The industry is now undergoing a transformation more profound and far-reaching than any that has gone before. At the centre of the change sits a technological revolution that has fundamentally altered how we shop, the way retail businesses work and the skills that retailers are nurturing for the future. Today, 100,000 people are employed in retail jobs that did not even exist five years ago and about 15 per cent of sales are online, growing at 10 to 15 per cent a year.

The Changing Face Of Retail

We've partnered with ITN Productions on ‘The Changing Face of Retail’, a news and current-affairs programme that explores how the retail industry is changing.

The retail industry is at the epicentre of huge changes and is working towards a vision of better and more rewarding jobs. For the first time, this programme brings that journey to life. Join in the conversation about it at #Retail2020.

Our series of Retail 2020 reports, available for download from this page, also formed a comprehensive study to establish what this transformation will look like, including an assessment of likely impacts on our local communities and on employment


As the structure of the industry continues to change in the coming years, the Retail 2020 Dashboard will provide a reliable way of tracking how the industry is responding to structural changes. The Dashboard will shine a light on the retail industry’s progress in becoming more productive, with more highly paid jobs and developing more engaged employees.

Productivity: Growth in productivity in retail is outperforming the rest of the UK economy. Retail’s continued contribution to economic growth will therefore have a vital part to play in the Government’s commitment to improving UK productivity and closing the UK’s productivity gap with the rest of the world.

Pay: The pay gap between retail and the wider economy is closing. Average pay was 68 per cent of the UK median in 2016, up from 66 per cent in 2015. For many, a job in retail comes with an attractive rewards package, with more than 90 per cent of retailers offering additional paid holidays, pensions contribution above the statutory minimum and generous staff discounts.

Engagement: The data gives an early indication of an upward trend in employee engagement levels. Improved motivation and satisfaction of the retail workforce goes hand in hand with the shared commitment by Government and industry to become more productive and with the industry’s vision of better jobs.

Employment: There are currently 3.2 million jobs in retail. As the industry undergoes structural change, we expect to see the number of jobs fall as outlined in Retail 2020: Fewer But Better Jobs