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'Get a grip on retail crisis before it gets out of control,' Usdaw union warns as Boots and John Lewis announce thousands of job losses

HIGH STREET giants Boots and John Lewis announced more than 5,000 job cuts between them today.

Pharmacy chain Boots said it will be cutting more than 4,000 jobs, while department store John Lewis confirmed it will be closing eight shops, putting 1,300 staff at risk.

Boots claimed that the cuts are needed to mitigate the “significant impact” of Covid-19.

However, John Lewis said its department stores were “financially challenged” even before the pandemic.

Shadow minister for business and consumers Lucy Powell said: “This is deeply worrying news for staff at John Lewis and Boots and the travel hubs and town centres these stores are in. 

“These announcements underline the dangers facing our high street, as many businesses struggle to survive through the Covid-19 crisis and the necessary public health measures which limit capacity and demand.”

Usdaw national officer Daniel Adams said: “With a summer statement yesterday from the Chancellor that failed to even mention retail, as job losses mount it is clearer than ever that the government desperately needs to get a grip of the retail crisis before it spirals out of control.”

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