Mitigate retail labor woes this holiday season – WWD

Last week, the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) released its analysis of the labor market and found that despite the average 582,000 jobs added per month over the past three months, the number of jobs remained at around 10 million. The BLS said 4.4 million people left their jobs in September – a record number.

As the holiday shopping season increases, Quoc Retail The union expects retailers to hire more than 500,000 workers – most of which will be part-time positions. Recent data from Adzuna, the global job search engine, revealed that part-time work “has grown by 31.4% in the past four weeks as holiday hiring starts to come into gear,” the company said.

Chris Matichuk, general manager of StoreForce, and a retail An industry veteran with more than three decades of experience told WWD that retailers’ response during labor shortages has been an “inclusive approach” where companies simply throw more more money into the workforce.

“They are raising the hourly rates and in some cases, the wages,” says Matichuk. “But that doesn’t solve the underlying problem at hand.” The problem, especially with Generation Z and younger Millennials working in retail, is that workers don’t feel valued. It passes a paycheck, says Matichuk, noting that younger generations want to participate and want more flexibility.

In the short term, through the peak holiday shopping season, Matichuk hopes retailers will cut down on the lengthy shopping spree. She also worries about the post-holiday period, which is a peak period for returns and product exchanges.

When asked what retailers can do to minimize the labor impact on their business, Owen Frivold, executive vice president of strategy Hero Digital, said that as labor shortages continue for the foreseeable future, “retailers can mitigate the business impact by identifying peak times of resource stress. Once those races are identified, they can better reallocate and retrain people to relieve the pressure, as well as seek out self-service digital tools to ease the burden on demand. direct workers. “

Hero Digital specializes in customer experiences with clients like Sephora, Salesforce, Comcast, and UNC Health, among others.

Retailers “may also look to automation and signage to reduce the number of people and resources needed,” Frivold said. These include digital navigation that can be updated and include priority notifications for timeout signals and a real-time interface with availability. ”

He also says workforce management tools that help train employees in a variety of positions “and allow employees to easily rotate between roles can help relieve pressure. Additionally, tools that allow the workforce to have a person’s past can help cut question-answer time. Efficiency is key to reducing employee stress. “

Matichuk says her company’s solution is an integrated platform that helps retailers manage their workforce, manage performance and store fulfillment, and employee engagement. Customers include Lush, Vans, Timberland, Columbia Sportswear, Tommy Hilfiger and Build-A-Bear Workshop, among many others.

In January at the NRF Big Show, which runs from January 16-18, StoreForce will present a “Big Idea Session” on January 17th featuring Build-A-Bear Workshop, Duluth Trading Co. , Soft Surroundings and Snipes. The theme is “how rapidly changing consumer needs are driving changes in stores.” | Mitigate retail labor woes this holiday season – WWD


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