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In 2011 UK retail sales were over £303 billion.
The BRC-Bond Pearce Retail Employment Monitor showed that in quarter four of 2011 retail employment was 0.5% higher than in the same quarter a year earlier, equivalent to 4,074 more jobs.
9% of all VAT-registered businesses in the UK are retailers, with the total number currently at 187,390
In 2011 there were 284,490 retail outlets in the UK
More than a third of consumer spending goes through shops
Sales over the internet accounted for around 9% of total retail sales in 2011, compared with 8% in 2010
These numbers speak for themselves: the retail industry is hugely important to the UK. The sector provides quality, choice and value to consumers as well as investing heavily in its employees and its systems. Retailing is central to community life and shops are more than distribution points. Retail is a vital local service, the mainstay of most town centres and communities across the country. As the last link in the distribution chain, there is no one closer to the consumer than the retailer and no one understands better the importance of the consumer’s needs and demands.
The British Retail Consortium (BRC) is the lead trade association representing the whole range of retailers, from independents to the the large multiples and department stores, selling a wide selection of products through centre of town, out of town, rural and online stores.
The BRC is the authoritative voice of retail, recognised for its powerful campaigning and influence within government and as a provider of excellent retail information.
The BRC exists to promote and protect the whole of the industry. We also provide the sector with a united platform from which to campaign for policy or regulation change, we communicate the key concerns and messages held by the industry with Government, Parliament and other key decision makers and we share best practice to ensure the UK remains a successful and vibrant industry.
The BRC also produces a suite of economic indicators which provide credible insight into how retail is faring in the current economic market. These include our Retail Sales Monitor (in conjunction with KPMG), our Retail Employment Monitor (in conjunction with Bond Pearce), our Online Retail Monitor (in conjunction with Google), and our Footfall and Vacancies Monitor (in conjunction with Springboard). Please visit www.brc.org.uk for further details of our economic information and data release dates.