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Retail executives warn of job losses

ClosedsignSeveral interiors executives are among more than 60 senior retail and trade association executives who have warned of hundreds of thousands of job losses if stores in England do not reopen on 2 December.

‘It is vital that retailers get the clarity they need over the future. Christmas is fast-approaching and half of retail has been forced to shut – depriving these stores of around £2bn per week in sales. November and December account for over a fifth of all retail sales and if all shops are not allowed to reopen by the start of December, many stores may never reopen putting hundreds of thousands of retail jobs at risk. A continued period of retail closure will see more shuttered high streets and many more job losses at the heart of the festive season,’ says a letter to The Times. 

‘Government reports have noted that the closure of shops would have a minimal impact on the transmission of Covid. Retailers have invested hundreds of millions in making their stores Covid-secure, keeping both customers and staff safe. 

‘Yet retail stands on the brink and decisive Government action is needed to save it. Retailers of all shapes and sizes must be allowed to reopen by the start of December. Without this, there will be little festive cheer left on our high streets.’

The signatories were: Alasdair Murdoch, Burger King UK group ceo; Alexander Baldock, Dixons Carphone Group group chief executive; Alia Hawa, L’Occitane, UK and Ireland md; Andrew Goodacre, Bira chief executive, Andrew Hinds, F Hinds director; Andy Lightfoot, Space NK, chief executive; Brian Brick, Moss Bros Group chief executive; Chris Holden, Deichmann UK chief executive; Christos Angelides, Reiss chief executive; Colin Temple, Schuh md; Daniel Le Vesconte, Abercrombie & Fitch GVP global brands EMEA; Daniel Rubin, Dune Group ceo; David Boynton, The Body Shop chief executive; David Butler, Crew Clothing chief executive; Debbie Edwards, Gap Europe vice president and general manager; Dominic Jordan, Hobbycraft chief executive; Doug Putman, HMV owner; Ed Duggan, Fishpools financial and commercial director; Gail Cohen, UK Gift Card & Voucher Association director general; Gavin Peck, The Works chief executive; Gerry Murphy, Burberry chairman; Gill Smith, The Perfume Shop md; Helen Dickinson, British Retail Consortium chief executive; Howard Saycell, RETRA chief executive; Jacqueline Gold, Ann Summers chief executive; Jerome Saint-Marc, Wilko chief executive; Jonathan Miller, McColl’s Retail Group chief executive; Julian Dunkerton, Superdry ceo; Julie Abraham, Richer Sounds chief executive; Justin Stead, Radley+Co chief executive; Karen Forret, Wilkies md; Leigh Chadwick, Seasalt director; Manju Malhotra, Harvey Nichols ceo; Mark Gifford, Debenhams and Radley chairman; Mark Jackson, Bensons for Beds chief executive; Mark Neale, Mountain Warehouse chief executive; Mark Warren, Rigby & Peller country director; Mary Homer, The White Company chief executive; Meryl Halls, Booksellers Association md; Mike Logue, Dreams chief executive; Mireille Baumgart, BoConcept/Concept Living chair; Monica Vinader, Monica Vinader ceo; Nathan Smith, Whittard of Chelsea chief executive; Nigel Oddy, New Look chief executive; Oliver Tress, Oliver Bonas ceo; Olly Raeburn, Paperchase ceo; Paul Moody, Card Factory executive chairman; Peter Cowgill, JD Sports executive chairman; Peter Harrison, Furniture Village chief executive; Peter Jelkeby, IKEA UK and Ireland country retail manager and CSO; Phil Briggs, The Original Factory Shop md; Rachel Osborne, Ted Baker chief executive; Sanjay Vadera, The Fragrance Shop chief executive; Lord Wolfson, Next chief executive; Steve Johnson, Matalan executive chairman; Steve Rowe, Marks & Spencer chief executive; Sumeet Yadav, Hamleys chief executive; Tim Stacey, DFS Group chief executive; Tobin James, Tempur UK md; Toby Anderson, McKesson chief executive and Will Kernan, River Island chief executive.