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KBzine: the original kitchen and bathroom industry e-newssince 2002
30th March 2020


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Welcome to the


There’s good news for the retail sector this week with the Office for National Statistics report showing that the sustained period of year-on-year growth we’ve been experiencing, is showing no sign of abating. Retail sales in January 2015 were estimated to have increased by 5.4% compared with January 2014 - the 22nd consecutive month of year-on-year growth and the longest period of sustained year-on-year growth since May 2008 when there were 31 periods of growth!

The underlying pattern in the rolling three-month on three-month movement in the quantity bought, showed continued growth for the 23rd consecutive month, increasing by 2.3%.

The value of Internet sales decreased by 0.2% in January 2015 compared with December 2014 and accounted for 11.6% of all retail sales in January 2015. Online sales increased by 12.0% compared with January 2014. 

All this spending has perhaps impacted on the employment figures, which show that the employment rate is enjoying a record high with record numbers of 16-24 year olds in work too.

According to the Chartered Institute of Personnel & Development, though, much needs to be done to address skills shortages and utilisation and we are warned that, if we are to improve overall UK productivity and pay, we must look at what British businesses are doing to develop and use their people’s skills.

Apparently almost half of the UK workforce has seen either a pay freeze or a pay cut (3% pay cut, 39% pay freeze) in the 12 months to December 2014. In contrast, a similar proportion (40%) have received a pay increase of 2% or more, while less than a fifth (18%) fall in the middle ground of people who have received a pay increase in the 0.1-1.99% corridor.

It appears from the report that the difference between companies that can afford to give a decent pay rise and those that are continuing to freeze pay, lies partly in the quality of leadership and management and level of workforce investment. There is evidence that organisations which have more sophisticated product market strategies, are more likely to have adopted better personnel management strategies, characterised by greater investment in the workforce.

Food for thought perhaps?





Jan Hobbs


20th February 2015

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