Gareth Johnson: Why retail is so important


Date: Fri 12th November 2010

Earlier this month, Gareth Johnson hosted a reception at the House of Commons as vice chairman of the All Party Retail Group.

The reception was an opportunity to engage with the new political landscape and showcase retail’s contribution to the economy and community.

The theme of this year’s reception was the role retail place in employment, skills and training. Retail has been one of the few sectors to continue to recruit staff during the recent economic downturn and the opportunities the sector affords for part-time, flexible working, as well as the ability to gain promotion is unparalleled.

Gareth said:  “I was delighted to be appointed vice chairman of the Retail Group as this sector is vital to the UK’s growth in the coming years.  Retail has contributed to employment and skills development. As well as providing employees with broad career and development opportunities, the sector offers part-time and flexible working patterns which support career progression. The sector also offers vital job opportunities to many school-leavers and the long-term unemployed. Whether it is at Bluewater Shopping Centre or in Dartford High Street we depend heavily on the retail sector and so we need the Government to support this vital part of the British economy”.

The reception was addressed by The Rt Hon Dr Vince Cable MP, Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills, as well as Luke Mayhew, Chairman of the British Retail Consortium and the Co-Chairs of the All Party Retail Group.

Editors’ notes:

The retail sector employs around three million people nationally, providing vital jobs and services in every community across the country. The BRC-Bond Pearce Retail Employment Monitor showed a 3.6 per cent rise in retail jobs year-on-year to the second quarter of 2010 – more than 22,000 new jobs created, despite the challenging economic circumstances.

Gareth is pictured with Andrew Parkinson of Bluewater Management (left of Gareth) and members of the Bluewater management scheme and Bluewater Apprentice Scheme.