Ecommerce is disrupting Britain’s high street. And it seems like brick-and-mortar retailers are not the only ones suffering the consequences of its increasing adoption.
Last year tens of thousands of workers serving in UK’s high street lost their jobs raising concerns among industry watchdogs. No wonder market leaders have been requesting the government to come to the rescue of physical stores, even though most affected individuals have found other jobs.
And while it is difficult to track employment in retail because rates fluctuate by season, the British Retail Consortium approximates that a total of 57,000 job losses last year.
This figure is from an examination of the most recent records of the Office for National Statistics. But it differs with the general opinion of fulltime hires in UK, and the Consortium is worried the government is not attending to employment losses in retail with the same urgency it does with manufacturing jobs.
According to Helen Dickinson, the Consortium’s boss, if only the authorities were swift to respond to the thousands of retail employment losses over the past years, UK’s brick-and-mortar retail sector would still be alive.
Retail is the United Kingdom’s largest private employer providing jobs to more than 3 million employees. But the sector has been falling over the last few years and has reported unemployment because of four major reasons;
- The growth of online retail
- Reduced customer confidence
- Expensive operational costs
- The need for too much physical room.
BHS’s 2016 failure was one of the worst fall for UK big box retailers. The shutdown led to over 10,000 job losses.
According to the Consortium, the remaining high street retail jobs are left for those who need flexible hours, and are often underpaid. Other statistics also show that women are prone to these low salaries than men.
The employment crisis was bound to happen; only that market players didn’t see it happen so soon. High streets will have to get creative to survive this storm that’s threatening to sweep it out completely. Meanwhile, the government must respond to the increasing job losses and come to the rescue of its citizens.
Author Bio: Payment industry guru Taylor Cole is a passionate payments expert who understands the complex world of merchant services. He also writes non-fiction, on subjects ranging from personal finance to stocks to cryptopay and all about Worldpay contact number. He enjoys eating pie in his backyard porch, as should all right thinking people.