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63% of retail leaders plan to hire more staff with festive season nearly upon us

By Fourth|Oct 20, 2022|7:34 pm BST

20th October 2022 – LONDON – 63% of retail leaders expect to hire more staff in the remainder of 2022 with the Christmas trading period fast approaching. This is according to market research conducted by the leading retail and hospitality technology company Fourth.

This comes as staffing issues are having a profound impact on customers’ perception of retailers. Less than half (48%) of shoppers surveyed felt that there is the right amount of shop floor staff available. And it is not just customers who are feeling the impact of understaffing. 

When asked about what challenges are most likely to make them stressed or worried at work, 44% of retail workers said that staff shortages were the main reason, with 37% stating demanding or rude customers. In comparison, 28% said hitting sales targets was the primary cause of stress and worry at work.

The research also highlighted the damaging consequences of understaffing on employees’ morale, with 42% of retail employees stating that feeling ‘overworked and underappreciated’ is the major impact of staff shortages.

Hopes of a return to normal for retail leaders this Christmas have certainly been crushed by the ongoing cost-of-living crisis, rising inflation, and looming recession. And with Covid cases rising across much of the country, it comes as no surprise to find that half (53%) of grocery business leaders are anxious about Covid infections exacerbating the current issues they face.

Responding to this latest data, Sebastien Sepierre, Managing Director – EMEA, Fourth, said: “Forecasting must become a top priority for retail leaders looking to manage staffing levels in an uncertain and disrupted market. Forecasting helps avoid costly instances of over and under-staffing by informing managers of when and where a store should increase or decrease staffing levels. By predicting demand, managers can also optimise rotas and schedules for staff, offering them  an improved work-life balance, while ensuring high productivity and retention over an important trading period for retailers.”

You can download Fourth’s latest whitepaper Navigating the Retail Industry Today here.


This whitepaper is built on insights from three surveys. One was a survey of 251 HR, digital transformation, IT, finance, and operations decision makers at senior manager level or above in retail sector firms of 500-6,000 people, a second survey was of 250 retail employees in the UK, and the third survey was of 1,000 consumers (nationally representative). The surveys were conducted by Fourth in collaboration with Censuswide in July 2022.

About Fourth

Fourth is the leading digital workforce management, payroll and HR provider for the global retail, restaurant, and hospitality industries. Fourth’s solutions give businesses oversight of how they can control costs, scale profitability, improve employee engagement and maintain compliance through its  AI forecasting and data analytics suite. It serves more than 7,000 customers across 120,000 sites globally.

Our cloud-based, technology platform and mobile applications power the world’s leading brands, including Holland & Barrett, Robert Dyas, Ryman, Boux Avenue, Selfridges, Tesco Family Dining, Gail’s Bakery, Corinthia Hotels, The Dorchester, The Ivy, The Ritz, Soho House, Burger King, Pizza Express, The Wentworth Club, and Sodexo.

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