Staffing for Seasonal Trends in Retail

See some of the peak periods that retailers, manufacturers and distribution warehouses need to consider when creating a staffing strategy.

October 25, 2020

Staffing for Seasonal Trends in Retail

See some of the peak periods that retailers, manufacturers and distribution warehouses need to consider when creating a staffing strategy.

Staffing for Seasonal Trends in Retail

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Holiday Help Wanted: How Retailers Can Staff for the Season

Preparing for the busiest season of the year starts with having the right staff to complete orders and keep customers satisfied. See how it’s done.

September 15, 2020

retail worker, retail transaction

For decades, Black Friday has been considered the peak buying day for the holiday season. But fewer shoppers are likely to be lining up outside stores after Thanksgiving dinner this year.  

Instead of expecting big holiday crowds battling it out over the season’s hottest items, the retail industry is revising their plans to account for the COVID-19 pandemic. Retailers will be limiting the number of shoppers in stores; some are cutting store hours during Thanksgiving weekend or closing altogether. 

Retailers were already expanding their e-commerce services prior to the pandemic due to consumer demand. As shoppers increasingly have turned to the internet to find even better deals than in-store bargains, there will be added pressure on retailers to hire staff who can fulfill these purchases.  

The evolution of consumer habits is one thing that retailers will need to watch for this holiday season. Another is the effect of e-commerce on the supply chain. Major delivery services including FedEx, the USPS and the UPS have experienced significant delays with the excessive number of packages being shipped, and retailers can likely expect service disruptions that may compromise their ability to get deliveries to shoppers on time.  

On-demand Staffing for the Holidays 

Retailers will be relying on thousands of additional workers at their fulfillment centers to process online orders, and with more e-commerce sales expected this holiday season, staffing is a critical need. It’s even more critical now as they look to speed up production and get inventory out fast given the increased sales volume and potential of delivery delays this season.

A 2019 Adobe poll of 250 HR professionals cited holiday seasonal hiring as the most stressful of all recruiting periods. 

During this tumultuous year, one of the most important lessons for retailers is the need to shift strategies and adapt to the current environment. Being flexible is key. Using an on-demand workforce can help retailers by streamlining the hiring process and allowing them to scale based on need. As the holiday season approaches, having the right staff to account for increased sales is important for earning and keeping customers’ trust.   

Preparing for the busiest season of the year starts with having the right staff to complete orders and keep customers satisfied. Contact us to find out how PeopleReady can help you with all your on-demand staffing needs during the holidays. 

What’s in Store for Online Grocery Shopping?

The food manufacturing industry is in a state of flux these days. Discover recent trends that may affect your business and see how you can prepare for the future.

January 8, 2020

online grocery shopping

The food manufacturing industry is in a state of flux these days, which has only been emphasized by the COVID-19 pandemic. Some trends will likely fade over time, but others are expected to shift how manufacturers approach their operations going forward.

The pandemic and subsequent stay-at-home orders often limited the number of food manufacturing staff on hand, with businesses having to adjust their work schedules and internal procedures to meet new regulations and standards.

Food manufacturers and the retail supply chain have also been greatly affected by changes in consumer preference. Restaurants temporarily closed and people began cooking more at home, which resulted in a considerable spike in sales for canned foods, baking goods, and other essential items. Ordering groceries online has generally been considered a safer alternative to going to a grocery store.

Online grocery stores in the U.S. rose 9 percent month-over-month in June, reaching $7.2 billion, according to the Brick Meets Click/Mercatus Grocery Survey. The survey also found that 13 percent of consumers purchased groceries online for the first time during the pandemic.

Even before the pandemic, busy lifestyles had led to the growth of food service and more convenient ways to consume food. Supermarkets and grocery stores are capitalizing on this trend, adding meal delivery kits and prepackaged options that are quick and convenient for today’s shoppers. These products are perfectly suited for the rise of e-commerce and the increased willingness of consumers to order groceries online.

Throughout 2020, food and beverage has continued to show the most growth of all product categories.

The Long-Term Future of Food and Grocery E-Commerce

Once the pandemic forced consumers to shop online, many of them were drawn to the convenience and will continue to do so in the future. Millions of first-time grocery ecommerce buyers are entering the market, while many online grocery shoppers are now increasing their orders. The number of U.S. digital grocery buyers is expected to surge 41.9 percent this year to 131.0 million, according to eMarketer.

U.S. Retail E-Commerce Sales Growth by Product Category, Percentage Change, May 2020

  • Food & beverage: 58.5%
  • Health care, personal & beauty: 32.4%
  • Toys & hobby: 20.9%
  • Computer & consumer electronics: 17.9%
  • Office equipment & supplies: 17.9%
  • Books, music & video: 13.9%
  • Auto & parts: 12.6%
  • Furniture & home furnishings: 12.4%
  • Apparel & accessories: 8.6%
  • Other: 17.8%

U.S. Digital Grocery Buyers in Millions, 2018–2022

  • 2018: 76.3
  • 2019: 92.3
  • 2020: 131.0
  • 2021*: 137.4
  • 2022*: 141.7

Source: eMarketer, May 2020

Notes: Ages 14+; digital grocery buyers are defined as internet users who have made at least one grocery order via any digital channel during the calendar year regardless of method of payment or fulfillment; includes grocery delivery and pickup

Staffing for a Digital Transformation

The ability to be agile is crucial for food and beverage businesses. As customers get more accustomed to online grocery shopping, they will be looking at all aspects of their shopping experience, from the quality of the products to customer service. For food manufacturers, e-grocers, and delivery and logistics providers, that means hiring workers who can help with packaging, picking, sorting, and other similar tasks.

