One in five retail staff to quit before 2005 arrives

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By: Wise Marketer Staff |

Posted on October 6, 2004

While consumers across the USA will be shopping for bargains this holiday season, at least one in five retail workers say they will be shopping for new jobs, according to a new survey of retail workers' job satisfaction.

The survey, 'The Pulse: Retail 2004', included the opinions of 230 retail workers and was conducted during August 2004. It found that 21% of retail workers are planning to change jobs in the fourth quarter of the year; this figure rises to 34% including the first quarter of 2005. But this may be particularly good timing, according to, considering that 49% of retail hiring managers also say they plan to add new workers by the end of 2004.

"In an industry prone to high staff turnover rates, it is critical for retailers to hold on to those employees who successfully deliver in terms of sales volume and customer service," warned Diane Christopher, a retail employment expert at "With one third of retail workers planning to change jobs within six months, retailers need to address problem areas such as pay and career advancement opportunities in order to attract and retain their top producers."

The 20% of retail workers who are searching for a new job on a weekly basis were inspired to do so for a variety of reasons: the top three reasons cited were a desire for a bigger pay cheque, a job outside the retail environment, and more options for moving forward in their career.

One-half of retail workers were found to be dissatisfied with pay levels, and are still waiting to receive a pay increase this year. Some 40% were unhappy with career advancement opportunities at their present place of employment, and 35% were dissatisfied with their career progress so far. Furthermore, 62% reported that their workload has increased in the past six months, and 44% characterised their workload as "too heavy". One-third (33%) said they were not able to maintain a good balance between their work and personal lives due to fluctuating work schedules and weekend work hours. The preferred job search resources were online job boards, classified newspaper adverts, and networking through family and friends.

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