Concerns for job security among UK retail store staff have increased over the past three years, according to fresh research published today in Retail Week’s new Talking Shop report, produced in association with Logile.

Between March and April 2023, 530 frontline workers – who remain anonymous – were surveyed by Retail Week to understand how they feel about their roles, the integration of in-store technology, the internal communications throughout their workforce and the shape of the stores of tomorrow. 

Digital change vs job insecurity 

Some 42% of store staff say they feel ‘secure or ’very secure’ in their roles, leaving more than half (58%) of the workforce feeling less so – double the 24% reported when the same Talking Shop survey was conducted between September and October 2020. 

However, positively, the majority of store teams were found to be on board with digital transformation, provided retailers correctly support them with technology to maximise their engagement, advocacy and loyalty. 

The report found that 71% of store staff are embracing digital change and 86% say technology is helping them to do their jobs better.  


Staff views on retail leadership  

The report also finds issues among retail store staff with how leaders communicate and how businesses are run.  

Some 43% say they are concerned their opinions on digital change don’t matter to leadership while 45% say their head office leadership does not give them enough time to properly plan for new daily tasks.  


Yet there are green shoots of positivity on the horizon, 71% of store teams feel communications from head office are effective, a slight decline in the three years since this survey was last conducted, but with the charity, fashion and health and beauty sectors leading the charge to success here.  


Talking Shop report

Want more insights on the realities of working on the frontline of UK retail? Access your free copy of Talking Shop: What 530 store staff really think of your strategy today.

You will also discover:  

  • How retailers such as Ikea, Holland & Barrett and M&S are taking action to support store staff  
  • Where you should invest in your teams and which areas of retail will be most improved with innovative tech  
  • UK store teams’ biggest barriers to embracing digital change 
  • Store colleagues’ forecast for the shape of the stores of tomorrow