Is there an industry with greater potential for risk and reward than retail?
A House of Commons briefing paper in 2017 revealed that, over the previous year, the retail sector contributed an enormous £192 billion to the UK economy – 11.4% of total economic output. Nearly a quarter of the UK’s total workforce worked in the retail industry, across 361,000 individual businesses.
That’s a huge sector to be a part of, but it’s not necessarily a stable or secure one. The arrival of internet giants, led of course by Amazon, has placed traditional retailers under unparalleled pressure. The dynamism and transparency of the internet era has left many long-established retailers by the wayside; consider the recent troubles of both Maplin and Toys R Us.
So what can retailers do to survive? There are four key qualities that the most forward-thinking and successful businesses emanate today.