Majority of Retail Workers Are Feeling Positive About How Stores Have Managed the Pandemic

As storeowners continue to face important questions about safely reopening and operating stores, their sales associates are offering a positive perspective.

A new survey by Raydiant reports that a majority of retail workers feel confident in their job security and support the way their companies have handled reopening.

Retail display technology company Raydiant surveyed 500 currently-employed retail associates from May 21-27 and found that over 75% believed their jobs were secure, while just 13% stated they were concerned. The survey did not include those who had been laid off or furloughed during the pandemic, and the results suggest employees believe that all necessary payroll cuts have already been made.

Despite the decrease in retail sales during the pandemic, a majority of sales associates reported an increase or no change in wages during this period. In fact, Raydiant found that 38.2% received higher wages, while 35.8% saw no change. The company believes this could be attributed to the pandemic-driven wage increases led by retailers such as Walmart and Target.

Beyond job security and financial status, most sales associates said they are not threatened by automation, with only 12% reporting that they believe that robots might replace their roles.

Respondents also displayed confidence in the safety training provided by their employers, which bodes well for customers returning to stores. Only 17.3% reported that they had received no or minimal training ahead of reopening.

As stores across the country reopen, customers have expressed concerned about their own safety while shopping in-store, but also about the safety of workers. Raydiant’s survey results suggests stores are taking the right measures: The vast majority of retail associates surveyed said they felt their safety and wellbeing was a priority to their employers during the reopening process.

However, while 48.4% said they felt this was an extremely high priority to employers, consumer safety was viewed as a more common priority for management, with 54.8% of workers designating it as “extremely high priority.”

Raydiant’s team recommends that retailers reevaluate the steps they are taking to protect employees, particularly as the need for retail workers remains high and substandard conditions might encourage associates to seek alternative employment.

Overall, the survey showed a positive view of how retailers have managed the pandemic. Over two-thirds of respondents described their employers as “amazing” or “good” at evolving in response to COVID-19, with only 6.1% reporting a negative opinion.

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