How Many Jobs will be Lost in the Retail Sector?

How Many Jobs will be lost as a result of Covid-19

The year 2020 has certainly been a difficult year for the retail sector, however, the sector was struggling before Covid-19 brought the UK to a standstill. The BBC notes that by January 27th 2020 that close to 10,000 jobs had already been lost in the retail sector. Moreover, “the British Retail Consortium (BRC) said total retail sales fell for the first time in 25 years in 2019. Sales in November and December were particularly weak, falling 0.9%”. It’s clear to see that the retail sector was in decline before Covid-19.

What effect has Covid-19 had on retail jobs so far?

Due to the Governments Furlough scheme, immediate job losses have been avoided across the board. However, with the furlough scheme coming to an end in October, how many jobs are likely to be lost? As of June 15th, 2020, non-essential stores such as retail, will be allowed to re-open, provided they implement strict social distancing apparatus. This will significantly reduce the number of customers allowed in a store at any one time. This also greatly affects the shopping experience, for instance, changing rooms will remain shut for the foreseeable future. Will consumers won’t to risk infection from Covid-19 to visit their favour stores? To summarise, not a fundamental effect as of now, but the coming months will quickly indicate the true cost of Covid-19.

Consumers’ New habits will likely dictate retail jobs security

Even when the non-essential shops re-open, it’s hard to gauge whether consumers will immediately return to physical stores. Some consumers, particularly older ones, will be reluctant to risk exposure to Covid-19, along with other groups who are particularly vulnerable to the disease. If more consumers switch to online shopping, then naturally, the physical stores may be obsolete. This is all of course speculative, with it being extremely difficult to predict with any certainty.

How long will social distancing last for?

Social distancing and how long it lasts for in some form or another are likely to play no small part. Social distancing may result in long ques outside stores, periods without changing rooms and toilets. Again, this is all surrounded in speculation.



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