Accessibility options | A A A | text only

Retail Business

Future Trends


  • With customers having less disposable income, it is likely that discount retail stores will increase their share of the market

  • Online sales are also set to rise, but margins and profits are being cut as more and more companies move into the business - where they are recruiting, online companies could require anything from sales and customer service staff, to technical and delivery staff 

  • Technology is important for online retailers and store retailers - one trend is for proximity marketing: customers who have signed up, will get a text when they are near the store to tell them about new offers

  • The trend for customers to act as their own check-out operators is set to continue - it frees up store staff to do other work, although it could lead to redundancies

  • On the other hand, as businesses try to attract and keep customers, retailers are aiming to make shopping more of an old-fashioned, relaxing experience - some stores are set to open in listed (traditional) buildings and avoid too much obvious technology  

  • Both store and online retailers will depend increasingly on customer loyalty, which means staff have to offer excellent service - customer service skills will continue to be extremely important for job applicants

  • The increasing cost of raw materials, including food stuffs, will mean less profits for retailers

  • The illegal downloading of music and movies could lead to fewer opportunities in entertainment retail

  • A few major shopping centres have opened recently, including one near to the 2012 Olympics site in London, which has so far attracted many customers. More are being planned (including a £350 million project in Leeds which is due to open in 2013). However, of the various shopping centres planned, Retail Gazette say that only 4% are 'under construction' - most  are still waiting to get permission to build, or haven't yet asked for permission. Some experts believe that many of the shopping centres planned will not actually get going for at least a few years

  • If the trend in some areas for locally-produced products, organic merchandise and personal service continues, it may allow small, independent retailers to compete with larger businesses

  • Group buying and co-operatives are also likely to offer opportunities for friends and business partners to set up in business


Read more about this job sector, including the skills that might be needed in the future, on the National Guidance Research Forum site