What do you need to know

The British Retail Consortium – UK retail’s trade association – announced that there was another fall in retail jobs of 2.3% in Q2 2019 compared to the previous quarter in 2018. 

This is equivalent to approx. 72,000 positions and is the 14th consecutive quarter-to-quarter decline. 

Helen Dickinson, Chief Executive of the British Retail Consortium, said: “We’ve seen retail employment falling across the country.

“Such declines are likely to endure, hastened by government policies that continue to add costs to an industry already under immense pressures.”

As we’ve written previously, online sales are a significant part of the mix already and are only going to increase to the detriment of physical sales.  

As a result, there is less demand for shop staff, their wages and expensive, rented high street stores. 

Bad but could it be even worse?

Automation in the form of self-service checkouts is also a factor which is likely to increase in the coming years. 

The consortium has saved it’s fiercest criticism for business rates saying that while retailers account for 6% of the UK’s GDP, they pay 26% of all business rates. The findings also show that slightly more full time positions have been lost than part time as stores value flexibility and their own roles change: “centered more on customer experience and offering social activities, for which fewer staff are needed.”

Combined with falling consumer spending, the retail sector thinks it could be a great opportunity for the political regime to make its mark. Helen Dickinson said: “With a new prime minister and cabinet in place, there is a clear opportunity to rethink the high street strategy. Business rates pose an unsustainable burden on shops and jobs.”

Whether you think help is coming or not, if your business is experiencing a downturn in sales, staff or momentum then get in touch with us

Our expert advisors will set up a free initial consultation where we can examine the issues bedevilling your business line-by-line and see what strategy will be the best for your company right now.