OPERATIONS

Survey: Retailers expect, avoid job-hoppers

BY Dan Berthiaume

Chicago – In many cases retailers have to come to expect “job-hoppers” who frequently change jobs, but in many cases they also avoid them. More than half of 182 retail hiring managers and human resource professionals (54%) polled in a recent CareerBuilder survey said they have hired a job-hopper and more than one-third (36%) said they have come to expect workers to job-hop.

However, more than four-in-10 (44%) said they will dismiss a job-hopper’s application outright. Fifty-five percent of retail employers said that job-hopping becomes less acceptable when a worker reaches his/her early to mid-30s (ages 30 or 35). Twenty-seven percent find job-hopping less acceptable after the age of 40.

Employers expect a higher rate of job-hopping among younger workers who are still trying to find a footing for their long-term career. When hiring a new college graduate, 51% expect the new hire to stay with the organization for two years or less, while just more than one in four (27%) expect new college grads to stay five years or longer.

“Retailers are split on the issue of job-hopping. While there is some acknowledgement that job-hopping is an industry fact-of-life, most employers still want to hire workers who can commit for at least a couple of years,” said Rob Morris, director of WorkInRetail.com. “Between saving on training costs and the increased efficiencies of a well-tenured staff, it pays to focus on retention efforts. Offering promising employees incentives and clearly-laid out career paths are often the best way to achieve those results.”

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MARKETING/SOCIAL MEDIA

Sears launches promotional Web series

BY Dan Berthiaume

Hoffman Estates, Ill. – Sears, Roebuck and Co. is launching a new promotional Web series starting reality TV stars Sean and Catherine Lowe and Sears celebrity designer Ty Pennington. Customers and Shop Your Way loyalty members will be asked to design the patio of the couple’s new home via this Web series from Sears outdoor living.

The promotion includes an online hub where consumers can watch all eight episodes and vote for the patio and grill products they think best suit Sean and Catherine’s needs, enter the sweepstakes to win Shop Your Way points and outdoor living products, and learn about other Sears outdoor living products and features.

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FINANCE

Michaels Q1 sales up

BY Vivian Lee

New York — Michaels posted increases on both net and same-stores sales for the first quarter.

Net sales increased 5.9% to $1.05 billion from $993 million during last year’s first quarter. Comparable store sales increased 3.8% driven by a 2.4% increase in the company’s average ticket, a 1.3% increase in transactions and a 10 basis point positive impact from deferred custom framing revenue.

Gross profit for the quarter increased 4.9% to $429 million from $409 million during last year’s first quarter. Gross profit as a percent of net sales decreased approximately 40 basis points to 40.8%. This decrease was driven by increased freight and distribution costs, higher remodel costs and lower merchandise margin.

Net income for the quarter increased 21.7% to $56 million and increased approximately 70 basis points as a percent of net sales to 5.3%.

During the quarter, the company opened eight and relocated five Michaels stores and closed three Aaron Brothers stores. The company operated 27 net new Michaels and Aaron Brothers stores in the past 12 months. The company now operates a total of 1,262 stores including 1,144 Michaels stores and 118 Aaron Brothers stores.

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