Nearly 190,000 retail jobs have been lost in the UK between the commencement of the Covid-19 induced first lockdown on 23 March 2020 and 31 March this year, according to a new data from Centre for Retail Research.

Of the 188,685 jobs, 83,725 jobs were lost as major retailers fell into administration, while 11,986 jobs were axed due to company voluntary arrangement (CVA) restructuring processes.

Furthermore, 92,974 jobs were lost due to rationalisation programmes undertaken by supermarkets chains.

Besides the job loses, the pandemic has resulted in the closure of 15,153 stores across the UK.

This data comes as England prepares to reopen non-essential shops on 12 April following lengthy lockdown due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Non-essential stores will open alongside hairdressers, gyms and outdoor hospitality.

In Scotland, retail stores started reopening in a phased manner from today, starting with homeware shops.

Last week, the Government of Wales announced plans to reopen all remaining shops in the country from 12 April.

Late last month, trade association British Retail Consortium (BRC), urged the country’s government to preserve retail jobs.

According to the data reported by the Office for National Statistics (ONS), retail jobs in the UK have fallen by 67,000 year-on-year to 3.1 million.

There are currently 600,000 retail workers being supported by the government’s furlough scheme, compared with 200,000 in December 2020.