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Roadmap: Transforming Frontline Jobs for Retail’s New Era

12/8/2023

Store associate retention is hardly a new problem, but today’s challenges make it particularly difficult, including Boomers leaving the workforce, new options such as gig work, and a shift in employee attitudes around work — or at least, what they’re saying about it.

“I’m not sure if they want something different,” Andre Joyner, senior VP and chief human resources officer at JCPenney, told RIS News. “It’s more that they feel more comfortable demanding it. I think increasingly we have an environment where there's choice and opportunity for associates to have greater agency over how they work and how they live.”

The impact of understaffing and these newly expressed demands are pushing retail HR departments to revisit and reinvent the long-established relationship between stores and frontline workers — and several strategies are gaining traction. The four strategies outlined here are enabling retailers to successfully transform the store associate experience in ways that benefit employee and employer alike.

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