Toys R Us. Maplins. House of Fraser. Carphone Warehouse. New Look. Marks & Spencer. PoundWorld. All are, or were, household names on the British shopping landscape. All struggled, or are still struggling, with retail trading conditions in 2018. All are, or were, large employers.
Whether these firms, along with many others, have had to cut the number of shops they trade out of, enter administration or cease doing business entirely, the affect isn’t just on shareholders and owners – employees, too, bear the brunt.
Reports vary as to how many retail jobs have been lost or imperilled this year. BBC 5 Live’s Wake Up To Money programme broadcast 22,000 as the figure of lost jobs thus far. Press Association cites a total circa 50,000. Just last month, PoundWorld’s collapse put 5000 jobs at risk. Toys R Us’ closure earlier this year made another 3000 redundant. These are headline-making numbers.
With the job losses so great, and so obvious, it would be easy to conclude that retail recruitment would also be struggling – which firm would hire when the whole industry is regularly reported, due to financial difficulties, to be unable to keep the staff it already has?