SFB Guide to the Retail Sector

The UK retail sector is one of the most important contributors to the UK economy, accounting for more than 5% of GDP. Retailers make up 9% (189,280) of all VAT-registered businesses and directly employ three million workers, making retail the largest employer in the private sector. In 2012, it generated total annual sales of almost £311 billion (sources: Office for National Statistics and British Retail Consortium). While the retail sector is dominated by national chains, most noticeably on the grocery front, independent SME retailers remain a vibrant and dynamic force on the landscape, particularly at a local level. The economic crisis of 2009 created a prolonged rocky period for the retail sector, and the challenges of sustaining a profitable business remain considerable. But new technologies are emerging which are helping to turn these challenges into opportunities at every level of the market - from independent convenience stores using cloud-based accountancy and supply chain management applications to streamline costs, to niche retailers embracing social media and digital voucher campaigns, through to medium-sized businesses with several outlets using mobile technology to engage with their customers on an individual basis.

SFB Guide to the Retail Sector

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Author: 

Piers Ford

Posted Date: 

Thursday, May 22, 2014 - 16:05

Last Modified: 

Thursday, May 22, 2014 - 16:05

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