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Market Commentary

​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​Weekly Retail & Leisure News - 29​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​ February, 2016​​​​

Digital revolution and rising costs  to reshape retail industry

The rate of change to employment in the retail industry is likely to accelerate over the next 10 years as the digital revolution continues to reshape the sector. A recent report from the BRC concludes that with the burden of business rates rising, the cost of labour going up and the cost of technology decreasing, there could be up to 900,000 fewer jobs in the retail sector by 2025. However, while the number of jobs may decrease, they will likely be of greater quality as the sector is forced to become more productive, and retailers successfully tackle the challenges they face.

This report release coincides with new data released by IMRG showing that for the first time, the majority of UK ecommerce sales are now conducted through smartphones and tablets, highlighting the on-going digitalisation of the sector. In addition, the UK Cards Association announced this week that more than 1bn contactless purchases were made last year. This is a direct result of more retailers offering contactless payment options, speeding up the transaction for consumers. 

In other news last week, Morrisons has announced that its grocery products will be available to order from Amazon. The UK’s fourth biggest supermarket said the deal would allow Amazon Prime Now and Amazon Pantry customers access to its products in the coming months. According to Tim Vallance, Head of UK Retail and Leisure “we are seeing a general shift away from approaching physical retail space and online sales as separate entities. Shopping is now simply seamless: it's about obtaining goods: whether online or offline, through clicks or bricks, via multi or omni-channel, it is now simply 'commerce'. In other areas of retail, an element of experience can be thrown in to the mix to attract customers away from their sofas, but grocery shopping has almost always been won through convenience."​

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