Retail must prepare before it cuts costs

I was interested to read your news story on Verdict Research’s prediction that the retail workforce will be reduced by 150,000 over the next five years (PersonnelToday.com, 6 June).

Having spent a week in Birmingham at the Retail Solutions Show, it was interesting to see how many people were discussing staff optimisation both in terms of cost control and store execution management.

Getting more from fewer staff at head office and on the shop floor has been on the agenda for some time, as retailers have anticipated a downturn in consumer confidence and spending.

But to service the remaining consumers, they will now have to achieve even greater levels of service and product availability, while continuing to motivate and retain the intelligence in their remaining workforce.

Before retailers reduce staffing levels, they will need to understand processes to manage and communicate change, and ensure they can cut costs without losing customers.

Bob Skeens
Director, European operations, StorePerform Technologies

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