Understanding Your Industry: Retail, Leisure & Hospitality

In this month’s ‘Understanding Your industry’ blog, we explore the global and national trends and events that have impacted Retail, Leisure & Hospitality industry and both the employers and employees who work within it.

The impact of Brexit on tourism staffing, highly-skilled tech roles increasing retail wages and decarbonising deliveries are just some of the industry focuses this month.

Read on for the latest updates…

  • Saving the environment with manure fuelled deliveries
    John Lewis has announced it will be switching its delivery truck fuel to cow manure by 2021. Hundreds of John Lewis delivery trucks will begin running on cow manure as the retailer moves from polluting diesel fuel and switches to carbon-neutral cow manure. John Lewis will start using renewable biomethane made from manure in almost 300 John Lewis and Waitrose vans as it looks to swap fuel sources under supplier, CNG Fuels. CNG Fuels, said it also planned to use manure-based fuel to supply the 200-strong fleet of trucks used by courier service Hermes, as well as the delivery vans for Asda and Argos.
    John Lewis currently runs 80 vans on biomethane from rotting vegetables and food waste but aims to increase its green fleet by up to 200 vans within the next 18 months before switching to manure. HGVs make up 4.2% of the UKs carbon emissions, so decarbonising the sector is crucial to meet the UKs target of reaching Net Zero by 2050.
  • Hospitality sector must be included in National Food Strategy
    The Government has been called on by UKHospitality to support hospitality businesses to help deliver its first National Food Strategy for 75 years. Highlighting the important role that UK hospitality businesses can play in implementing a positive National Food Strategy, UKHospitality recommends the Government should capitalise on the work already being done and without adding unnecessary costs and excessive regulations. If supported, hospitality businesses can help achieve the Government’s aims: investment in skills and training to promote careers in hospitality; a positive regulatory regime; food quality and sustainability; innovation and productivity.
    UKHospitality Chief Executive Kate Nicholls, explained “A positive National Food Strategy would touch upon many aspects of regulation and business from sustainability and quality to skills and training. We need an all-inclusive approach that supports businesses every step of the way from farm to fork and supports hospitality businesses to deliver that vision.”
  • Marketing and AI helps drive pay increase in the retail sector
    Wages in the retail sector have grown at a faster rate than the UK overall due to a increase in better-paid, high-skill roles, according to new figures. Retail pay packets grew by 5.7% year on year in 2019, compared with just 4% for the rest of the UK, the Office for National Statistics revealed in the latest Annual Survey of Hours and Earnings (ASHE). Head of retail insight and analytics at the BRC, Kyle Monk explained “Retail is in the midst of a transformation. While the number of the retail jobs has fallen in recent years, there has been a rise in better-paid, high-skill roles such as in digital marketing, AI and data science. This has helped contribute to retail productivity outpacing other industries in recent years.”
  • Staff shortages likely for the UK tourist industry following Brexit
    Anxieties are increasing over post-Brexit immigration rules that may leave shortages in the UK tourism workforce.  The proposed new skills and salary-assessed system, will mean those in jobs the government categorises as low-skilled, including many within the tourism industry, would not qualify for a visa. Currently, the category includes travel agents, tour guides, bus conductors, holiday reps and reservations staff. The proposed immigration plans – which include a minimum-salary requirement of £30,000 a year – are due to come into force in 2021.
    Current regulations allow highly skilled workers to be recruited from outside the EU, and workers of all skill levels from within the EU. Proposed changes will replace this with a skills-based threshold for all non-UK workers, who would all also require an employer to sponsor them (similar to the Australian visa system). This may mean businesses within the industry are unable to find enough staff to fill roles.

Recruitment solutions for the Retail, Hospitality & Leisure sector

Blue Octopus works with clients across Retail, Hospitality & Hospitality industry, providing forward-thinking talent solutions, helping businesses stay relevant in a world that’s evolving at pace.

To find out how Blue Octopus can help change the way you attract, engage and hire with the best talent and how we can support your business both now and, in the future, get in touch today or book a demo.


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