The Centre for Retail Research in Norwich, U.K., expects that thousands of retail stores will not open after the lockdown in the U.K. Most were under great pressure even before the outbreak of the epidemic, because of weak customer demand, a high “business rate” tax and rapidly rising online competition. The Centre’s recent report, “The Coronavirus: Lost Lives, Lost Stores, and Lost Jobs,” predicts that 20,620 retail stores in the U.K. will close their doors by the end of this year. In 2019, 4,547 store closings were reported in the U.K. market. Experts estimate that up to 235,714 jobs in the retail business will be lost by the end of this year. Because of the current crisis, the U.K. government has decided not to levy the business rate (the tax on the right to occupy commercial property) for one year. The tax equates to approximately 50 percent of annual rent. This decision is expected to prevent even more store closings in 2020.