The Contribution of the Retail Sector to the Economy, Employment and Regeneration

Cover of the report, featuring a landscape of houses and skyscrapers within a price label
This report, produced by Dr Angus McIntosh of King Sturge LLP, with support from Business in the Community, looks at the contribution of retail to a number of key policy areas.

Motivating the report was a belief that there needs to be a more informed debate among both private and public sector parties of the importance of retail jobs to both the micro and macro economy. The perception is that retail employment does not create “real jobs”, only part-time or entry-level jobs that are unsustainable in the long term and contribute little to the wider economy. There is, however, a growing body of evidence that offers a contrary view.

In the debate about retail and regeneration the voices that often go unheard are those who are actually working in, or have worked, in the retail sector. At the heart of this report, therefore, are the findings of an independent survey by Ipsos MORI of a nationally representative 4,090 sample of the adult general public, undertaken in two waves during March-April 2006. The survey sought data regarding the nature of employment in retailing and both positive and negative aspects.