To say the least, COVID-19 has wreaked havoc on the retail industry over the past few weeks. In fact, more than 47,000 retail stores closing in just the first week because of the virus. While the closures happened quickly, the process of reopening retail will require a slow and methodical approach. With such a massive blow to the industry, retailers, and brands who sell into these retailers, can’t afford anything less than efficiency and effectiveness when it comes to managing their staff.

Even when stores do open again, they may be reopening to consumers who may not be eager to go back into physical locations right away — either because of lingering fears of infection or as a result of the economic impacts of the pandemic.

This “new normal” will see a forced acceleration in the adoption of new technology in the retail space as everyone starts planning for how to deliver on a new set of expectations. As we come back from the lockdown, both consumers and companies alike will have a new reality of operation.

Scheduling staff will be even trickier

When retail doors do reopen, staffing up your team again will most likely not happen all at once. Instead, it will probably be a slow roll out with shortened store hours and staggered amounts of staff allowed in the store at any given time. This, of course, will cause staffing challenges that most brands and retailers haven’t encountered before. The answer? A flexible scheduling system. Without it, there won’t be a way to quickly schedule up or down as needed and this is a sure way to lose time and money – two things that no company can afford to lose right now.

Education will be a huge undertaking

Since staff has been away for such an extended period of time, they will need retraining. Not only will they need to be educated on products, store procedures, and company policies, there will most likely be an entirely new set of standards that they will need to abide by. While there aren’t concrete rules in place yet, they will most certainly be distance and sanitation rules to keep everyone healthy. Having one portal to easily distribute education materials and videos will be the key to efficiently catch everyone up to speed. Without one central location, important updates could fall through the cracks.

Years worth of hiring…all at once

A large majority of retailers and brands needed to furlough or let go of their sales talent in response to the shutdown. In this case, hiring, interviewing, and on-boarding are about to become a logistical nightmare for some companies. A process that used to take place a role at a time, will now need to take place all at once. If you’re looking for new talent, you can review our hiring guide with helpful sources. Make sure you lay out a clear plan for how to organize your rehiring process and implement workforce management tools to measure their productivity once they’re back to work on the sales floor.

To learn more about how AllWork can help you hire, manage, and pay your retail talent in an efficient way, contact info@allworknow.com for a demo of our platform.

Moving Forward, Retail Requires Efficiency

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