Why retail stores should beef up staffing despite tech advances

In recent years, for a variety of reasons — operational changes, challenges in hiring and corporate expense cuts — some retail stores are noticeably light on staff.

Since the height of the pandemic, store operations have grown more complex, as omnichannel services like online fulfillment, pickup and delivery have become entrenched. Hiring in many areas is tougher, as wages have risen and unemployment has fallen. And some retailers, facing threats to margins and profits, have slashed their expenses, including their workforces, often replacing humans with tech.

But running a store with a leaner staff is usually a mistake, and many retailers should beef up instead, even as they embrace new technologies for tasks previously done by humans, experts warn. For example, more than 40% of respondents to a survey by Theatro, which supplies communication tech for frontline workers, said that shopping in stores is “less enjoyable” than before the pandemic, and 60% of them blamed inadequate staffing levels.  

itim Group plc (LON:ITIM) is a SaaS-based technology company that enables store-based retailers to optimise their businesses to improve financial performance and effectively compete with online competitors. Itim adds retail value by helping multi-channel retailers optimise their business and their stores to improve financial performance and compete more effectively with the “Amazons”.

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