Retail Employee Turnover on the Rise

Turnover Increases for In-Store, Distribution Center and Corporate Employees

Los Angeles, Nov. 15, 2022 – A new Korn Ferry survey shows that retailers are seeing higher year-over-year turnover for in-store, corporate and distribution center employees.

So far in 2022, there has been more than a three-quarters (75.8%) turnover rate for all hourly in-store positions. That’s up from 68% in 2021. In 2022, the turnover rate for store managers and assistant store managers was 17.7% and 29.2% respectively, up from 14.6% and 22% in 2021.

The rates for part-time hourly store employees remained very high for both years at about 85%.

“We’re seeing the impact of retail worker turnover in several ways, including stores scaling back on open hours and customers waiting in long lines to check out,” said Korn Ferry Senior Client Partner and retail expert Craig Rowley. “Organizations need to be creative in finding ways to not only attract but retain employees.”

A year-over-year comparison shows that turnover is also on the rise for corporate retail employees. In 2022, the average corporate turnover was 17.4%, up from 13.7% in 2021.

Turnover is also up for salaried distribution center workers, at 18.6% for 2022, compared with14.3 percent for 2021.

“Our survey found that the top reason people leave their retail positions is for a better opportunity or promotion,” said Rowley. “So beyond offering competitive compensation packages, retailers need to ensure they are giving employees clear career paths, increased communication about the company’s value proposition, and adequate training.”

About the survey

The Korn Ferry survey of more than 100 major U.S. retailers, with annual revenues between $100 million to more than $20 billion, took place in early November 2022.

About Korn Ferry

Korn Ferry is a global organizational consulting firm. We work with our clients to design optimal organization structures, roles, and responsibilities. We help them hire the right people and advise them on how to reward and motivate their workforce while developing professionals as they navigate and advance their careers.

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