2018 has been characterised by CVAs, administrations and store closures – all of which have taken their toll on the retail workforce.

Figures from the BRC show 93,000 jobs have been lost in the UK retail sector in 2018.

Retail Week has looked at where the job losses have come from over the year.

Timeline of redundancies in the last 12 months

(To navigate the timeline, swipe/click left and right, or click on the stories within the timeline.)

Business administrations were the single biggest cause of job losses in the sector with more than 12,000 roles lost via the collapse of businesses including Poundworld, Maplin, Toys R Us and Jacques Vert.

However, store closure programmes are also a notable culprit. Almost 4,000 jobs have been lost via the store closures that have come out of CVAs from big players such as Homebase, New Look, Mothercare, Carpetright and TOFS.

Meanwhile, plans to axe shops by retailers such as Debenhams and Marks & Spencer have put another 6,000 jobs on the line.

Store staff have also been hard hit by restructuring activity as retailers try to step up productivity gains in the face of rising cost pressures.

Almost 7,000 roles will have been lost through restructuring store roles, while 1,000 roles will be lost through head office job cuts.


The data is a collection of redundancies, natural attrition and redeployment figures as announced to the media during the year to December 20, 2018.