The retail industry was one of the hardest hit by the pandemic. In 2020, retail sales volumes fell by 1.9% compared with 2019, representing the largest annual fall on record. These falls were particularly sharp during the national lockdowns; by April 2020, total retail sales volumes were 19% lower when compared with February levels. Alongside this, almost 190,000 UK retail jobs have been lost since the pandemic began.
These stats together with major shifts in consumer behaviour have led to significant changes in retailers’ priorities and the future of in-store retail. This report summarises the key trends across three key areas of retail: HR and personnel challenges, digital transformation, and the future of retail, and shows that retail businesses must invest in the right technologies to improve their workforce management, strategy, operations, and behaviours to keep pace with the rapid changes occurring in the industry.
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Discover plans and predictions for the industry and how retail businesses can best support their workforce.