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Tough trade forces retailers to cut staff

The number of people in full-time employment in retail fell by 2.4% year on year in the second quarter of 2016, as trading conditions remain difficult on the UK high street.

The number of stores in the UK also fell in the three months to June 30, by 0.4% compared with the same period in 2015, the British Retail Consortium (BRC) reported today.

In February the BRC warned the retail industry could lose almost 1 million jobs in the next decade.

Helen Dickinson, chief executive of BRC, said the report shows the “dramatic structural changes” that are under way in the retail industry.

“As an industry we are working to ensure that the jobs that remain in UK retailing are higher skilled and more productive. Challenging economic conditions, fierce competition between retailers, customers’ ever-changing shopping preferences, the lightning expansion of digital technology and external demands placed on retailers by government have all put pressure on the UK’s retail businesses.

She added: “Our final Retail 2020 report will outline the steps retailers and government can take to answer to these many challenges. We all need to ensure that there are not simply fewer jobs in retailing but that the jobs that remain will be better, too.”

 

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