Lord Simon Wolfson, chief executive of retail giant Next has warned that many traditional retail jobs may become unviable, as a result of people shopping online during the coronavirus pandemic.
Chancellor Rishi Sunak warned on Thursday it is “impossible” to predict how many roles the job support scheme (JSS) will help, he declined to say which roles he believes are now unviable.
Lord Wolfson was asked, as people shift to online shopping, does this mean a lot of “unviable” jobs are in retail.
In the interview broadcast on BBC Radio 4’s Today programme, Lord Wolfson replied, “I think that is right. I wouldn’t want to underestimate the difficulty that is going to cause a lot of people who work in retail.
“I think it’s going to be very uncomfortable for a lot of people. We will inevitably, and have already, reduced the number of people working in our shops and I’d expect that to continue over the coming five or six years as the demand for retail goes down.
“We’re taking on people in our call centre. We’re training new recruits in our call centres, in our warehousing, our distribution networks are taking on new employees.”