Britain's title as "a nation of shopkeepers" is under greater threat than ever before, according to a new study that shows a dramatic shrinking of the sector’s workforce in recent years.
Retail employees as a share of Britain’s workers has dived by 12 per cent since 2003, with the embattled sector now suffering a higher rate of redundancies than any other industry.
Despite recent data showing record employment levels in the UK, a new report from the Resolution Foundation has said that the "long-term decline has taken a more worrying turn recently", with seismic shifts in retail industry putting high street jobs under threat.
"Retailers’ woes have hit the headlines in recent years, but this is an economic and cultural change 15 years in the making. And while big name brands will inevitably grab the spotlight, we need to focus far more on the people and places most affected by the changing face of retail," said Daniel Tomlinson, research and policy analyst at the Resolution Foundation.
Tomlinson added: "The good news is that job creation in other sectors – from social care to hospitality – is generating new opportunities. We are unlikely to see the large unemployment hotspots that were left behind by previous rounds of economic change."