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At first glance the latest news that retail chains are shutting shops at a rate of more than 30 a day might seem like the worst nightmare for those seeking work in retail but drill deeper and you will find that discount shops and convenience outlets are expanding into UK high streets.In the first half of the 2012 there were 7% more discount stores in the first six months [net basis] and 11% more payday loan outlets. The same research also reported 11% more bureaux de change, 5% more convenience food stores, 8% more pawnbrokers.

Clearly those looking for careers in retail can benefit from looking beyond the convenience of the high street chains and consider applying to the smaller outlets.  This might also be the time to consider franchising in these smaller outlets

For the cynical job seekers the increase in charity shops (often using volunteer workers) only represented a 1% increase (hardly significant).  To this I add that even where charity shops are expanding their use of volunteer staff, remember regional management and support roles are often salaried jobs and as theses expand so to does demand for new managers, skilled staff and professional advisors.  In addition, volunteer roles can givce you skill and experience.*

Note too in the same report, Mike Jervis of PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) encourages retailers to seek more flexible comitments to ensure they can survive in the current market.  I suggest this extends to their employment strategies such as; short term hirers, causal labour, piece rate and training contracts.

Other retial news includes the explosion in online retailing, a potential boon for home workers and entrepreneurs!

And last word, unemployment has fallen to 2.53 million in the three months to August, down 50,000 from the previous quarter, accroding to the latest official figures from Office for National Statistics.

Data source: study of 500 town centres by the Local Data Company for PwC.

* If claiming benefits, voluntary work may reuslt in loss of benefits, so check before applying.