Retailers break their own record in job cuts

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Retailers break their own record in job cuts

By Marianne Wilson - 05/22/2020

Retailers announced 114,327 job cuts January through April in 2020 as they closed stores amid the COVID-19 crisis. 

It is the highest annual total on record, according to global outplacement and executive coaching firm Challenger, Gray & Christmas. It shatters the previous high of 100,518 cuts announced by retailers in all of 2003.

"While the entertainment/leisure sector leads all job cut announcements this year, retailers come in second and have led job cut announcements in all industries since 2017," said Andrew Challenger, senior VP, Challenger, Gray & Christmas.  

Retailers have already announced 47% more job cuts than in all of 2019 when 77,475 were announced. In 2018, retailers announced 98,563 job cuts, then the highest annual total since 2009 when 98,807 retail job cuts were announced.

Challenger  noted that the retail industry has been undergoing technological updates, shifting consumer behavior and low foot traffic during the last three years and the current COVID crisis is exacerbating the these shifts 

“Companies that did not have a robust online offering are begin hit particularly hard," he said.

Here is a listing of annual announced retail job cuts:

2008    81,621
2007    51,036
2006    53,419
2005    84,954
2004    62,357
2003    100,518
2002    98,661
2001    96,741
2000    44,831

Source: Challenger, Gray & Christmas, Inc.

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