ao link
Twitter
Facebook
Linked In
RSS
Login or Register
New to InternetRetailing?
Register Now
Internet Retailing
You are in: > Home > Views

This is your 1 complimentary article for this month

Become a member for unlimited and immediate access.


Register
Already a member? Log in here

EDITORIAL How the nature of working in retail is steadily changing as shopping continues to shift online

Linked InTwitterFacebookeCard
Image: Jeramey Lende/Shutterstock
Image: Jeramey Lende/Shutterstock
Sharelines

EDITORIAL How the nature of working in retail is steadily changing as shopping continues to shift online

In today’s InternetRetailing newsletter we’re reporting as the latest ONS jobs figures show a small, and perhaps unexpected, expansion in the number of people working in the retail industry. There’s a warning that this number may fall if staff currently on furlough lose their jobs, but there’s also the interesting insight that the nature of retail jobs is now changing. More people are joining retailers’ online businesses instead, in roles from technology to fulfilment, while fewer people are employed in-store.

 

Today we have a good example of that difference with news from Boohoo that it has seen a 32% rise in sales during its latest quarter, compared to the previous year. That’s a quarter in which it bought three Arcadia brands - Dorothy Perkins, Wallis and Burton – as well as Debenhams. All of those brands were bought out of administration after the businesses that previously ran them failed. Their shops have now closed with the collective loss of thousands of jobs. But at the same time, the retailer is now expanding its fulfilment. One new warehouse is now open and another is scheduled to go live this quarter - the latter with the potential to employ a further 1,000 jobs on top of the 330 people who already worked at the former Arcadia site.


Ted Baker this week show how it invested online during a year in which more sales came from ecommerce. Despite this, it says its stores remain vital to the business, both for brand awareness and to showcase its products to shoppers.

 

Urban Outfitters, meanwhile, is rolling out fast, cloud-based in-store analytics to its stores in the US and Europe as it looks to enable staff to make local, data-based store decisions more efficiently - and to spend more time with customers.

 

And there are entirely new retail ventures being created as different types of businesses go online. Fish wholesaler Swansea Fish is now selling online, having found consumers eager to buy direct during lockdown. In today’s guest comment, Tracey Gilbert of IBM iX takes us under the bonnet of building a virtual car forecourt.

Whether there will, collectively, be as many jobs in new and expanding online retail as there were in now-closed stores remains to be seen. Certainly they are likely to employ different people. But, as we see from Urban Outfitters’ example, in-store staff may well become ever more adept in using the data to make the shops where they work more successful - eroding the barrier between in-store and online staff.

Linked InTwitterFacebookeCard
Add New Comment
You must be logged in to comment.

The InternetRetailing Newsletter

A curated update containing news analysis, reports, podcasts and opinion - completely free and delivered three times weekly

Become a Member

Create your own public-facing profile
Gain access to all Top500 research
Personalise your experience on IR.net
Internet Retailing
We are the magazine, portal and research source for European ecommerce and multichannel retail, hosting the board-level conversation for retailers, pureplays and brands across all of our platforms. Join the conversation.

© InternetRetailing Media

Latest Tweet

Internet Retailing
Tamebay
eDelivery
Twitter
Facebook
Linked In
Youtube
RSS
RSS
Youtube
Google
Linked In
Facebook
Twitter