Retail productivity

Shop for tomorrow’s workforce

As retailers continue to adapt to changes in consumer behaviour and digital disruption, what can the workforce expect? The next three years will be a defining period for UK retail and will determine who will be the winners and losers in the longer term. We believe that it is no longer enough to compartmentalise retail businesses into units such as supply chain, merchandising, pricing, logistics and customer experience. Retailers need to rethink both their organisation and their workforce to survive in a new world where the rules of work have changed.

New orders for the future of retail work

Digital disruption and changes in consumer behaviour are forcing retailers to rethink both their organisation and their workforce.

With the employment rate at a recent high and vacancies on the rise a tight labour market is making it increasingly hard for retailers to find the right skills.

Retailers’ profits are under pressure at a time when they need to incorporate a number of different sales channels and growing number of fulfilment options. This is inevitably leading to a greater focus on productivity and the workforce, and the future role that technology could play in either replacing or augmenting human labour.

What can the workforce expect?

Key findings

We believe there are three key areas for reimagining the retail workforce:

Work and the workforce:
How much work and who/what will deliver it? Retailers cannot clearly define what the future workforce should look like until they have a comprehensive view of how work is currently being done. Only then can they decide the right balance of human and robot resources to deliver the service their customers require. Discover more

Performance and productivity:
How will your workforce drive greater value? Retailers need to focus their investment and resources on three key capabilities to drive significant improvement in productivity across the business: the customer experience, the workforce experience and analytics. Discover more

Organisation and business model:
How will you need to be structured in a digital world? There is an immediate need for retailers to begin to reorganise their businesses around a networked team structure, breaking down the existing functional silos and sharing insight across the business. Discover more 

Creating the future retail workforce - available tools

  • The Connected Employee is designed to help you think about the opportunities and challenges with the future of work. Explore more or contact Richard Evans
  • The Future of Retail Work Lab is underpinned by our Deloitte Retail Trends. We showcase art of the possible technologies, explore workforce strategies, and critical components required to help you be successful in achieving you workforce and organisational goals. Discover more or contact Katie Minton. 
  • FOTO helps to quickly build a profile of a company’s workforce. It helps you plan, project and map future scenarios to quantify where the business is already being disrupted, where cost savings could be made and make decisions on where they could enhance work with technology or automation. Contact Michael Purdy if you are interested in finding out more.  

Further reading

The Retail Profitability Challenge
Following a period of unprecedented change, rising pressure costs and lower pricing power and the need to invest in digital transformation. How can retailers remain profitable?

Retail Trends
In 2017, retailers will need to focus on accelerating change in their businesses. We believe there are five key trends which will have significant impact over the next year.

Retail Showcase
What are the key forces driving change in the retail sector? Where does the opportunity with the consumer lie? In our Retail Showcase, we share with you our vision of what it takes to win in retail today.

The Deloitte Consumer Review: Customer loyalty
Getting the customer ‘experience’ right has become the differentiating factor for many successful business models. And the right loyalty strategy should help to deliver that experience.

Deloitte Consumer Tracker
Quarterly review of consumer confidence and spending behaviour.

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