Over 420,000 brick-and-mortar retail jobs lost since 2010, says GMB

GMB has said that more than 420,000 retail jobs have been lost in the UK since 2010.

The trade union analysed ONS Labour research, which it says shows that the number of in-store retail jobs has declined by 28.4 per cent over the 13-year period.

The analysis is published after British hardware retailer Wilko closed its stores permanently, with over 12,500 people losing their jobs following the company’s collapse.

GMB said that it would warn the Labour Party Conference in Liverpool on Monday that more retail jobs will be lost unless economic reforms are made.

The organisation says that delegates at the event are due to debate a GMB motion which calls for the UK’s "archaic system of business rates" to be replaced, alongside better protections for workers who are made redundant.

The union also wants tougher sentences when retail workers experience violence and other abuse.

“High Street retail is at the heart of our communities, but customers and workers are denied a fair deal," said Andy Prendergast, GMB national secretary.
“These shocking figures are a wakeup call that Wilko was not the first, and it will not be the last."

Prendergast continued: “Better support for communities and workers who face redundancy is urgently needed. That’s why GMB is calling on the Labour Party to enact its pledge to replace the business rates system, strengthen redundancy rights, and establish minimum ownership requirements for critical national retailers. Otherwise, the High Street faces terminal decline.”

The final hundred Wilko stores closed on Sunday after 93 years, with GMB claiming that taxpayers are expected to pick up the more than £25 million cost of making Wilko workers redundant.

    Share Story:

Recent Stories

The Very Group
The Very Group transformed range and assortment planning using Board.

Watch the full video

Smarter merchandise planning across the retail value chain
In this webinar, Matt Hopkins, Head of Retail Solutions, Board, Catherine Tooke, SVP Product & Planning, Sweaty Betty, and Subir Gupta, Managing Principal, Thought Provoking Consulting join Retail Systems Editor Jonathan Easton to discuss the findings of the recent Retail Systems report The Merchandise Planning Challenge: How are retailers harnessing technology to optimise planning and retain customers? and examine the innovations that are improving retail planning.