UK Food Retailers Recruit More Staff

After a period of shrinkage retail food retailers are confident that growth is just around the corner. As a result of the positive sentiment around growth prospects, many of the U.K.’s food retailers have begun to recruit again. The specialist retail recruitment websites have seen demand for their services increase significantly during the first quarter of 2013. The BRC-Bond Pearce Retail Employment Monitor shows that during the first quarter of 2013 recruitment rates within the retail sector rose by just over 1.8% when compared with the same period last year.

The vast majority of these jobs have been part-time, however even part-time jobs are very welcome. With many people struggling to make ends meet, some of these new positions will undoubtedly go to people who already have another part-time job. There has been some increase in staff levels in other retail sectors, but it is food retailers who are recruiting the most people. The fact that this has happened now indicates that many of these jobs will be permanent. In the past recruitment has increased, but only in preparation for busy training periods such as Christmas and Easter. This increase in staffing does not appear to be in any way related to normal seasonal fluctuations.

Activity in other sectors

Sadly, this growth does not appear to be happening in other retail sectors. In fact, in the non-food sector recruitment is down on this time last year. This is something that many industry watchers predicted, given the fact that several major high-street chains have recently gone out of business.

What the future holds for retail is not yet clear. However, many believe that the types of retail jobs that will be available in the future may not all be shop based. It seems likely that more retailers will grow through online sales rather than increasing sales on the High Street. It has already been noted that many of the retail roles they are advertising are related to back of house work such as customer services rather than to the shop floor itself, and they expect this to be the case more and more.

Overall there are some positives in the retail job market and while the news may not be universally good, the small green shoots of growth, if nurtured, will grow into more jobs.

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