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There are around 24,840 retail businesses in Scotland, of which 83% employ less than 10 people. Employment within the Scottish retail sector is around 240,000 people, which accounts for around 10% of all employment. There are an additional 16,000 people estimated to be self-employed in the sector.

Between 2007 and 2017, 15,000 new retail jobs are expected to be created in Scotland, while a further 98,000 jobs will need to be filled as a result of people leaving the sector . This means that there is a total requirement of 113,000 people.

The St Enoch Centre and the Silverburn Centre in Glasgow are two of the retail developments in Scotland.

Workforce key statistics:

  • 49% of the workforce is employed full-time.
  • Sales and customer services staff account for 55% of the total retail employment in Scotland.
  • 14% of retail employees in Scotland are employed in a managerial role.
  • Elementary occupations account for 11% of the Scottish retail workforce.
  • The average gross weekly full-time wage for employees in the Skillsmart Retail sector is £240.
  • 62% of the workforce is female.
  • 34% is aged 16-24 years, 35% 25-44 years and 32% 45 years and over.
  • Asians and British Asians account for 2% of the Scottish retail workforce.
  • 12% of the workforce is disabled.

Recruitment key statistics:

  • Employers in the retail sector are more likely to recruit from school (35%) than employers in other sectors (23%).
  • The retail sector has a 29% staff turnover, compared with 21% across the Scottish economy as a whole.
  • Skill shortages in Scotland are uncommon affecting around one in 12 workplaces.

Skill gaps statistics:

  • 24% of Scottish retailers report skill gaps.
  • Scottish retailers identified the softer skills, such as customer handling (66%) and problem solving (52%), as the key skills lacking in their employees.
  • 61% of retailers reporting skill gaps stated they were having difficulties in meeting customer service objectives, compared with 53% in all other sectors.

Sources: Scotland National Background Brief 2008 and Scotland Retail Sector Profile 2009