Thousands of jobs have been axed by major retailers amid growing concerns and uncertainty around the UK economy.

The loss of 15,000 jobs comes amid a tough start to 2023 for high-street retailers as brands contend with a raft of collapses and restructurings.

Experts have warned over “the brutal start of the year” as stores struggle amid weaker customer spending power.

The Centre for Retail Research found that some 14,874 jobs had been cut or announced to go by the start of 2023.

Bromsgrove Advertiser: (PA) The job losses come amid economic uncertainty(PA) The job losses come amid economic uncertainty

This research reflects cuts made by large retail chains with 10 or more stores across the UK.

This means that the actual number of jobs lost could be way higher when struggling independent stores are accounted for.

It was also found that 3,185 of these job cuts come from companies undergoing some form of insolvency proceedings.

These include chains like Paperchase and M&Co which both fell into administration in February.

Tesco, Asda, Wilko and New Look cut 12,000 jobs to save money

A further 11,689 jobs have been lost as companies attempt “rationalisation” to save money by making cuts.

These cuts include reductions by Tesco, Asda, Wilko and New Look since the start of last month.

Experts warn UK 'unlikely to see respite' from job losses in 2023

Bromsgrove Advertiser: (PA) Some job losses come from brands like Paperchase which went into administration(PA) Some job losses come from brands like Paperchase which went into administration (Image: PA)

Professor Joshua Bamfield, at the Centre for Retail Research, said: “The process of rationalisation will continue at pace as retailers continue to reduce their cost base.

“We are unlikely to see any respite in job losses in 2023 after a brutal start to the year.”

Many retailers are likely to suffer as a result of lower spending power as well as high business rates.

Business rates to be evaluated in April amid major job cuts

However, this is supposed to reset on April 1 in a national reevaluation which is set to benefit dozens of businesses.

The Treasury has said the retail sector will “see its overall bills paid fall by 20%” as firms also receive a 75% discount of up to £110,000.

However, Alex Probyn, global president of property tax at real estate adviser Altus Group, said: “The reality is most multiple retailers will only benefit from the discount on a handful of their stores given the cap.”

He added: “Whilst the adjustments brought about by the revaluation are welcome, 10% overall just does not go far enough given the state of the market on the valuation date which is likely to lead to a tsunami of appeals.”