England high streets could lose 400 000 jobs post-Covid - study

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Main shopping streets in England's towns and cities could lose another 400 000-plus jobs after coronavirus passes, as Britons continue to work from home and buy online, accountants KPMG said Thursday.

Covid-19 has already ravaged the UK retail sector, with tens of thousands of jobs being lost and big-name bankruptcies, although supermarkets have boomed.

"The reduction in commuter footfall (and) the accelerated shift to online shopping is exacerbating the vacuum in city and town centres, with less people calling in to shop," said the KPMG study of 109 towns and cities.

"According to KPMG analysis, high streets could lose between 20% to 40% of their retail offerings... This could see over 400 000 job losses on the high street."

KPMG UK chief economist Yael Selfin said consumers were more likely to purchase household goods online in the wake of the pandemic.

"It has also made working from home acceptable and online gatherings... freeing endless hours of business travel and expense for better use."

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