The UK retail industry showed signs of a struggle in the early months this year, but the royal wedding celebrations and great weather for the May bank holiday brought a welcome relief to the sector during May as sales jumped unexpectedly. 

Despite the welcome boost, professionals in the sector know they cannot rely on a royal wedding and warm temperatures for the rest of the year to support sales. With continued rumours surrounding the demise of the UK retail industry, a number of large corporate firms are turning to retail executive recruitment in an effort to secure new talent, which will know how to continue this growth and drive customers through their doors.

An unexpected level of sales growth

Thomson Reuters previously predicted a growth of just 0.5 per cent for the month of May, but the latest figures have given retail executives a boost in confidence. The Office for National Statistics reported that figures for May showed an increase in sales volume of 1.3 per cent when compared to April. These figures represent a sales increase of 3.9 per cent for May when compared to 2017, which was much higher than the 2.4 per cent expected.

The figures suggest that the many consumers which tightened their budgets during the early months of the year have eased their purse strings. The latest reports have filtered in from retailers, with both food and household sectors experiencing the sharpest rise in sales as consumers bought new clothes and splashed out on celebratory food.

The retail sector continues to struggle

Despite the positive figures, it is clear that no business is safe when it comes to retail, as traditional bricks and mortar stores face increased competition from the internet. The latest casualties to the high street include Poundworld Retail Ltd and House of Fraser Ltd which is closing a number of its stores. The best retailers know that positive figures do not guarantee success for the future, so many are offering key positions within their businesses to lead the strategic growth of their company.

As specialists in retail recruitment at board and director level, we work with a variety of the major UK retail businesses to search for best talent. We recruit for a variety of sectors, including buying, central operations, communications, design, finance and marketing. If you would like to find out more about the opportunities available to you, please contact our team of dedicated retail recruiters.