Staff Heroes News

Online shoppers responsible for huge decline in retail temp jobs

18th June 2018

Online shoppers responsible for huge decline in retail temp jobs

It’s no secret that high street shopping has been on a decline in the last few years, and as a business that’s involved in the recruitment and employment, we thought we’d look at just how much of an impact it’s had on temp workers.

Our research showed that the demand for temp workers working within retail has fallen by more than 376% over the last four years in the UK, with Christmas temp workers suffering the biggest decline with a decrease in demand of 255% since December 2013.

However, we also found that the number of temporary bar and festival temp roles such as; wardens, information assistants, and toilet supervisors has increased by 61% in the last four years.
As part of our research we also surveyed 500 businesses across the UK and found that more than four fifths (81%) blamed the decline in temp workers to the rise of online shopping.

When talking to these businesses, “tighter staff budgets” were another big reason for the lack of demand for retail temp roles, as companies are apparently being told to “make do” with no additional staff during busy periods such as Christmas and the summer months.

Another surprising finding was that nearly two thirds (61%) of businesses said they no longer hire temp staff for stores at peak shopping times such as Christmas.

On a more positive note, the research also revealed that the rise in people starting their own businesses has resulted in increased demand for business administration workers, promotional staff and temporary staff within hospitality and events – all jobs we cater for.

As we mentioned previously, recent reports indicate that the high street economy has been suffering in recent years, with the liquidation of major retailers such as Toys R Us and BHS. Last week House of Fraser announced the closure of 31 stores, along with high street giant Marks & Spencer’s.

When speaking to businesses about online retailing, just 12% said they didn’t sell goods online, however all 12% said they were looking at a move into online retailing. Of the other 88% who sell goods online, nearly two thirds (63%) said they gain most of their sales from online retailing.

Laurent Gibb, Co-Founder and CEO of Staff Heroes said,
“We started noticing a decline in the need for retail temp workers a few years ago, and after a sharp drop in demand at the beginning of this year we decided to look into it properly. The fact that online shopping has been on the rise is no secret, but to see it having such an effect on temporary staff is alarming.
“Our business, and many others, is built around temp workers and even though budgets might be tight, they’re a vital part of many business during busy periods. However, it’s good to see the demand for festival workers, bar and waiting staff and business admin is on the rise, despite retail temp workers are on the decline.”