Almost 2,000 high street jobs have been axed or put at risk since Christmas, research claims

It means around 400 employees a day have been either axed or warned of redundancy.

The study by management consultants Altus says the crisis has been triggered by rising costs and falling consumer confidence.

The job losses reflect the collapse of a number of high street names including HMV, Patisserie Valerie and Oddbins.

In addition, Tesco, Marks & Spencer and Santander have all announced thousands of staff cuts.

Stores have been battling the increasing popularity of online shopping and higher costs.

Consumers concerned about the impact of Brexit are also said to have cut spending.

Altus’s Robert Hayton said: “It remains tough for high street businesses right now while Brexit uncertainty is also hurting both manufacturers and the services industries.”

He said the biggest overhead that firms have to deal with is business rates.

On March 25 stores must stump up more cash for their quarterly rent bills.

A National Living Wage rise comes in on April 1.

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