What Will Become Of The Retail Worker After The ‘Apocalypse’?

by MR Magazine Staff

Retail bankruptcies aren’t the only numbers approaching recession-era levels. With store closures topping 6,000 for the year, the number of announced job cuts in retail has passed 60,000, according to research from outplacement firm Challenger, Gray & Christmas. The year’s retail job losses have already surpassed all other years but one since 2009, and 2017 is barely half over. Most of the losses have come from the department store and apparel sectors, as well as other niche retailers. Macy’s alone has let go of 10,000 people, and J.C. Penney has laid off another 5,000, according to Challenger. The losses could continue as more companies fall by the wayside and others take a more cautious approach to their store footprint. Retailers, meanwhile, will have to figure out how to make their remaining stores — and with them their remaining store associates — as productive as possible. That could mean equipping them with technology; giving them more time, power and incentive to boost store sales; or just asking them to do more with less (something many economists will tell you isn’t possible). And then there’s e-commerce, commonly accused of being the leading cause of the retrenchment in retail. But some research suggests that e-commerce is creating jobs far faster than brick-and-mortar retail is shedding them. Read more at Retail Dive.