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High street hardest hit as coronavirus takes toll on UK businesses | World news


The coronavirus pandemic has put millions of UK jobs at risk as companies struggle to cope with the financial strain created by the shutdown. A recent British Chambers of Commerce survey found a majority of firms had just three months of cash or less left in their coffers. The hardest-hit sectors have been high-street businesses such as retailers and restaurants that rely on shoppers and nights out.

The UKHospitality group, which represents bars, cafes and restaurants, estimates more than 1m jobs are on the line. Retail, which employs 5 million people, has had its main customer supply line cut off with the closure of the high street, resulting in a growing number of casualties. Businesses that were struggling before the coronavirus outbreak have suffered most so far. Several firms have collapsed into administration, although most are still trading while buyers are sought. They include:

Debenhams

Department store chain. Said it planned to go into administration on 6 April, with 22,000 jobs at risk.

Carluccio’s

Restaurant chain. Went into administration on 30 March, with 2,000 jobs at risk.

Brighthouse

Rent-to-own appliance retailer. Went into administration on 30 March, with 2,400 jobs at risk.

Chiquito

Restaurant chain. Went into administration on 26 March, with 1,500 jobs at risk.

Laura Ashley

Homewares and fashion chain. Went into administration on 17 March, with 2,700 jobs at risk.

Flybe

Regional airline. Went into administration on 5 March, with 2,000 jobs at risk.



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