Living in post-recession Britain hasn’t been easy. Jobs are hard to come by and unemployment numbers are still high. According to Labour Market statistics released in February, the unemployment rate stands at 8.0%, which equates to over two and a half million people out of employment.
However, things could be looking up for British labour forces. The Arcadia Group of retailers, which include high street giants Topshop and BHS, has announced the switch of its labour manufacturing from abroad, back to the UK. The rising cost of cotton in Asia and Asian labour, has meant that it is more viable for the company to begin producing some of its products in the UK.
Sir Phillip Green, who owns the Arcadia Group, announced at a retail conference, ‘When the market is as it is, you want to manage as near to home as you can… I actually am very supportive of seeing if we can open some UK factories. It’s something we’ve got to try to do, for employment…’
The movement of even a small percentage of the labour from such a huge retail chain is great news for the UK job market. Last year, Arcadia had an operating profit of £279.6 million, up ten percent on the previous year.
With such a massive chain that is clearly flourishing, signalling a potential move to the UK, it seems to be a great opportunity to create jobs. With unemployment numbers so high, the move of a huge company back to the UK would be brilliant to help the economy recover.
This could be the start of a trend for other retail giants to begin to move their labour forces back home. As the labour rates in Asia begin to match those of the Western hemisphere, we will see the rapid reduction of their use by British companies. This will surely be integral for the recovery of the British economy after the economic downturn of the last few years…