Highstreet stores are hiring in earnest as non-essential shops prepare to reopen in England and Wales, with retail vacancies climbing to within 14% of their pre-pandemic levels, and outperforming the labour market as a whole, according to new research by the world’s largest job site Indeed
At their low point during the first nationwide lockdown last May, postings for retail roles collapsed to 65% below their pre-pandemic level. But they have been re-energised by the announcement in February 2021 of routes out of lockdown for all parts of the UK, and have since bounced back by 29 percentage points.
Across the jobs market as a whole, vacancies are still 16% below their pre-pandemic level despite the biggest weekly jump in vacancies (+9%) since the pandemic struck. But as the economy starts to unlock, recent days have seen job postings on Indeed record the biggest one-week gain since the recovery began in February.
While recruitment by supermarkets has held up well throughout the pandemic, Indeed’s analysis of hiring by non-food retailers reveals they are now enjoying a renaissance too. A ranking of the 10 non-food stores posting the most new jobs since February is dominated by DIY outlets, which have been allowed to remain open during lockdown and benefitted from a boom in demand for home improvements.
However, the bricks and mortar-only fashion brand Primark has ramped up its hiring efforts, breaking into the top five alongside the shoe retailer Clarks, which has more than 300 highstreet stores across the UK. Both are set to reopen fully as restrictions on non-essential retailers are eased this month.
Top 10 non-food retailers posting the most new jobs since February
Pets At Home
Holland & Barrett
McColl’s Retail Group