NEARLY 15,000 jobs have been axed since the start of the year as dozens of retailers collapsed or were restructured.

Experts have warned “the brutal start of the year” could continue as shops struggle with rising costs and shoppers spend less.

An estimated 14,874 jobs have been cut already since the start of 2023 alone, according to the Centre for Retail Research, or have been announced as under threat.

The total reflects cuts by large multiple retailers, which have 10 or more UK stores.

That means that job losses are likely to be higher when smaller companies are included.

The findings showed 3,185 job cuts through large retailers undergoing some form of insolvency proceedings.

This includes the likes of Paperchase and M&Co, which both tumbled into administration in recent weeks.

Meanwhile, a further 11,689 jobs are being shed by large retailers through “rationalisation” as part of cost-cutting programmes.

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

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.”

It comes amid chaos on the British high street over the past few months.

High energy costs and a shift to shopping online after the pandemic is taking its toll.

Plus, household incomes have been squeezed by the cost of leaving crisis, meaning less people are hitting the high street.

Last month, stationery chain Paperchase fell into administration with all 106 stores set to close.

The fashion brand New Look shut five stores earlier this year, following H&M which shut four branches.

Supermarkets have also been hit with Iceland also set to close five shops across the UK within the next few months.

Marks and Spencer has confirmed the closure of more than half a dozen stores across the country.

Halfords has said that it will be closing, or has closed, three branches.

Boots is closing three stores in the UK this spring, including a branch in Manchester.

Homesense, owned by TKMaxx, is also shutting up shop in Manchester’s Arndale Shopping Centre.

House of Fraser is set to close two more locations as it battles to keep a presence in the retail sector.

For the full list of retailers closing shops for good see our story.

Restaurants have been hit too with the Byron burger chain also falling into administration and closing nine sites.

Wetherspoons is also set to close 11 pubs with 33 still up for sale.

Do you have a money problem that needs sorting? Get in touch by emailing [email protected]