Nearly a third of retail leaders (28%) are worried about the cost they’ll incur running their stores in 2023 as they look to combat the energy crisis. New data from workforce management technology company Fourth suggests that running costs, the impact of having to raise prices to tackle inflation (31%), and supply chain issues (61%) are the most significant challenges facing retailers in the year ahead.
With the energy crisis showing no signs of dimming, retailers will be contemplating at the start of this year how best to protect the business and their staff’s financial well-being in the face of adversity. With this in mind, it’s no surprise that a large majority of retail employees (81%) believe that being able to access wages as they are earned, rather than waiting for payday, would help reduce financial stress in 2023. Despite staff’s preference for earned wage access schemes, only 13% of employees currently have access to them.
So clear is the impact of this recession, that employers are already looking to action a plan to bring wages in line with the current cost of living. Fourth’s data shows that nearly a quarter (23%) of retail employers are planning to raise wages as a direct reaction to the cost of living and inflation.
With the added pressure of this cost-of-living crisis and recession impacting finances, employees are becoming more acutely aware of their current level of financial literacy as they hope to squeeze the most from their money this winter. It’s natural then, that 22% of retail employees would like more financial literacy guidance before using benefits like earned-wage access.
Looking ahead to 2023, Fourth’s MD EMEA Sebastien Sepierre said: “The impact of the financial crisis is becoming increasingly apparent and with it, highlighting the tools that staff need to help protect their financial wellbeing in 2023. Whether it’s introducing earned wage access schemes, increasing financial literacy within the workforce, or working to increase salaries to combat inflation, there are several ways retailers can support their employees from the first quarter of 2023.
Retail technology has evolved to help expedite issues facing all facets of the industry, from workforce management technology for employers, to advanced schemes to give employees greater control over their finances. Awareness and open-mindedness towards these technologies can give retailers the step up that they need to navigate the challenges the new year will bring.”
This research comes from Fourth’s latest whitepaper, A view from the experts: The shape of retail 2023, which gives retail leaders insights into the industry along with trends, opportunities, and pain points for 2023. Download the whitepaper here.