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In the News

External environment: UK retailers cut 85,000 jobs in a year

Geoff Riley

24th October 2019

This article from the Guardian is packed with useful insights into the challenging external environment faced by UK high street retail chains.

There are huge cost pressures and other uncertainties facing the retail sector at present. These include:

  • A rise in the national minimum wage and the apprenticeship levy
  • Higher business rates
  • Increased import prices due to a depreciation in the external value of sterling
  • Continued Brexit uncertainty
  • Impact of the switch to online shopping

The number of empty retail units is at the highest level for five years. In numerous towns across the country, vigorous debates are being had about how to revitalise the retail environment in the facing of some serious long term structural challenges.

Share of total retail sales made online in the United Kingdom (UK) in May 2019, by sector

Geoff Riley

Geoff Riley FRSA has been teaching Economics for over thirty years. He has over twenty years experience as Head of Economics at leading schools. He writes extensively and is a contributor and presenter on CPD conferences in the UK and overseas.

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