The ONS has reported that men working as sales and retail assistants were found to have raised rates of death involving COVID-19. Sofie Willmott, lead analyst at GlobalData, a leading data and analytics company, offers her view on this news: “Over 2.9 million people were employed in the UK retail industry as of December 2019, according to the ONS, and considering data released today shows retail assistants have a higher risk of dying from COVID-19, retailers must prioritise safety measures to protect their staff. Although costly at a time when most retailers are short on funds due to subdued sales, robust safety precautions are essential for non-food retailers to resume operating and will reassure both staff and customers, encouraging spend in physical locations.
“Around 9% of the UK’s working population are employed in the retail industry and if retailers can get safety measures right, they will go some way towards protecting the health of the country. Lessons can be learnt from other regions where lockdowns are being lifted and innovative ideas are being putting into practice such as thermal cameras to check temperatures as visitors enter shopping malls.”