Market report

Brutal start to year for retail as 15,000 jobs lost


Paperchase, Union Square Aberdeen

Retailers have cut almost 15,000 jobs since the start of the year amid a warning that the cutbacks are likely to continue as cost pressures and weaker customer spending power take their toll.

The sector’s hopes of greater stability were dashed by closures and downsizing.

The Centre for Retail Research said that 14,874 jobs have been cut or announced since the start of 2023.

Among the brands affected were Paperchase and M&Co, which both tumbled into administration in recent weeks.


4.30pm: London higher

The FTSE 100 opened higher and held on to a small gain to close 9.95 points higher at 8,014.31.

Miners led the blue chip index higher, with Anglo American, up 4%, the top riser. Rio Tinto (up 2.85%), Glencore (up 1.96%) and Antofagasta (up 1.7%) were other leading risers.

Retail group Frasers rose by 3.18%, after it announced a share buyback programme of up to £80m.

Asian shares edged up this morning, while the US is closed for President’s Day.

The People’s Bank of China left its benchmark lending rate unchanged, an outcome in line with market expectations.

The move provided support to the Shanghai Composite which was up 2.0% in late trade while the Hang Seng climbed 1.1% in Hong Kong. In Tokyo, the Nikkei 225 edged up 0.1%.

A quiet day for company news in London is expected ahead of a busy week with Lloyds, HSBC, British Airways owner International Consolidated Airlines, Rolls-Royce and BAE Systems among the firms reporting.

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