The number of people working in retail has dropped by 85,000 in the last year alone, according to new figures, as stated by Huffington Post.
The British Retail Consortium has called on the government to overhaul its high street policies amid “weak consumer demand” and Brexit uncertainty.
In a report published on Thursday, the BRC found that both full- and part-time employment was lower than a year ago. Meanwhile, the number of hours worked by retail staff also fell.
Retail employment trends are in “stark contrast” to the UK’s labour market as a whole, the consortium said.
But the BRC said it expected the long-term decline in retail employment to continue amid weak consumer spending and fierce competition in the industry.
Chief executive Helen Dickinson said: “Weak consumer demand and Brexit uncertainty continue to put pressure on retailers already focused on delivering the transformation taking place in the industry.
“While MPs rail against job losses in manufacturing, their response to larger losses in retail has remained muted.
“The government should enact policies that enable retailers to invest more in the millions of people who choose to build their careers in retail.
“In order to promote innovation, training and productivity, government must reform both the broken business rates system, and the inflexibilities of the apprenticeship levy.”
The report comes less than a week after womenswear brand Bon Marche collapsed into administration, putting 2,900 jobs at risk.