Retail and retail technology businesses have been named in employment community Glassdoor's inaugural list of the top five Best Places to Work UK.

Department store chain John Lewis was ranked second and global software and solutions business Microsoft came in third, behind search engine giant Google. Consultancy group Accenture and automotive firm Jaguar Land Rover, respectively, completed the top five.

Ratings are generated based entirely on UK employee insights submitted over the past year. Using Glassdoor's online survey system, people anonymously and voluntarily provide feedback about their job, work environment and company.

The survey gathers employee opinion on some of the best reasons to work for their employer and some of the downsides, as well as encouraging employees to provide advice to senior management. Respondents are requested to rate how satisfied they are with their company overall, how they feel their CEO is leading the business, and to judge career opportunities, compensation & benefits, culture & values, senior management and work-life balance.

Employees are also asked whether they would recommend their company to a friend, and what their opinion is on the organisation's outlook for the six months ahead.

Robert Hohman, Glassdoor CEO and co-founder, commented: "Millions of employees around the world are turning to Glassdoor each month to share their work experiences and research companies.

"It is this type of authentic feedback that helps others find jobs and companies they love, and allows us to honour employers who stand out for their efforts in providing an enjoyable work environment and culture."

The lists were compiled using Glassdoor's proprietary algorithm, and ratings are based on reviews from employees who participated in the survey between 13 November 2013 and 2 November 2014.

Meanwhile, this year's Sunday Times Fast Track 100 of the UK companies with the fastest growing sales includes 22 retailers – making it the dominant industry on the list.

Fashion retailer, Victoria Beckham, is the 14th fastest growing company with annual sales growth over three years of 120%, while Graze.com and Notonthehighstreet.com also feature in the top 100.

Sophie Bevan, head of retail and wholesale at BDO, which sponsors the list, said: "The success of retail is vital to the UK economy so it's great to see it thrive on the Fast Track 100 list. Nearly one in four of the UK's fastest growing firms is in the retail sector."

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