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Gloucestershire Business News

How many more jobs will go in retail and service industries in Gloucestershire?

It's been a busy week in the world of retail and the service sector as we've watched one company after another collapse or announce closures or job losses.

Today, it's the turn of Countrywide Farmers. The future is not looking bright for employees of the company. Although a buyer could still be found for the business, time is of the essence.

Yesterday it was announced that nearly 200 people could lose their jobs at Endsleigh Insurance, one of the county's biggest employers.

And news that the UK's biggest estate agent, Countrywide, which has branches in Gloucestershire under the RA Bennett brand, has made a loss in excess of £200 million inevitably means there will be more job losses to come.

This comes just days after the collapse of both Toys R Us and Maplin. Yesterday, New Look announced that it would be closing 60 of its stores,  with the potential loss of nearly 1,000 jobs. And last week restaurant chain Prezzo said it would be closing around 100 restaurants, including every one of its Chimichanga Tex-Mex branches.

There have been new store openings in the last few months at Gloucester Quays in particular, with the creation of some new jobs. But sadly, it looks like there could be a lot of retail workers out of jobs in the county and across the UK.

These companies just couldn't compete with the prices and products available online. In some cases, their products were no longer what customers were looking for and in other cases they just had too many stores open, with too little footfall, high rents and higher wage bills (the rise in minimum wage has hurt these sectors more than any other).

Whatever the reason, it's a tough time for anyone working in retail, wondering if their job will be the next to go. If you value your high street stores and your favourite restaurants, get out there and use them before we lose even more.

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