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Industry Brief

The People-Driven Side of Peak Selling Seasons

UKG surveyed more than 500 retail executives and managers to understand how U.S. retailers are preparing for the 2023 holiday shopping season and future seasonal peaks. The resulting trend report outlines what’s working and what’s not when it comes to elevating manager and employee experiences in stores during the holidays and beyond.

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Whether or not your storefront is a great place to shop depends heavily on whether or not your business commits to being a great place to work.

Surveyed by UKG in the weeks preceding retail’s sharpest annual spike—the holiday shopping season—frontline and corporate retail leaders shared their collective outlook on the industry shaped by the challenges they’ve overcome and continue to address while adapting to rising demands and economic pressures.

Key survey findings:

  • At least 2 in 5 retailers say their stores’ top staffing priorities when planning for seasonal spikes include keeping current staff engaged, happy, and satisfied (46%), scheduling the right people in the right place at the right time (44%), and aligning finance budgets to labor needs and traffic/sales forecasts (42%). 
  • 82% of retailers agree: “Store employees want more schedule flexibility than we currently provide.” 
  • 87% of retailers admit they could be doing more to support store employees with mobile technology. 
  • 28% of retailers say inefficient tools and technology for store employees are to blame for sales deficits. Managers have also pointed out their stores’ technology shortcomings as reasons for quitting. 
  • Understaffing has been among stores’ biggest challenges for many years, and 74% of retailers believe it will remain a lingering concern throughout peak shopping seasons in 2024.