IADS Exclusive - Prepare for a change in retail jobs

IADS Exclusive 26 May 2021 Christopher Knee

As retail is undergoing major evolutionary changes, so retail jobs are evolving. The possibilities of automation and the application of AI as well as social and political changes force a radical reassessment of retail functions and organisation structures to improve service and performance. At all levels, retail jobs are shifting, reskilling, being automated, or being deconstructed and redesigned for new retail models.

What: Two trends are developing in the world of retail work: a shift away from store-based work (which is becoming increasingly skilled), towards technology mediated fulfilment work. At the same time, jobs are being reassessed and deconstructed as part of a search for a new retail productivity deal.

Why it is important: Both of these affect retail, and specifically omnichannel department stores, 

  • as its store-based business shrinks relative to the online business
  • as it struggles to find a new profitability model 

The IADS has already written about “working from home”, “remote work” and “hybrid work” as it applies to retail during and after the covid pandemic. What is covered here is a longer-term adjustment in a broader economic cycle. 

IADS provides its members with a weekly in-depth analysis on retail-oriented topics. This is an example of the themes the Association regularly addresses, and the topic of an article  from the IADS members-only newsletter date 26 May 2021.

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