Produced for the BRC by Oxford Economics and the Oxford Institute of Retail Management, it shows that the retail sector makes “major contributions” to the economy, employment and in “delivering value for customers.” Retailers, it says, make a substantial contribution to the Exchequer, use fewer corporation tax exemptions than other sectors, and pay 28 per cent of all business rates.
Toon Clerckx, Boots finance director and BRC Board member, said: “UK retailing is a great sector making a great contribution to the economy and wider society. Our report focuses on what needs to happen to make sure it stays that way.
“In particular, our role in tackling youth unemployment and delivering training and education is critical to the country. A third of all retail employees are under 25 and we invest in them – spending more per head on training than either the finance sector or manufacturing. I want people to see these facts and say: ‘I can see how much retailers matter. They’re getting kids off the streets and into jobs with a future’.”
Speaking about the importance of retail employment following the recent plans by Vince Cable to “reduce employment red tape” and streamline the tribunal process, BRC director general Stephen Robertson said: “Growth in the jobs market is essential to the recovery of our economy but retail jobs cannot be taken for granted. Our own figures show there were the equivalent of 23,000 fewer full-time jobs in the retail sector this autumn, compared with the same period last year. Removing deterrents to hiring new staff and reducing unnecessary employment costs will help retailers create the jobs the country needs. The Government should take these proposals forward as quickly as possible.”