Luxury Retail Staffing: Stop Firing and Keep Hiring
Well I would love to say Happy New Year to luxury retailers and staff…but with the Ontario government’s announcement just three days into 2022 we have entered a 21 day “modified Stage 2”, things don’t seem so happy right now. The details for retail are not all bleak—at least you can stay open and service at 50% capacity. Let’s be real, the stores were not overflowing anyway for in-person shopping—even through the holiday season. Lack of inventory availability in stores and qualified staff to help consumers with their personalized shopping, made online sales definitely the go-to this season. Google Canada reported that 58% polled stated they were shopping online for the holidays this year.
Unfortunately this Omicron COVID variant (and probably the next generations to follow) is spreading like the common cold, even in vaccinated persons, and contributing to 80% of new cases in some areas. This leaves retailers even more vulnerable than they know. You will need to level up your staffing requirements or be at risk of not having enough staff to open your physical brick and mortar locations. According to experts, as many as 1/3 of the workforce at any given time can become ill.
How will retailers make it through this third round of restrictions?
1. STOP, COLLABORATE & LISTEN
Instead of laying off staff while the capacity restrictions are happening (again) and hoping that you can re-hire them when “things pick up” or are “back to normal”, invest in your amazing staff now. Keep them engaged and part of the planning process. Your staff have portfolios and contacts that will remain engaged with them—use that to your advantage. They certainly can’t afford to live off the Canada Worker Lockdown Benefit. They want to help you sustain and maintain your business. Don’t make the same mistake as the first two rounds of restrictions that left retailers floundering trying to motivate staff to come back to retail sales. Retain the staff you have and invest in their portfolios and sales minds—ask them for help developing a plan to keep your customers engaged and coming in to the store. This will make them feel valued and part of your team. Team work makes the dream work—remember that!
2. STOP FIRING, KEEP HIRING
The cost of having no staff to work is so much greater than them just being off sick. For every vacancy, regardless of the industry, it costs the company an average of 4 times the amount of the monthly salary to have a vacant spot. Think of all the revenue lost just seeking the right candidates over and over. The re-hire process is usually a minimum of $15K depending on the skill level of the vacancy.
Not to mention, at the moment, retail (even luxury retail) is not deemed as a desirable industry for new blood to enter into for their career path. If you fire them with a hope of getting them back “later” that will most likely fail. These sales people are motivated to make money and will not be sitting around waiting for retailers to re-hire…they will find other ways to make their money, and most likely that will mean exiting the retail market.
If you are at a stand still with your hiring process and need help filling your roles, we are here to help! Contact Suzanne for a free chat about our Superstar Retail Talent Registry. We have access to the candidates that you want. Candidates that are not even advertising they are looking for new opportunities…they only trust us to link them with the best offers.
Stay tuned next time for a discussion on retaining staff and customers. How to keep them working for you, and buying from you—even if you have to close the physical shop.