15% of retailers could cut staff due to rising energy costs


The retail sector is struggling with the recent rise in energy prices with 15 per cent of companies admitting they would consider cutting staff to save money, says research from Energy Works PLC.

The October study, of 200 business owners, managers and landlords, also revealed that 93 per cent of the retail sector are concerned about the increase in energy prices, with over two thirds (70 per cent) expecting to miss their growth targets by 10 per cent this year. Over half (52 per cent) of those in the industry are now considering changing to clean technology as a way of cutting costs to reach their growth targets.

Lighting accounts for one fifth of all electricity used in the UK and while 52 per cent of companies are aware that energy efficient LEDs could save them money in the long-term, 86 per cent are yet to make the transition.

Derek Duffill, CEO, Energy Works PLC, commented: “For those retailers now facing higher energy bills, being able to keep store lights on during these short winter days is becoming much more of a financial strain. In the run up to the busy Christmas period it is now imperative that retailers look for ways in which they can increase their energy efficiency in order to cut their bills.

“Cost effective technology that allows businesses to make this change is readily available. For example, any organisation can take advantage of a free of charge LED retrofit in return for a percentage of the energy savings made over a typical period of five years. This allows them to reduce their energy costs without any capital outlay. Unless urgent action is taken it is clear that the economic prosperity of the industry is at risk.”