The Workers Bearing The Brunt Of Retail’s Struggles? Primarily Women And People Of Color.

by MR Magazine Staff

In retail, few people have gone unscathed by the upheaval that’s battered the industry over the past decade. The rise of online shopping, changing consumer tastes, massive debt burdens weighing on retailers’ balance sheets, and increasing automation have resulted in bankruptcies, layoffs, reduced pay, and lost severance. The people hit hardest? Women and people of color, groups that make up the majority of retail’s lowest-paid workforce. According to a study released this week, one factor in particular has been responsible for the loss of 600,000 retail jobs, plus another 728,000 in related industries: private equity ownership. Ten of the 14 largest retail bankruptcies since 2012 — Payless ShoeSource, Toys R Us, and Claire’s among them — have been at companies saddled with debt due to leveraged buyouts by private equity firms. Read more at Vox.