Retail in Jersey report published
21st December 2018
report published today has found that Jersey’s retailers are
facing challenging times, particularly with the increase of internet
shopping and uncertainties caused by Brexit. However, the report also found
that these challenges can be overcome if retailers remain open to new ideas,
technologies and innovation, whilst also supporting decision making with good
its 29 Key Findings and 15 Recommendations, the Economic Affairs Scrutiny Panel
has found that in order to thrive in the face of the enormous challenge
presented by online shopping, retailers will have to ensure their staff have
the right skills to both improve the quality of customer service in the
island - so customers return to their stores and choose to shop locally - and
to provide the sector with a bright future by having the skills to develop
exciting and fulfilling careers in retail.
The introduction of a
career-focused retail course (run by Highlands College) is a great
example of the steps currently being taken to enhance skill levels in the
has recommended that by building on previous customer service training
initiatives, the industry should provide a customer service course to all new
members of staff so they develop a minimum standard of customer service and can
help the island develop a reputation as offering excellent service. It is by
offering differentiating qualities such as service standards, that Jersey's
retailers will be able to compete with their online rivals and can help develop
the island's reputation as a "consumer tourism" destination.
acknowledges the importance of retail to the island's tourism sector. A lively
and welcoming town centre, which offers a diverse range of products,
brands and events can be a major attraction and make a significant
contribution to the local economy.
recommendations, the Panel suggests that the Economic Development Department
needs to collect better and more wide-ranging data on the retail sector because
the lack of good quality data is a clear impediment to effective management of
retail in Jersey.
Panel also looked at the deregulation of Sunday trading, which is expected to
be brought forward as a government proposal in 2019. The Panel backs the
government's presumed position on this because it could also benefit the
tourism industry by ensuring St Helier remains an interesting destination
for weekend visitors. However, whilst offering support for this position,
the Panel has advised that proper protections regarding people's rights to
worship and to spend time with their families, are included.
of the Panel, Deputy Kirsten Morel said:
retail sector plays a major role in our economy. It generates around £38
million in GST and employs close to 8,000 people. There's no doubt that
the sector has experienced difficult times in recent years and the
challenges it faces are ongoing. However, the Panel has found that the outlook
can remain positive if retailers and authorities such as the Economic Development
Department and the Parish of St Helier remain flexible and open to new
Key to this is the
collection of basic data about the retail sector. We need to have a clear view
of the health of the industry at any one time in order to make informed
decisions. Currently, the paucity of data makes this almost impossible.
As a Panel, we are
pleased that the Department is working on a new Retail Development
Strategy and hope that the findings and recommendations made in our
report will assist in producing a cohesive and co-ordinated strategy to
support the retail sector."
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