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Britain’s retailers have been among the hardest hit by the coronavirus pandemic, losing close to about 22 billion pounds ($31 billion) in sales due to the three lockdown restrictions, as noted by Bloomberg. 

Key quotes (Source: Bloomberg)

Having already lost 540 million pounds worth of sales due to autumn lockdown, Associated British Foods Plc, the owner of budget clothing retailer Primark, faces the risk of losing an additional 1 billion pounds if the ongoing lockdowns across Europe last until the end of February. 

According to the British Retail Consortium, 2020 was the worst year on record, with in-store non-food sales declining by 24%, compared with 2019.

Prolonged lockdown may inflict heavy losses on retailers, forcing them to cut jobs. That would strengthen the case for negative interest rates and weigh over the British pound. GBP/USD is currently trading 1.3830, having reached a 34-month high of 1.3466 on Wednesday.