Retail hiring drops 20%

Retail hiring drops 20%
“The pandemic has accelerated the shift to online shopping and in-store staff are paying the highest price,” LinkedIn's Josh Graff said.
// Retail sector second-worst affected sector for hiring
// “In-store staff are paying the highest price” in switch to online shopping, says LinkedIn

Hiring across the retail sector fell 20 per cent in October, as the sector continues to struggle under the pressure of coronavirus.

According to new research conducted by LinkedIn, retail hiring rates fell 20 per cent year-on-year in October, as employers cut back on staffing in the wake of uncertainty caused by coronavirus.

Retail was the second-worst affected industry, only behind hires in recreation and travel, which fell 43 per cent year-on-year in October.

READ MORE: 13,000 jobs at risk as Sir Philip Green’s Arcadia Group plunges into administration

“The pandemic has accelerated the shift to online shopping and in-store staff are paying the highest price,” LinkedIn UK Country Manager Josh Graff said.

“We know that people in the retail sector are passionate about their work and have highly transferable skills, specifically in customer service and experience. Forward thinking companies will look past candidates’ current employment status and instead focus on their skill set, related previous experience and overall potential when making hiring decisions,” Graff added.

“For many retailers, the immediate challenge is cutting costs, preserving working capital and trading through Christmas to strengthen balance sheets,” Retail Economics chief executive Richard Lim said.

“With employee costs making up a significant proportion of overall operating costs, it’s understandable that retailers have cut back employment levels compared with last year, especially given the heightened levels of uncertainty. With a greater proportion of shopping moving online and vacancy rates on our high streets expected to rise further, it’s inevitable that there will be fewer retail jobs in the future, but those that remain are likely to be more skilled and higher paid,” Lim added.

On Monday Sir Philip Green’s Arcadia Group entered administration, putting 13,000 retail jobs at risk.

The retail empire – which owns Topshop, Topman, Dorothy Perkins, Burton, Wallis, Evans, Miss Selfridge and Outfit – appointed administrators from auditing firm Deloitte after the Covid-19 pandemic “severely impacted” sales across its brands.

Administrators said no redundancies have been announced yet as a result of the appointment and stores will continue to trade.

Meanwhile, Debenhams’ said it would begin to wind down its UK properties after JD Sports said it would pull out of talks on a rescue takeover, a move that will place 12,000 jobs at risk.

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