Key facts

General UK facts

  • An astonishing 2.7m people now work in the UK's retail sector, making it the nation's biggest employer, according to research by PeoplePerHour.
  • The industry relies heavily on young people – many work in shops as students before moving on to other careers.  But many are attracted to it as a career in itself, with fast promotion opportunities, good financial rewards and enviable staff perks.
  • Whether you want to work for an internationally-known city centre chainstore with hundreds of employees, or as part of a small team in a local bookshop or baker’s shop in a country town, the retail sector offers a wide range of opportunities.
  • Promotion is often based on ability rather than qualifications – but qualifications will help to speed up your progress as well as opening doors into many of the specialist jobs. Good training is available within the industry and there are courses, training programmes and qualifications available from colleges and elsewhere.

South of England facts

  • The retail industry is vital to centres across the South of England– it offers many opportunities for full and part-time jobs, long-term career progression as well as self-employment.
  • 448,000 people work in retail and wholesale in the South West and most retailers (86 per cent) in the South West employ ten people or less and most employees work part-time.
  • Over ¾ million work in this sector (Retail and wholesale) in the South East, which included Oxford, Thames Valley and Solent.
  • Find out detailed information about employment in the West of England 2015 for RETAIL.

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