As the digital transformation continues to evolve, food and beverage businesses face a unique set of challenges. Changing customer preferences makes it more difficult to accurately forecast demand. Largely due to the flexibility it provides businesses, hiring on-demand staff can help manufacturers cover gaps in their workforce while creating a pipeline of workers who can help them prepare for the future.

During a time when businesses may be more conservative in their hiring, staffing with on-demand workers provides the opportunity to meet consumer demand while minimizing business risk. As businesses look to improve their product offerings, streamline their operations, and better serve their customers, on-demand staff can provide critical support right now and in the future.

If you’re looking for a staffing partner who understands the unique needs of your food manufacturing business and has a record of success, PeopleReady is here. Contact us today to learn how we can help you meet your staffing needs.

3 Reasons Your Business Needs Staffing Help

Learn how a contingent workforce may help solve a variety of challenges and keep your business moving toward a successful future.

November 4, 2019

Amid all the shopping frenzy of peak retail seasons come those last-minute needs: coverage for sick employees, last-minute vacation changes, unfortunate no-shows, and delays due to inclement weather.

To keep your operations running smoothly (and remaining lucrative), how can you ensure each of the crucial tasks gets done at the end of the day? Staffing up for the holidays has always been stressful enough for businesses facing their peak seasons, but now with an increasingly competitive marketplace, they’re seeing more roadblocks in the way of a fully-staffed crew. This is when they’re turning to the expertise and support from staffing partners.

Here are three reason our customers shared about why they decide to partner with a staffing firm to get their work done:

1. Cut Back on Time

Your HR team is maxed out or you don’t have the time to recruit, review, and onboard new workers, hiring takes time…and hiring well takes experience. Since recruiting trends are continually changing and job seeker expectations in flux, working with a staffing partner—particularly one with national and local expertise—eliminates unnecessary time wading through the learning curve of seasonal hiring. 

2. Reduce Paperwork

You’re equipped with the workers you need, instead of sifting through stacks of paperwork and scheduling meetings, they (and you) can get right to work, doing what needs to be done. Not only will a staffing partner handle the ongoing paperwork that comes with employees, but they can also alleviate the stress of payroll and ordering if they offer a mobile and desktop application that allows you to do it all in one place. The more you’re able to do with a streamlined app, the more you’re able to control your time and resources. 

3. Increase Efficiency

If you’re equipped with the support you need, both in terms of your workforce and your staffing partner, you’re able to get a whole lot more done. We’ve seen the curve balls and understand how to supply specifically for your business needs, which means you’re able to quickly and efficiently overcome staffing obstacles that might come up.  

Hiring temporary staff to buffer your holiday coverage can be an excellent option, but only if you’re working with the right people to do the job well. PeopleReady has the expertise and presence to take you through the holidays and beyond. See how you can get started for holiday hiring success today and connect with your PeopleReady representative.

5 Tips for Finding the Best Staffing Partner

In this e-book, find out how to choose a staffing partner that understands your business goals and will find the qualified workers you need today.

January 15, 2019

Staffing for the Food Manufacturing Sector

Choosing the right staffing partner is an important step toward growing a successful food manufacturing business. Find out how to pick the partner who understands your goals and can find the qualified workers you need when you need them. Check out the guide to get started.

Staffing for the Food Manufacturing Sector

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3 Major Retail Employer Challenges and How to Tackle Them: Week 1

PeopleReady can help you overcome your biggest retail staffing challenges and find workers who will be comfortable and confident in their roles. Here’s how.

August 14, 2018

The retail industry experiences highs and lows just like every other business – but with dramatic shifts in customer behaviors and expectations along with introduction of new technology, fresh challenges are presented more than ever.

Two men handshake while entering and exiting through doors

High turnover, poor career path reputation, uninterested employees…there are actions that PeopleReady says you can take to overcome these challenges for the good of your business and your team.

Challenge: I want to keep my strong employees- and help them to grow in their roles.

Insight: Forty-three percent of small business owners said that finding and keeping and retaining good employees was one of their biggest challenges. Retail has a turnover rate of 65% and studies show that a lack of employer engagement and compensation are responsible, with only 13% of employees considering themselves to be engaged worldwide. 

Solution: Focus on individuals. Learn about your employees through one-on-one conversation and dig deeper with personality tests that will help you and your managers understand how to best work with personalities. When you know the types of workers that excel in your setting, you can begin to search for candidates with these qualities. By using a staffing partner to have access to a number of individuals, you can look for these traits without having to hire on full-time employees. Not only can you request certain workers to return to your job site through an app like JobStack, you’ll be able to hire and place people most suited for jobs and help them to feel comfortable and confident in their roles.

Remember the words of former Xerox chairperson and CEO, Anne M. Mulcahy, “Employees who believe that management is concerned about them as a whole person—not just an employee—are more productive, more satisfied, more fulfilled. Satisfied employees mean satisfied customers, which leads to profitability.”

PeopleReady specializes in quick and reliable on-demand labor and highly skilled workers. PeopleReady supports a wide range of blue-collar industries, including construction, manufacturing and logistics, waste and recycling, and hospitality. Leveraging its game-changing JobStack platform and 600-plus branch offices across all 50 states, Puerto Rico and Canada, PeopleReady served approximately 98,000 businesses and put more than 490,000 people to work in 2020.