Shoppers desert UK high streets, putting more jobs at risk

Decline bigger than same period in recession-hit 2009 and one in 10 town centre shops lie empty

Shoppers are deserting the high street in greater numbers than during the depths of the recession in 2009, creating a brutal climate that is putting thousands more retail jobs at risk.

The coming days will be crucial to the future of a handful of household names, including Mothercare and Carpetright, which are trying to persuade investors to make vital cash injections so they can jettison unwanted stores. There is also the spectre of job losses at Poundworld, the struggling discount chain, which is being cut adrift by its American owners.

Related: MPs launch inquiry into high streets facing threat from online

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