London — British shops are being battered as the shift to e-commerce, intense competition and the fallout from Brexit cause catastrophic levels of store closures and job cuts.

The country offers a case study in the troubles facing retail worldwide, and the collapse this week of the UK arm of baby-products chain Mothercare is just the latest example. With fast-growing online rivals such as Boohoo and drawing shoppers, traditional chains were already struggling before a weaker pound began squeezing living standards and crimping sales further...

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