The Future of the Retail Careers for the Next Generation

The Future of the Retail Careers for the Next Generation

richard_mcmunn_entrepreneurOver the past few years, there has been a gradual but sure and steady change in the way people shop. While the high street was once at the heart of the shopping experience, this is no longer the case. Today, people are increasingly opting to shop online – and the retail sector is seeing the effects of this massive shift.

Big names that have been a part of every household in the UK, such as the entertainment giant HMV, Jessops the brand specialising in cameras and related accessories and the electrical superstore Comet have recently gone to the wall, with more popular brands expected to follow. In fact, the industry predictions for the retail sector are quite disheartening.

At the same time e commerce brands like Amazon and eBay have seen a surge in recent times. The changing fortunes of the retail and online sector illustrate the fact that more and more people are making the shift to online shopping – mainly for two reasons, it can be quicker and more convenient, and often one finds better deals online than in a bricks and mortar store. This is usually because online companies save on overheads which they can pass on to customers as significant savings.


Every retail brand that goes into administration means several, sometimes hundreds and even thousands of job losses. Recent social statistics show that retail store closures increased ten times over the course of last year – and that retail stores should be expected to shut down at the rate of 28 per day.

A row of derelict shops

The same data shows that changing shopping trends most heavily impacted on high street technology shops, computer games stores, and card shops, while some sectors that actually increased their high presence in the recent past are pay day loan shops, pawnbrokers and pound stores. This obviously reflects the average state of the country’s economy at the moment.

While this is the current trend – what should one expect as the future of the retail sector? Should people wanting a career in retail expect to have to adapt their experience and skills to the digital marketplace, and if not work in a pawn shop or a pound shop?

  • Can high street shops make a recovery and adapt to the changing shopping habits of the populace?
  • Will it do so and how?
  • And lastly, are there any advantages to having a thriving high street?

Growing online business means that more and more high street shops are converting their high street presence to distribution centres or dark shops that may look like stores but are meant to be warehouses. Also, with the near collapse of the high street, local retail parks are beginning to become more busy and popular than before.

Perhaps the retail sector is moving towards a more consolidated presence which also allows a cost effective way to make a shift online. One thing is certain that companies that fail to adapt to the changing business environment are unlikely to be able to sustain in the future.