Photographer: Luke MacGregor/Bloomberg

U.K. Retailers Could Cut 900,000 Jobs in Decade, Group Says

  • Minimum wage and technology eat into retail hiring, says BRC
  • Group warns government underestimating fallout of living wage

U.K. retailers may slash as many as 900,000 jobs over the next decade amid technological advances and the increased minimum wage, their trade body said Monday.

The decline would amount to about a third of the industry’s current employment level and extend a drop that began in 2008 when 3.2 million retail jobs existed, the British Retail Consortium said in a report.

Cost pressures have risen at the same time that consumer spending has slowed and while the group said it supports the imposition of a new living wage, it warned the government is underestimating the fallout on hiring. J Sainsbury Plc has been cutting about 800 jobs as Britain’s main supermarkets ward off competition from discounters.

Higher labor costs and more expensive leases will lead companies to expand in digital retailing, the report said.

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