The cost of the recession to Britain's retailers has been calculated as a whopping £23 billion since the start of the recession.

The figures, compiled by research specialists Conlumino for ecommerce partner Webloyalty uses a model dating back to 1970 which looks at Brits spending year-on-year across both the sector as a whole and individual divisions.

This data is then underpinned by figures on household disposable income, credit and demographics such as population growth.

When considering what underlying variables would have looked like if the recession had not hit, (such as what would have happened to disposable income, unemployment figures, inflation), the model spits out a view on how much disposable cash each household would have had.

They then discern how much of that disposable cash would've been spent on shopping with retailers by looking at previous shopping trends, before finally adding in any other extra factors, such as the decline of books as the world became more digitally focussed.

All of that is then held up against what actually DID happen, and the difference was the staggering £23bn figure.

Guy Chiswick, managing director of Webloyalty UK, the figure showed that times will continue to be tough for retailers and consumers.

"Securing new customers can be difficult, so it is vital that retailers hold on to the customers they already have by engendering loyalty. Customer data needs to be used intelligently to meet the needs of individuals and to drive loyalty and satisfaction," he said.

Neil Saunders of Conlumino added: "Consumers are thinking more carefully about what and why they're purchasing. This means retailers have to work much harder at interpreting what customers want. Unfortunately, this is more complicated than ever because of the fragmented and multichannel nature of shopping today."

Separately, Real Business Rescue, part of insolvency practitioner Cooper Williamson, has collated a list of the UK's best loved, and most missed retailers, who've been dissolved or taken over since the start of the recession.

uk retailers recession