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Retailers reduce staffing levels as conditions remain tough

New figures have shown that the equivalent number of full time jobs in the retail sector fell by 2.4% in the second quarter of 2016 compared to the same period a year ago.

GENERAL MERCHANDISE

Retailers reduce staffing levels as conditions remain tough

New figures have shown that the equivalent number of full time jobs in the retail sector fell by 2.4% in the second quarter of 2016 compared to the same period a year ago.

The data from the British Retail Consortium and law firm Bond Dickinson in their latest retail employment monitor show that food retailers reported a decline in full time employment while the non-food sector saw a rise.

During the period, the number of outlets fell by 0.4% compared with the same quarter a year ago. Food retailers drove the overall decrease in the number of stores.

Helen Dickinson chief executive of the British Retail Consortium, said: “Today’s figures show that full time equivalent employment in the retail industry has fallen at its fastest rate since the second quarter of 2014. The number of stores in the UK has also fallen again, albeit at a slower rate than we have previously seen. This continues to show the dramatic structural changes that are underway in the retail industry.”

The BRC said challenging economic conditions, fierce competition between retailers, customers’ ever-changing shopping preferences, the expansion of digital technology, and external demands placed on retailers by government have all put pressure on the UK’s retail businesses and impacted employment in the sector.

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