BRC says thousands of retailers jobs lost late last year
The number of employees in the retail sector fell by 2.2% in the all-important Christmas quarter last year, further underlining the sector’s evolution towards the omnichannel experience.
A new survey has found that the decline, the equivalent of 70,000 jobs, was driven by both full-time and part-time jobs. Total job hours fell 2.8% in the fourth quarter compared to 2017, with full-time hours down 2.9% and part-time hours down 2.8% on the prior year.
"The retail industry is undergoing a profound change and the latest employment data underpins those trends,” said Helen Dickinson, the chief executive officer of trade body the British Retail Consortium (BRC), which published the report on Thursday.
“Technology is changing both the way consumers shop, but also the types of jobs that exist in retail. While we expect the number of frontline staff to fall over the next decade, there will many new jobs created in areas such as digital marketing and AI."
“However, this transformation comes at a cost for retailers, who are already weighed down by the increasing costs of public policy, from sky high business rates to rising minimum wage,” she continued.
This week, Cotswold Outdoor and Snow + Rock joined the growing list of retailers looking to close stores in the coming months as more and more consumers shop online.
According to BRC numbers, retail sales fell flat in December compared to 2017, with UK retailers having “the worst Christmas in a decade”.
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