Over 20,000 stores expected to remain closed after coronavirus crisis



A total of 20,620 stores are expected to remain closed permanently in the wake of the coronavirus outbreak, according to new estimates from the Centre for Retail Research (CRR).

The current 2020 forecast from the organisation has also revealed that job losses are expected to rise to 235,704. This marks a drastic increase from the 143,128 jobs lost to date in 2019.

CRR has said that the effect of coronavirus, on top of retail’s existing problems will act as a hammer blow against the sector. Government advice to avoid shops, pubs etc and to stay at home, followed a few days later by the lockdown and closure of most stores, will cut the revenues of many businesses by more than 20% this year.

The retail sector was already struggling prior to the outbreak due to high running costs, low profitability, and losing sales to online shopping.

The organisation emphasised that attitudes vary about whether this crisis represents simply a change in how we shop or a dangerous trend that will vitiate our town centres, high streets and deplete our social space. Probably a bit of both unless carefully managed.

The centre said: “The retail crisis in jobs, businesses, stores and high streets has been coming for a long time. Retailers who sell from physical shops have found consumer spending and profitability has been hit hard.”

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