• Total hours were down 2.8 per cent, while the number of total employees was down 2.8 per cent, the bulk of reductions seen in full time jobs.
• The majority of survey participants reduced labour requirements compared to last year, although a few increased both hours and employment.
• Redundancies stood at 0.3 per cent over the quarter, compared to 0.1 per cent seen last year.
• 56 per cent of survey respondents reported intentions to keep staffing levels the same, 25 per cent responded they would be increasing staff levels, 19 per cent planned to reduce staff levels compared 15 per cent a year ago.

Helen Dickinson OBE, Chief Executive, British Retail Consortium, said:

“Retailers are continuing to reduce labour requirements to support a reinvention in how retail and shopping works. Hours worked by employees on full time contracts dropped more sharply this quarter as retailers seek greater flexibility in their workforce to cope with the pressure felt from the diverging costs of labour versus technology.

“The retail industry stands ready to work in partnership with government to upskill the retail workforce as the transformation of retail continues and digital skills become more crucial. Less rigidity and more flexibility as well as future thinking by the government in how Apprenticeship Levy funds can be used would facilitate more positive change more quickly.”

Learn more