Shops close earlier or close all day due to lack of staff

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Retailers are increasingly taking stringent measures due to staff shortages. For example, opening hours are reduced, night shopping has been eliminated and branches are forced to close for half or full days. So says director Jan Meerman of INretail, the trade association for the fashion, sports and footwear industry, in a conversation with NU.nl.

The Dutch Retail Council (RND) also recognizes itself in this table. “More and more shops are closing earlier: for example at six in the evening instead of eight.

There are currently over 40,000 vacancies in the retail industry. So it’s a work of art in the stores, says Peters. “But the same goes for fulfillment centers. Many retailers manage to save everything because a lot of part-timers work longer hours and are flexible. But the situation is very worrying, it shouldn’t get any crazier. We are facing a major challenge to recruit more people find who wants to work for us.

According to INretail director Meerman, about 5-10% of vacancies go unfilled. “But that’s not the only problem. They also have a hard time retaining their staff. There’s huge competition between different sectors and everyone is fishing in the same pond. That displaces the problem.”

Meerman sees that traders are therefore taking action. “For example, closing small branches for a day and deploying staff to larger, profitable stores.”

‘Lots of work to do’

According to Olaf Zwijnenburg, head of retail and wholesale at Rabobank, there is literally and figuratively a lot of work to be done. “And the right people are very important for that. Retailers have to do their best to bring customers back to the stores. An inspiring shopping environment and staff with a lot of knowledge are very important for that. If the quality of the staff is not enough, the competition will end up being lost.”

Meerman talks about a structural problem. “We must therefore invest massively in innovation and robotization, so that certain activities no longer need to be done by humans. Think for example of self-scan checkouts in supermarkets, or certain jobs in warehouses that can be done faster with robots. .”

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