Retail means far more than just shelf-stacking


There are 100,000 people working within the retail industry, and some of the occupations didn’t even exist several years ago.

As the report by the British Retail Consortium states, there were expectations that the number of employees and working places would fall. However, with the innovative approach to the industry’s affairs, it’s possible to create new occupations for people. Among the newest, there are digital designers, private stylists, and online sales managers.

The chief executive of the BRC, Helen Dickinson, says that the industry always finds its way out of difficult situations. Besides, the fact that retailing is capable of creating more working places than Google puzzles even more. She said that the competitive atmosphere within the industry is the main factor that moves the progress forward.

She added that although retail jobs had once been “stigmatised as just shelf-stacking”, the industry was now a leader in offering opportunities in app development, microbiology and events planning, among other emerging areas. Data from BRC members indicate that more than 3 per cent of retail employees were occupied in roles that did not exist half a decade ago.

The report, The Journey to Better Jobs, is the third in the BRC’s “Retail 2020” series examining the way in which jobs in the sector are changing amid increasing costs and competition. It said in February that nearly a million retail jobs could be lost by 2025 as shops close and businesses struggle to meet higher wage bills and taxes.

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