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Job board research shows over 1/3 of professionals not confident in future of retail building

Built environment job board has revealed 37% of professionals are unsure about the prospects of the retail building industry.

This follows a 7% drop in retail projects starts during 2013 according to industry analysts Glenigan.

Perhaps as a consequence, the research also reveals professionals worried about the future of the sector would consider a lateral move to safeguard their career, with eight in ten of professionals willing to consider a career in the industrial sector (85%) should the outlook of the industry worsen. For some, a change of location is also an option, and 84% would consider moving overseas for work.

However, this concern could be allayed by forward looking figures from Glenigan, who anticipate growth in retail projects of 24% in 2014.

Despite uncertainty professionals are hopeful that the industry could turn its fate around through new innovation. Over half of respondents think that initiatives such as concept stores and brand spaces will help drive growth in the sector (57%), whilst a further 63% believe that government intervention in the form of a reduction in business rates for retailers would prompt direct growth in retail building.

When asked which countries the UK’s retail sector could learn from, respondents highlighted Germany (12%), the USA (11%), and the home of shopping centre giant Westfield, Australia (10%).

Rob Searle, Commercial Director, stated: “Whilst the future of the retail sector is unclear, professionals are hopeful for its recovery and recognise the potential impact of a change in its prospects. The success of new projects in the sector, such as Trinity Leeds, could inspire further developments and encourage professionals to revaluate the prospects of the sector


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