United Kingdom - Services

The service sector dominates the British economy. Business and financial services alone provide jobs for 5.23 million Britons, and in overall terms, services provide employment for 21.36 million Britons. Much like this segment in the United States, the British service sector is highly diversified and marked by high levels of competition. This provides consumers with wide choices over products and keeps prices in check. One trend in some segments of the service sector has been the emergence of large companies and the disappearance of smaller firms. This is especially true in the retail and food sectors. Like their American counterparts, British consumers tend to prefer "one-stop" shopping at stores where they can find a variety of products that range from groceries to hardware to apparel. The result has been the decline of traditional supermarkets and department stores and the emergence of hyper-markets (large chain stores that combine the different products and services of a grocery store, pharmacy, hardware or automotive store, and a department store) such as Wal-Mart. The main elements of the service sector include telecommunications, financial services, retail, and tourism.

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