Retailers are experiencing a significant shift in labour dynamics, driven primarily by the younger workforce.

This demographic is increasingly pushing for unionisation and demanding more from their employers.

The report by IRI Consultants, in collaboration with the Retail Industry Leaders Association, highlights these trends and suggests strategies for retailers to adapt to the evolving landscape.

Rising unionisation efforts

One of the key findings of the report is the notable increase in union organising attempts, particularly among younger workers.

These employees are advocating for better engagement and communication regarding shared values and comprehensive policies that extend beyond mere compensation.

They seek more control over their work environment, including input on work hours and schedules, as well as greater independence.

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Evolving workforce needs

The high turnover rate traditionally seen in retail is exacerbated by these new demands.

However, the report suggests that leading retailers can meet these challenges by abandoning conventional approaches and adopting more modern strategies.

Emphasising well-being, community engagement, and open communication can help in retaining a committed workforce.

As Devon Byrne from Ulta Beauty notes, retailers must acknowledge and adapt to the changing perspectives and attitudes of their employees to foster loyalty.

Legislative impacts on retail operations

In addition to internal workforce dynamics, external factors such as state and local legislation are also influencing retail operations.

The report examines the trend of state and local governments enacting employee-friendly laws, which require retailers to adjust their practices.

This legislative activity is often spearheaded by more unified groups of elected officials at the state and local levels, which in turn influences federal employment litigation.