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"15 Biggest Retailers Report Major Layoffs
As Tough Times Are Coming"
by Epic Economist
"A massive wave of layoffs has begun all across America. A new report published by Challenger, Gray & Christmas revealed that the pace of job cuts by U.S. employers accelerated in November, with the number of layoffs climbing 127% from October. Companies announced 76,835 job cuts in November, the analysis found. That is 417% higher than the same time one year ago.
The holiday season is usually marked by a hiring boom as businesses seek additional help to meet the rise in foot traffic and consumer demand. But conditions are alarmingly different this year. As Americans deal with higher costs of everyday necessities and are left with an increasingly smaller amount of money for other purchases, even some of the biggest retailers in America are seeing sales fall precipitously, and their bottom lines are getting deeply hurt.
For instance, Amazon, which previously announced that it would eliminate 10,000 jobs is now actually preparing to lay off twice as many workers, according to an inside source. Popular brands like Pepsi and even BestBuy, and FedEx are coping with rising operational costs and not enough revenue. Their only choice to continue to make their business profitable is to reduce their headcounts.
A year ago, most of these retailers had one overwhelming employment problem: they couldn’t find enough people to work in their stores. Employees were leaving the sector in droves and not enough people were applying to fill the open positions. In December 2021, retail job openings were up by nearly 40%, but the pace of people quitting retail employment rose at about the same rate, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Back then, layoffs and discharges were down 59%. At that time, in assessing the outlook for retail in 2022, Deloitte’s Rod Sides wrote, “Currently, the biggest pain point for retailers is at the store level, and 74% of major retail executives surveyed expect shortages in customer-facing positioning.
It's safe to say that things have changed very quickly. Now there are signs that retail layoffs will continue well into 2023, and estimates released by the National Retail Federation suggest that one-third of retail jobs could be lost during the unfolding recession. “Retailers are already running fairly lean,” Sides observed. “How can retailers deliver the customer service promised and do it in a cost-effective manner with even fewer people? When customers are unhappy in the store, they go home and order it online.”
It becomes a vicious circle. Customers get frustrated when they can’t find what they want in the store or get treated poorly from a customer service perspective – all things at risk with understaffed stores. “If you don’t have enough labor, retailers are going to drive people away from the store and push them online, not because they don’t want to buy there but because they want a better experience,” he explained.
This means that even as they try to save their business now by reducing their workforces, at the end of the day, these layoffs will only accelerate the demise of the sector, and make even more companies fall victim to the retail apocalypse. As the current economic downturn aggravates, more and more layoff announcements will start to emerge in the coming weeks and months. Today, we listed 15 major retailers that are cutting jobs in preparation for harder times."