The next decade could see a million retail jobs dry up as the high street adapts to changing shopping habits and makes adjustments to the introduction of the living wage.
The British Retail Consortium (BRC) has warned that government policies including the new national living wage, the apprenticeship levy and rising business rates will add as much as £14bn to retailers’ bills over the next four years.
A report compiled by the BRC estimates that as many as 900,000 jobs could be lost by 2025 as a result of retailers trying to meet these costs.
The National Living Wage, launched by George Osborne last summer, will see the minimum wage rise in stages, over the period of the next few years, until it tops out at £9 an hour in 2020.
All the major supermarkets are already in the throes of cutting swathes of jobs in order to react to the changing shopping scene.