Wolverhampton | Sandwell | Dudley | Walsall
4 - 15 October 2021
The Retail sector, (including Retailing and Wholesale trade) is the largest employer in the region, accounting for 19% of all jobs in the Black Country. There are 94,000 people working in the sector, 54% of whom are employed in retailing and 46% in Wholesale and Motor Vehicles trade.
Retail is a bigger sector in the Black Country than the national average accounting for 15% of Black Country’s
total GVA compared to 11.7% for the UK. It is also forecast
to be a high growth sector locally and nationally.
Currently, there are 6,600 retail businesses in the Black Country with 458 high turnover (£1m+) businesses and 17 large businesses employing over 250 people.
The most significant Black Country retail employers include Poundland Ltd, A.F. Blakemore & Son Ltd (the largest division of SPAR UK); East End Foods Plc (leading suppliers of Asian food across Europe and the UK); Hayley Group Plc, T.H. Baker Group Limited, Middleton Food Products Ltd and Direct Corporate Clothing Plc.
intu Merry Hill at Brierley Hill near Dudley is the largest shopping centre in the Midlands and seventh largest in the UK housing over 250 shops in the complex. Other large Black Country shopping centres include the Mander Centre and Wulfrun Centre – both in Wolverhampton and the Churchill Shopping Centre in Dudley.
The Black Country was identified as a key region for investment by national and international retailers some time ago. Examples of these have been seen in the large scale destination centres and the St Matthew’s development in Walsall, which has the largest town centre ASDA superstore in the UK.