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'Best result' in over three years for retail sector

The retail sector has delivered the ‘best result’ in terms of job creation since 2009, indicating that consumer recovery is underway.

Retail employment grew 3.7 per cent in the second quarter against the same period last year, the strongest rise since December 2009, according to the British Retail Consortium (BRC)-Bond Dickinson Retail Employment Monitor.

UK employment in the retail industry increased for the sixth consecutive quarter and is forecast to continue. There was also a marginal improvement in employment intentions compared with the previous year as 80 per cent of employers said they will keep staffing levels unchanged the third quarter in 2013. And 16 per cent of retailers intend to increase staffing levels in the next quarter, an increase of three per cent on the same period last year.

BRC Director General Helen Dickinson said: “This is the best result we’ve seen for retail jobs since 2009. While we know that there is considerable regional variation in retail performance and footfall, these new jobs provide further evidence that a consumer recovery is starting to take shape.”

Store numbers also increased 1.5 per cent with all the extra 263 stores driven by food retailers, which are launching more compact convenience stores across the UK.

Jon Copestake, Retail Analyst at The Economist Intelligence Unit said: “The recent heatwave is also likely to be driving footfall and consumption, especially in outdoor clothing and food categories.

“This is likely to be compounded by a “feelgood” factor brought on by the hot weather and by high profile “success” stories in the UK, from Wimbledon and the Lions tour to the ongoing Ashes series and recent royal birth which should continue to drive spending throughout July and into August.”

Source: Michael Somerville

25 July 2013
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