Retail’s Other Problem: Too Few Clerks In The Store

by MR Magazine Staff

Many of America’s biggest retailers, under assault from Inc., have been slashing staff even faster than they have been closing stores, a dynamic that has left fewer clerks and longer checkout lines at remaining locations. Despite operating roughly the same number of stores as it did a decade ago, Macy’s Inc. has shed 52,000 workers since 2008. At J.C. Penney Co., workers have disappeared twice as fast as department stores. That’s led to an average of 112 total Penney employees for every store today, down from 145 a decade ago, according to a Wall Street Journal analysis. Similar per-store staff declines occurred over the past decade at Kohl’s Corp., Nordstrom Inc., Target Corp. and Walmart Inc. regardless of whether the retailer opened or closed stores, according to the Journal’s analysis. The employment figures are for all full- and part-time staff and don’t distinguish between store, warehouse or headquarters workers. Industry executives say store employees make up the vast majority of retailers’ workforce. Read more at The Wall Street Journal.