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Predicted changes in the UK retail landscape

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Posted on 4/03/2016 by Wayne Brophy FCILT

The latest report from the British Retail Consortium predicts up to 900,000 jobs in the UK retail sector will not exist by 2025 as a result of increasing tax, wage bills and digital growth resulting in shop closures.

As the BRC report indicates, the retail landscape is changing at a significant rate. A dwindling high street means that retails are faced with challenges of navigating the dynamics of bricks and mortar stores alongside online shopping to enhance customer experience.

The unprecedented growth of the digital world has clearly disrupted the retail sector and created a shift in the kind of roles that are now coming to the forefront.

The introduction of the National Living Wage and the new apprenticeship levy will also have a considerable impact on the balance sheet for retail organisations in the future. New legislation such as this may result in an overall increase in the contract workforce.

On the positive side, it will create opportunities in specialist areas as the supply chain becomes increasingly automated and technology driven there is a definite surge in demand for ecommerce experiences from clients. Retail organisations are instead in search of technically-savvy candidates who are proficient at working in a fast-paced supply chain environment.

We’re also experiencing an increase in systems implementation roles as companies look to update their systems and technology. When it comes to ecommerce candidates with the relevant experience there is a significant skills gap so the market will see an increase in contractors being appointed to set up new systems.

Ultimately, the real drivers for change in the retail environment are a reminder to ensure that HR and recruitment advisers are working closely with senior managers to plan restructures and develop a resourcing model that can not only survive and thrive in the new world.

 

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