Retail Detail. As Online Shopping Increases in Popularity Retail Ranks Continue to Shrink. Second City Style Fashion Blog

January 8, 2007 • Shopping


According to an article in today’s WWD, retail industry employment is shrinking. Why? Mostly because of cost-cutting,
consolidation, technology advances and the rise of Internet shopping.
Those lower on the pay scale, particularly selling-floor associates and
back-office workers, are most affected.

seasonally adjusted retail employment last month was 15.2 million, the
Labor Department said on Friday. That is a drop of 9,200 from November
and a decline of 57,800 compared with December 2005.

"It’s not
that we’re not shopping," said David Wyss, chief economist at Standard
& Poor’s. "We’re doing plenty of it, but we’re doing more of it
online, we’re doing more of it at the big-box stores and they just
don’t have the number of employees per shopper that the traditional
department stores do." Department stores lost 38,700 jobs during the last year.

Fashion employment is fairing better. Apparel and accessories firms increased payrolls by 12,600 in the past year.

Simpson, principal of Terre Simpson Associ­ates, an executive search
firm, said, "Specialty shoe chains and accessories chains are segments
that are growing. A lot of stores are coming from overseas, but they’re
not opening at a major pace. There’s a lot of financial and retail
conservatism based on how the economy is going. The cumulative opinion
is conservatism."


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