issued by the Centre for Retail Research, which has said that as many as 20,620 UK stores could never reopen after the COVID-19 lockdown is lifted.

This could result in 235,714 retail jobs being lost, reported Fashion United.

The report – entitled Coronavirus: Lost Lives, Lost Stores and Lost Jobs – does, however, forecast a moderate ‘V’ type shape of recovery once the lockdown measures – which included the closure of all non-essential retailers by the government – are lifted, with a possible ‘splurge of cash’ by late summer.

“We expect large retail businesses to now be looking at exactly how many stores they expect to operate in 2021 and beyond in order to trade successfully moving forward,” said a statement from Professor Joshua Bamfield, director at the CRR. “They will now make plans to achieve those objectives.”

The government’s measures, such as a business rates holiday for retailers, will help limit store closures and job losses, he also noted.

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