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The top 6 locations for retail jobs right now

Published 10th Nov 2022

After an unpredictable and often tumultuous time over the last three years, the retail industry in the UK is still booming when it comes to a need for employees. 

Roles all over the UK are on the rise in the retail sector, with many organisations regularly increasing their pay and improving benefits to remain competitive in the current market.

Whilst the candidate shortage still rings true, retail employers are keen for consumers and potential employees to know that they value their workforce, and will not only pay them well, but will reward them in various ways. 

Wilko is increasing pay to help employees with the cost of living, Co-op is now offering all staff paid leave for fertility treatments, and Aldi is increasing store assistant pay to £11 an hour, making it the highest paying supermarket in the UK. Elsewhere, Marks and Spencers are offering 4 day working weeks to support flexible working, and retailers such as Home Bargains have opted to close their stores on Boxing Day to provide staff with an extra rest day during the festive period.

Plus, many of the UK’s largest retailers are continuing to open new sites all over the country. Richard Thornton, Communications Director at Aldi UK, said about their ongoing expansion and new stores

“We’re continuing to gain even more customers – with over 60% of UK households shopping with Aldi in the last year. Our focus is on expanding our store estate, making sure Aldi is accessible to as many of these new shoppers across the country as possible. Looking ahead, we are excited to provide millions of new customers with access to Aldi’s award-winning quality and unbeatable value as we create even more places and more ways to shop with us.”

So, where are the top regions for UK retail jobs right now?

London retail jobs

England’s capital city is one of the most sought-after locations for people wanting to balance working in a rewarding retail environment, and enjoying the place in which they work. Living and working in London, you’ll never get bored – you have history at your fingertips as well as some of the best food, drink and shopping options in the world. Of the 250,000+ retail outlets in the UK, more than 41,000 of them are in London.

Kent retail jobs

Home to Bluewater, which is consistently ranked in the top three retail and hospitality destinations in the UK, Kent is a hub for retail jobs and affordable living costs. With house prices around 33% cheaper than London, quick connections to London and Europe by high speed rail, and a beautiful countryside for those wanting a peaceful place to live and work, Kent has the complete package for retail businesses and their employees. Retail jobs in south east England are consistently on the rise, and if you already live in the area or you are considering relocating, Kent is a fantastic part of the UK to consider. 

West Midlands retail jobs

Boasting three wonderful English cities – Birmingham, Coventry and Wolverhampton – the West Midlands is home to some of the UK’s best shops, restaurants, sporting facilities, schools, universities, cultural assets, and public amenities. The Bullring Estate alone, in Birmingham city centre, has a footfall of over 35 million per year. Plus, the West Midlands has one of the lowest costs of living in the UK, making it a key location for those wanting to benefit from a well balanced retail career and personal life.

Berkshire retail jobs

With some of the country’s most beautiful riverside towns and villages, as well as a sought-after outdoor life, vibrant economy and history, Berkshire is also one of the top locations for retail jobs in the UK. With trains from Reading getting into London in less than half an hour, Berkshire is the ideal area for anyone looking to live and work near the capital, but without the added cost of living. Retail in the county is one of Berkshire’s biggest employers, with the Royal Berkshire Hospital even featuring a Marks and Spencers for patients, staff and visitors!

South Wales and Gloucestershire retail jobs

Throughout South Wales and Gloucestershire, retail jobs have been on the rise over the past few years. The region’s biggest retailers include Tesco, Aldi, Marks and Spencer, Boots, Primark and Asda, with Aldi alone accounting for almost 18,000 jobs. South Wales and Gloucestershine both offer those who live and work there an idyllic countryside lifestyle, with villages and towns being home to beautiful landscapes, exciting cultural activities, and fantastic transport connections.

Hampshire and Sussex retail jobs

Retail jobs are one of Hampshire and Sussex’s biggest employers, and East Hampshire has one of the lowest unemployment claimant rates in the country – a rate of approximately 0.7% of the economically active population aged 16-64. Whilst this is great news for those who are employed, it also means that retailers are targeting people based outside of the region to consider relocation. Hampshire and Sussex both offer countryside and beautiful coastlines, making them highly desirable places to live and work. 

Get in touch

If you’re on the lookout for a new role in the retail industry, no matter what level you’re at in your career, McCarthy can help you find the best position to suit you. Browse our latest UK retail jobs today. 

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