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What does 2023 have in store for retail?

Fourth’s latest data shows that these turbulent few years are having a lasting impact on the mindsets and priorities of employees, as well as retail leaders looking to plan for the year ahead.
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Years of difficulty and uncertainty in the retail industry have resulted in over half (53%) of retail employees currently feeling overworked and underappreciated, suggests new data*.

This data comes as retail leaders and employees look to 2023 for some respite from the issues that have plagued the industry since the onset of COVID-19 – including staff shortages, supply chain issues, and an ever-changing list of consumer demands.

Fourth’s latest data shows that these turbulent few years are having a lasting impact on the mindsets and priorities of employees, as well as retail leaders looking to plan for the year ahead. Retail employees say that the following will have the most impact on their shifts in 2023 because of staff shortages:

  • Feeling overworked and underappreciated (53% up from 42% in Q3)
  • Not enough people on the shop floor to help customers (47% up from 42% in Q3)

It is a similar story for retail employers and their worries going into the new year with supply chain challenges (61%), the impact of having to increase prices (31%), and the overall costs of running a store (28%) proving to be retailers biggest concerns in 2023.

With a strong understanding of the challenges and threats to business in 2023, what do employers and companies need to help strengthen themselves and support their employees in the year ahead?

Helping to tackle the cost of living crisis is priority number one for employees. 81% of retail employees said that being able to access wages as they are earned, rather than waiting for payday, would help improve their financial wellbeing in 2023. For retailers, when it comes to the future of the high street/retail`s recovery, the following technologies are the most important to business success in 2023 for retail leaders:

  • QR Code adoption (I.e. endless aisle, interactive window displays, etc.) (35%)
  • eCommerce presence (33%)
  • Warehouse automation (30%)

Looking ahead to 2023, Fourth’s MD EMEA Sebastien Sepierre said: “These past few years have been a torment for employees, retailers, and consumers. Unsurprisingly, employees are feeling the strain from years of difficulty pre & post-pandemic. Now with the cost of living crisis and a recession to combat, retailers will again be called on to protect their employees as we go into 2023.

Workforce management technology will continue to empower retailers and employees in the year ahead. From creating a positive employee and customer experience to improving retention, technology will give retailers and employees the edge to compete and thrive in what is set to be another testing year.”

This research comes from Fourth’s latest whitepaper, A view from the experts: The shape of retail 2023, which gives retail leaders insights into the industry trends, opportunities, and pain points for 2023.

*Fourth – download the whitepaper here.

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