The True Cost Of Retail Staff Turnover

3rd Jul, 2020 | Trends, Data & Insights

The retail industry is one of Australia’s largest employers, but it’s also one of its most volatile.

Against a national average of just 16%, the turnover of retail employees sits around 41% every year. Made up of 1.3 million workers staff churn is sitting at almost 533,000 roles and sees retailers looking to replace a worker every nine months on average.

When losing just one junior casual can cost up to $4,000 in lost productivity (with tasks like sorting through resumes, reviewing job roles, onboarding, etc) churn starts to chew into retailers’ bottom line.

Say you’re a mid-sized retailer with 5 stores and 2 junior casuals in each, your business stands to lose up to $40,000 replacing staff over an 18 month period. And that’s before you consider replacing any permanent or older staff in that time. In this instance, you’ve lost almost a whole wage, just because you haven’t been able to hang on to staff.

While there are a whole raft of issues that might cause an individual to leave their job, the fact that industry turnover is so high suggests there are issues with the way retail roles are set up and the kinds of people they attract.

50% of all retail roles are part-time or casual. This means they often go to people who can’t work full-time, like students, or people who need full-time work and are either underemployed or working several different jobs. These roles are almost set up to churn staff.

Students move on because they are studying to qualify for work in other industries. They leave retail jobs because they need time to study or for internships, or their class schedules and their work schedules just don’t line up.

For the underemployed part-timer an offer of full-time hours elsewhere is just too good to refuse, while those working multiple jobs often move on when cross-scheduling becomes an issue.

In this way, the makeup of the retail workforce lends itself to high turnover, meaning retailers must better understand their talent pool before they influence churn rates and boost productivity.

Knowing your workforce means identifying solutions to your biggest productivity hurdles. Get the latest insights on the makeup of the retail workforce, and start staffing and scheduling smarter for better results.