Supermarket Perimeter - November 2022 - 14

PHOTOS: INVAFRESH
LABOR
PAINS
Retailers and suppliers
continue to struggle to get and
keep high-quality workers
BY ANDY NELSON
LABOR
PAINS
T
he food industry, like most other sectors of the US economy, has been working hard to overcome hurdles in hiring and
retention to keep their operations properly staffed.
According to the Food Retailing Industry Speaks 2022 report from Arlington, Va.-based FMI - The Food Industry Association,
in 2021 the turnover rate for food retail employees was 48%. For grocery stores' supplier partners, it was 29%.
That was better than in 2020, when the supermarket turnover rate hit 58%. But it's still well above pre-pandemic numbers. And
turnover rates for part-time employees sits at a whopping 67%.
That said, turnover is not a novel phenomenon to the grocery industry - even in more " normal " times.
" Our industry has always faced high turnover rates, " said Mark Baum, FMI's chief collaboration officer and senior vice president,
industry relations. " Even back in 2014, we saw a turnover rate of 41% for food retail employees. "
The difference this time around, Baum said, is that the labor shortages are not just at the store level - they're pervasive throughout
the supply chain.
Further, store-level employees have been on the front lines of COVID for at least two and a half years, as have those working in
distribution centers, manufacturing facilities, and truck drivers.
" It will take significant industry collaboration to develop creative solutions to the labor shortages we are facing, " Baum said.
The impact on instore
Grocery retailers are facing up to 20% worker shortages in their stores, said Stephen Midgley, vice president of marketing for Torontobased
Invafresh.
Coupled with those severe shortages and high turnover are new hires' lack of work experience, he added. And COVID sick days
continue to cause resource challenges, and moral can be low due to staff being overworked.
Production, Midgley said, is one area that suffers the most in grocery fresh departments from labor-related problems.
" Variety and freshness of instore production are impacted by the fact that there is no labor to produce a full assortment at the desired
times, " he said. " Reduced labor has led to problems with stores producing what they had planned, causing out-of-stock issues and
problems with fresh product and with providing full services to customers. "
14 - NOVEMBER 2022
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Supermarket Perimeter - November 2022

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Supermarket Perimeter - November 2022

Supermarket Perimeter - November 2022 - Intro
Supermarket Perimeter - November 2022 - 1
Supermarket Perimeter - November 2022 - 2
Supermarket Perimeter - November 2022 - 3
Supermarket Perimeter - November 2022 - 4
Supermarket Perimeter - November 2022 - 5
Supermarket Perimeter - November 2022 - 6
Supermarket Perimeter - November 2022 - 7
Supermarket Perimeter - November 2022 - 8
Supermarket Perimeter - November 2022 - 9
Supermarket Perimeter - November 2022 - 10
Supermarket Perimeter - November 2022 - 11
Supermarket Perimeter - November 2022 - 12
Supermarket Perimeter - November 2022 - 13
Supermarket Perimeter - November 2022 - 14
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