Tui to shut 166 High Street shops | UK Market Update

Travel company Tui is set to shut 166 High Street stores in the UK and Ireland, affecting up to 900 jobs. The UK's largest tour operator said it hoped to keep on 630 workers in a mix of sales and home-working roles and in remaining stores. The decision was made after changes in customer behaviour, including a shift to online. About 350 retail stores will remain following the closures. The outlets set to close have been chosen based on a number of factors, including local market data and "predictions on the future of travel", the firm said.

John Lewis is looking at turning empty stores into privately rented housing as it moves to expand beyond its traditional retail offer and safeguard the long-term future of the business. The employee-owned group is also considering branching out into product rental and the resale of "used" items as it eyes new markets as part of its strategic review. With customers increasingly shopping online, the retailer will become "digital first", with stores supporting internet sales, according to the company. More Waitrose outlets could also close as the firm examines its supermarket arm's estate based on customer demand.

The UK car industry produced the lowest number of vehicles in the first half of 2020 since 1954, as the coronavirus pandemic forced factory closures and prompted at least 11,000 automotive job losses. Only 381,357 cars rolled off British production lines from January to June, 42.8% lower than last year, according to the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders. Every car factory in the UK closed during the lockdown amid supply chain problems and concerns over workers’ health. The SMMT’s latest forecasts suggest that only 880,000 will be produced this year, a third lower than 2019.

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