Thursday 1 March 2018 12:32 pm

Retail job losses could number 15,000 as industry strains under cost pressures

At least 15,000 retail sector jobs have either been slashed this year or are now at risk as household names sink into administration, according to calculations by City A.M.

Toys R Us and Maplin went into administration yesterday, putting more than 5,500 jobs in doubt. The double-whammy for the industry comes after fashion chain East and furniture retailer Warren Evans also fell into administration.

Job cuts have been announced at all of the major supermarkets, with thousands of roles lost at Sainsbury’s, Asda, Morrisons and Tesco. Debenhams and Marks and Spencer have also cut hundreds of jobs to save on costs.

Several retailers have been showing clear signs of financial distress following the Christmas sales period as the industry battles against a blizzard of rising costs and a squeeze on consumer spending. Independent retail analyst Richard Hyman said the administrations announced yesterday were “just the beginning”.

Card Factory, Moss Bros, Laura Ashley, Carpetright and Mothercare have all issued profit warnings this year, and credit insurers have also reduced or cut their cover on stock sold toNew Look and House of Fraser.