A bailout deal for popular high street shoe retailer Jones the Bootmaker has gone sour, it emerged on Thursday (23 March). The chain store was subject of a deal between its owner Alteri and Endless, an investments firm which specialises in managing failing businesses.
This puts Jones at serious risk of being brought into administration on Friday, with 1,100 jobs potentially being lost as a result.
Other prominent high street retailers facing a dismal outlook include footwear retailer Brantano and clothing giant Next.
The pound's sharp decline as a direct result of the ongoing Brexit negotiations has been commonly attributed to the feeble state of high street retailers in UK.
These developments are consistent with a recent PwC report which projected a slowdown in consumer spending from 2017 onward, as debt-fueled spending would eventually not be able to keep pace with rising inflation.
The report is slowly gaining credibility as inflation had suddenly shot above the Bank of England's ceiling rate of 2% in February. An abrupt rise in housing and fuel costs was cited as the reason.
The potential sudden loss in jobs within the retail sector may prompt Bank of England's chief economist Andy Haldane to reconsider the current status quo within the UK job market. He recently posited that low productivity was one of the necessary evils of maintaining a record low unemployment rate.