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December 18, 2008
U.K. sees surprise retail bump as unemployment soars

Up to 27,000 Woolworths employees could soon lose their jobs.

Even as the number of jobless people in the United Kingdom grew to over 1 million, retail sales in the country unexpectedly rose for the first time in three months. 

The retail bump, a monthly sales increase of 0.3 percent, has been attributed to higher demand at food and discount stores. 

Stores like Woolworths have begun offering substantial discounts. Woolworths —  an English chain that has operated since 1909 — plans to close its doors by Jan. 5 if a buyer is not found, leaving 27,000 people out of work. 

In November, unemployment (now at 6 percent) rose at the fastest rate in 17 years.

Blogger “Huw” in Lancashire says her local Woolworths looks miserable, calling it “sickening” and worrying for the future of the commercial sector. 

The “Suz Blog” writes about going to a closing sale at a “Woolies” in London, describing the store as half empty.

The “Life on My Planet” blog writes that high street stores will become ghosts

Blogger “Debbie” in Yorkshire writes about losing her job

The “British Politics” blog paints a dim picture of the British economy’s future

World Bank President Robert Zoellick stated Thursday that worldwide unemployment will likely rise and economies likely worsen for at least the first half of 2009.

Photo courtesy of Flickr user suburbanslice  under a Creative Commons license.

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