In February and March of 2021, the Retail Trust conducted in-depth interviews with human resources directors and chief people officers at some of the UK’s largest retailers, alongside a focused survey of 500 people and a separate wellness survey of nearly 1,300 individuals. This was combined with employee engagement data from WorkL on more than 10,000 organisations across 26 sectors globally. 

The interview is the latest instalment in the Retail Trust’s interview series, Retail Giants in association with Newton. Lord Price, who is also a former secretary of state for trade and investment and former deputy chair of the John Lewis Partnership, explains that the report shows retail has fallen from fourth to 12th in terms of occupational happiness, hit by rising anxiety levels over working during the coronavirus pandemic and store closures. 

Brook-Carter adds that, while a lot of work has gone on behind the scenes to address wellbeing, there is still ground to make up in making it a strategic priority. Lord Price sets out some of the steps recommended within the report on how retailers can address these issues, including an increased focus on the communities whose wellbeing was shown to be most at risk in the research, such as those identifying as LGBTQI+ and those with disabilities.  

From 1832 onwards, Retail Trust has been caring for and protecting the lives of people working in retail. We believe the health of our colleagues is the foundation they need to flourish in both work and life, creating a more sustainable and successful future for retail. Visit for more information.

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