Allowing internet sales to grow at predicted rates could cost between 79,000 and 580,000 UK jobs by
2018, according to new research.
Tech distributor Target Components has also found that primarily bricks and mortar multiple retailers employ 2.6 times more staff per £1 million in sales than internet retailers.
It claims that single store independent retailers employ 23 staff per £1 million sales, almost five times more than multiple retailers (4.7 per £1 million) and almost 13 times more than internet retailers (1.8 per £1 million).
Target also estimates that every one per cent of retail spend switched from multiples to independent retailers would result in a net increase in employment of around 57,000 jobs.
Shifting all online sales offline would create between 114,000 and 837,000 net additional jobs, claims the report, depending on whether sales were picked up by multiples or independents. This is the approximate ‘cost’ of internet retail seen purely from the point of view of retail employment.
Findings suggest that since 1990, large businesses have doubled their market share in the retail sector, and that reverting back to the relative market share of 1990 would create an additional net 1.2 million retail jobs.
Target said in a statement: "In publishing these results, we don’t expect to change the world. We don’t have the influence, the ability, or even the time to try. Our aim is simply to highlight the issue to people in a position to make a difference, and at the very least to those who may commission or undertake the additional research that is the necessary next step.
"What we would stress is that there is some urgency. With the much-reported deterioration of the High Street and the continuing growth of internet retail, we cannot simply wait and see what happens next. We need to start now, whilst we still have a High Street to save."
Image source: Shutterstock (Business person makes a purchase through online shopping application)