The retail industry: statistics and policy - Commons Library Standard Note

Published 05 June 2014 | Standard notes SN06186

Authors: Chris Rhodes

Topic: Industry

Wholesale and retail trade contributed 16% of economic output and 16% of employment in the UK in 2012.

The retail industry is subject to a number of pressures. These include changes in shopping habits and the recent economic downturn which reduced consumer spending.

This note sets out the key statistics on the retail industry in the UK including the value and volume of sales, the proportion of internet sales, and employment and business statistics for the retail industry.

It also sets out Government policy aimed at supporting the industry.

The Portas Review of the High Street was published in December 2011 and made a number of recommendations across a range of policy areas including planning, transport, and local government finance. In February 2012 the Government announced a competition for areas to be “Portas Pilots” to test some of the recommendations. 27 towns were chosen act as Portas Pilots.

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