Retail is often viewed as the starting point for many entrepreneurs. Many businesspersons use the retail sector to establish their base and then invade other business sectors. It becomes a blessing in disguise for investors when they try to invest in the retail industry when it is actually expanding. The United Kingdom’s retail industry is all set to expand in size by as much as 15% in the next five years. It is estimated that it will reach a staggering value of 312 billion pounds in the coming years. It employs a mammoth 3 million people, which accounts for overall 11% of the entire UK workforce.


The retail sector accounts for 8% of the total GDP of the United Kingdom. The intensity of the retail sector in the UK is such that as of 2007, sales in the UK retail markets accounted for 265 million pounds, which were larger than economies of Portugal and Denmark. The retail sector in the United Kingdom has developed in almost all the allied sectors such as electrical, clothing and footwear, health and beauty, homeware, furniture and floor coverings, DIY and Gardening and e-retail. The main area in which there is tremendous growth in the retail sector is the Northern Ireland.


Key Retail Sectors:


Out of all the retail sectors such as clothing, footwear and others, the main retail sectors worth investing in are the electrical sector, food, grocery, health and beauty, which are expected to grow faster as compared to other retail sectors in the United Kingdom.

Electrical sector: It is expected to grow by 24.1% and will easily overtake the entire industry’s growth of 15%. The main goods worth investing in will be brown goods as they are expected to grow by 30.1% over 2011 with major developments taking place in the software and gaming fields. The Playstation 3 will provide the major chunk towards the growth of the sub-sector and will account for a mammoth 73.4% growth in the next five years. There is also tremendous potential in the electronic segment in the next five years.

Food and Grocery: The food and grocery segment of the retail industry in the UK provides huge opportunities for grocers. It is estimated that grocers’ sales will be up by 26% until the year 2012.

Health and Beauty: The health and beauty market has a potential to grow by 26.9% until 2012 with skincare accounting for the major portion of growth. The health and beauty market holds some optimistic traits even in these times of economic uncertainty.


With a growing prospect of 15% and the existence of plenty of well-established sub-sectors, the retail industry of the United Kingdom has loads of potentials, which are yet to be explored.