As many as 150,000 jobs in the retail industry will be axed in the next five years, with head office and non-operational staff such as HR in the firing line, researchers have predicted.
More than 8,000 retail jobs have already been lost this year amid a climate of falling consumer confidence, but retail analysts Verdict Research will warn this week that they are just the tip of the iceberg.
Since 2000 retailers have, on average, increased their headcounts by 10%. More than three million people now work in the retail industry, which has become the largest employer in the private sector.
But Verdict believes that businesses in the sector will now attempt to reduce costs by cutting numbers - with the focus on head-office and non-operational staff.
“Labour is the key area where cuts can be made,” said Richard Hyman, chairman of Verdict Research.
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