The UK is among the most advanced retail markets in the world. It is the largest private sector employer and is particularly attractive to young people and those who value flexibility and retail jobs close to where they live. It is also an industry that has undergone more change in the past five years than in the previous fifty.
Given the rate of this change is accelerating, we conducted a comprehensive study to establish what this transformation will look like, including an assessment of likely impacts on our local communities and on employment. The conclusions are in themselves not surprising – there will be a contraction in physical retail space and a reduction in the number of people employed in coming years. The more significant insights lie in where and how these changes may take place and the different impact they are likely to have on communities across the country.
Our work has shown that it is imperative to improve industry productivity, to harness and develop new and different skills for the digital age as well as a clear need to deliver better on the things that people who work in the industry say are most important to them.
We are working with our members to explore the journey ahead, a journey towards a shared industry vision of better jobs. Jobs which are more productive, higher-paid, fit for the future and more rewarding for the retail workforce.
This means working with across the industry to share knowledge, learnings and best practice in order to build momentum and alignment for the greater good of the industry.
And it means working with Government to ensure the successful implementation of progressive policy and to mitigate the impact of the changes we expect to see in regions and on people who may be the most vulnerable as well as engaging with them on the implementation of the National Living Wage and the new Apprenticeship Levy.
You can download the Retail 2020 reports by clicking the links on the right.