Welcome to Conversational Commerce, the podcast where we break down the biggest retail news and trends with executives, thought leaders and the Retail Dive team. You can check out all our episodes here and listen on iTunes or Stitcher.
Nearly 16 million people work in retail, making it one of the biggest industry employers. But not all retail jobs are good jobs. Many associate-level jobs come with low pay, no benefits, erratic scheduling and more tasks than time allows — all of which has traditionally led to consistent churn in the industry.
Zeynep Ton, who is an adjunct associate professor at MIT Sloan and president of the Good Jobs Institute, has been tackling this uncomfortable truth through her work on The Good Jobs Strategy, which focuses on investment in employees through four operational choices. Ultimately, she argues, good jobs aren't just nice to have, they're critical if retailers want to stay in business.
In fact, the demise of Toys R Us is in part because of diminishing investment in employees, as Retail Dive Reporter Ben Unglesbee explains on the podcast this time around.