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BizReport : Ecommerce archives : October 05, 2011

E-commerce sales stunt seasonal in-store staff hiring

Retailers are cutting back on in-store staffing levels this year in a bid to trim the fat in the lead up to a busy online holiday season, according to figures released by the Hay Group.

by Helen Leggatt

Rather than pass on high labor costs to consumers retailers are attempting to cut those costs by cutting back on seasonal and full time in-store staffing levels.

Instead, says the Hay Group, retailers are bolstering workforce numbers in distribution centers in preparation for a busy online season.

One in five retailers is cutting back on seasonal staff while the same number will increase the numbers of staff available to select, pack and ship online orders.

"Retailers have a tempered optimism about the holidays this year. Cost inflation has made profitability more elusive, and retailers are trimming the fat with staffing and store hours," said Craig Rowley, VP and global practice leader for Hay Group's retail practice.

In the UK online retailers should be prepared for an early start to online shopping for Christmas as frequent snowfalls that could affect delivery are forecast for early November through December and into January. Consumers, mindful of last year's delivery fiascos, will no doubt start thinking ahead and begin ordering items early to ensure they receive goods in time.

Tags: Christmas, e-commerce, eretail, holiday season, in-store, staffing

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