Retail employment may have slumped in last Friday's (April 5) jobs report, but at least one type of store is doing better than expected: 27.1 percent of convenience stores actually increased staffing in 2012, according to an annual H.R. survey by Humetrics and Convenience Store Decisions. In last year's survey, only 18.5 percent said they expected to add associates.
Many conventional chains are still carving away at payrolls, trying to keep costs down in the face of competition from Amazon.com and other online retailers.
Meanwhile, turnover among full-time C-store staff—which has historically been in the 50 to 150 percent range—is still under 7 percent at most of the 12,000 stores in the survey. Only 23.7 percent of respondents said turnover was at high rates in 2012, up from 13.7 percent a year before. For part-time employees, almost half (47.1 percent) of those surveyed said they were back to high rates.
In other results from the survey, which was conducted from mid-February to early March, 22 percent said they were adding new training technologies, ranging from e-Learning and webinars to smartphones and iPads, as well as programs focused on age-sensitive sales and environmental requirements.
Only 1 percent of respondents planned training cutbacks, while 40 percent expected to boost training budgets, with 70 percent of those working to improve customer service skills, followed by food-service safety and sanitation (57 percent) and teamwork and safety (each at 45 percent).
As for new technologies to manage labor costs and improve the hiring process, 26 percent expect to add a scheduling system in 2013, and 13 percent said they will add a new hiring and training system.
- See this Convenience Store Decisions story
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