Flickinger notes that over the past decade
Walmart has increased its U.S. sales by $78.1
billion, but on an equivalent basis today has
390,000 less hourly workers. “;ey don’t have
enough people to stack the shelves and they have
tremendous turnover because the board of directors continues to cut costs, rather than invest
satisfactory sums of money to build Walmart.
com and restock the stores,” Flickinger says.
Out-of-stocks and bare shelves send a negative message to shoppers, and can permanently
shoo them away, say observers.
“In categories where there are improvements
in the on-shelf availability of product consistently, there is a real opportunity to impact sales
on the order of a point or two,” says Behar. “In
an industry that is growing at a level of ;at to up
two points, that is signi;cant.”
;e labor crisis is a key issue facing retailers to-
day, especially for those struggling, where mo-
rale may be down in the dumps.
“If an employee is checked out about their job
while they are serving you, there is no question
that has a direct impact on sales,” says Joshua
Ostrega, COO and co-founder of WorkJam, a
Montreal-based workforce management solu-
tion ;rm. “Today’s employees are looking for
something more—a connection with the com-
pany they work for. ;ey want to be proud of
the company, what it does, how responsible it is,
and how everybody is treated and embraced.”
According to Ostrega, employment issues
facing today’s retailers include adapting to the
Millennial workforce; customer expectations of
better service; the tightening labor market; ris-
ing labor costs; and government policies, such
as a recently passed San Francisco law requiring
retailers to o;er employees predictable sched-
ules several weeks out in advance.
“If the retailer makes changes less than two
weeks out they have to start paying the em-
ployee predictable pay, which means there is a
penalty the retailer has to pay if they shorten
their shi; at the last minute,” Ostrega says. ;at
can be especially damaging to a fragile retailer
like Sears, which may wish to redeploy associ-
ates from a dead weeknight to fewer hours on a
busier Saturday morning.
Cumbersome laws may be the least of troubled retailers’ worries in 2016, however. ;is
year German limited assortment retailer Aldi is
dramatically stepping up its nationwide expansion and archrival Lidl is opening its ;rst stores
on U.S. shores.
“Everybody has caught up to Walmart on
Pompeian pours on the support through 2016!
price and now they are having competition
from fast-fashion retailers like H&M, dollar
stores and limited assortment stores, like Aldi,”
says Richard J. George, Ph.D., professor emeri-
tus, food marketing, Haub School of Business,
at Saint Joseph’s University in Philadelphia.
“Even Walmart management refers to them as
According to the How America Shops studies
Support for the Pompeian brand will only increase in 2016. Our TV
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a print and digital campaign as well as a strong public relations program.
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