Ongoing dilemma for retail – Is it really a Happy New Year?

By Anita Jaynes on January 19, 2016

Henry Armstrong of Bradford on Avon based Career Directed Solutions gives TBE readers his views on the changing landscape of the retail sector.

Having packed away the last of the decorations, attention immediately turns to the performance of the retail sector, so often a barometer of how the nations’ financial health is perceived. This year perhaps these figures will be looked over more intensely, as we not only analyse footfall but the rapidly changing buying patterns so graphically highlighted by Black Friday and the relentless online 24 hour sales campaigns that have ensued in the weeks that followed.

It is predicted that by 2020 34% of retail sales will be online compared to 14% today. Growth of e-commerce will be at the expense of physical stores particularly those in marginal shopping locations.

By 2020 it is predicted that there will be a 27% decline in sales from stores, resulting in 31% fewer High Street stores. However, prime/ destination venues such as Westfield will thrive. Retailers will explore how they can best optimise their store portfolios in this multi-channel age.

In summary, as we start 2016, these changes add up to retailers and their employees facing unparalleled pressure to change. Career Directed Solutions is already working with retailers and their staff to effect this change both in terms of:

  • leading change
  • focusing on changing career paths, and
  • assisting those leaving the sector to find exciting new challenges

When Sir Mike Darrington left Greggs one of his most notable achievements was that throughout a period of sustained change there were only 150 redundancies through a highly successful period of transition. It is unlikely this ratio will be repeated by retailers in the months ahead as the effect on human resource will be high.

To find out more about Change in the Retail Sector, contact Henry Armstrong, director of retail sector at Career Directed Solutions.

Email: henry@careerds.co.uk Tel: 0207 002 1102 Mobile: 07809 434557

Pictured above: Henry Armstrong, director of retail sector at Career Directed Solutions