Retail Week Live | London | March 2014

Events | 14 May 2014

YouthSight will speak at this year's Retail Week Live show on youth perceptions of retail as a future career.

This event is the pinnacle event of the retail calendar, showcasing the latest innovations, invaluable insight as well as offering networking and sharing opportunities.

Our role was to speak to the audience about youth perceptions of retail as a future career, as the event focused on the new skills needed for the retail industry. Digital skills were top of the agenda, with speakers at the event conscious of the move from ‘bricks and mortar’ to ‘bricks and clicks’. Phillip Clarke (Tesco CEO) spoke of the trend for proximity based retailing whereby convenience rules the local economy. He also suggested that in-store design would need to focus on personalised experiences and create shopping destinations that are unique and different.

Vince Cable (the BIS minister) also took the stage to underline the importance of the retail industry to the economy, employing around 10% of the UK workforce. This enthusiasm for retail was mirrored by Theo Paphitis who described retail as the ‘most complete career’.

YouthSight’s contribution provided a wake-up call to the industry.  Our brief had been to research into young peoples’ attitudes to a a future career in retail.  We found respondents to be less than enthusiastic. We asked 1,000 young people about their own career ambitions and where retail fell in their consideration set (the key results are illustrated in the infographic below).

Only one in ten young people would place retail in their top three career options. Sobering findings for the industry, indeed.

To help delegates understand, we invited three young people to take part in a panel discussion, along with Kingfisher’s Group Talent Development Director, Liz Bell. Liz said that a failure to attract young people to a career in retail is down to retailers not conveying the passion they feel for their job, while the young people felt that the opportunities offered by a career in retail would limit their creativity and entrepreneurial spirit.

The debate on the day was engaging and feedback positive.

Click here to view a pdf of our infographic




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If you work in retail how will you go about recruiting the next generation of business leaders?  How will you ensure your recruitment advertising will attract the right kind of young people?  We believe a well researched campaign is a great starting point.  We’d love to hear about your marketing challenges.  Contact Josephine Hansom (020 7288 8789,

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