According to a new report published today by the British Retail Consortium (BRC), there is to be an estimated 900,000 fewer jobs in the sector by 2025.
The report suggests that store closures on UK high streets and town centres could exacerbate the impact on employment in the already fragile communities with the weaker regions and the most vulnerable low paid staff most at risk.
Going forward however, this will result in encouraging improvements in the quality and variety on offer to customers, resulting in a continued competitiveness in pricing and greater productivity from fewer but better jobs.
It also found that the most economically fragile areas are likely to see a more substantial impact of store closures, while smaller businesses are to be disproportionately affected by the ever evolving industry as they have fewer ways to respond to rising costs.
BRC’s Chief Executive, Helen Dickinson, commented: “The key conclusions of today’s report are not surprising – there will be a further contraction in retail space and a reduction in the number of people employed in retail.
“Individual retailers will find their own paths to 2020 and beyond but from an industry perspective, we hope to see technology and competition resulting in better experiences for the customer and better jobs for those working in retail.”
“From a Government perspective the more significant insights in this report lie in where and how these changes may happen and the differential impact they are likely to have on people and places across the country and we would like to work with the government to manage the impact of the changes on the most vulnerable.”
The report has made a number of recommendations for the Government to ensure a successful implementation of policy and mitigate changes in the most vulnerable areas, which include:
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