Technology and skills in the future of retail work: A summary of findings

Briony Lipton, Ariadne Vromen, Serrin Rutledge-Prior, Laura Good, Rae Cooper, Meraiah Foley

    Research output: Book/ReportCommissioned report


    Retail work is undergoing profound transformation, with rapid changes including digitisation, the collection and use of big data, and automation reshaping the industry and the skills required to work within it. These transformations have the potential to entrench and even exacerbate existing inequalities within the industry. Based on interviews with 30 senior stakeholders in retail and retail-adjacent industries, and a representative retail, fast food and warehouse worker survey (n=1160), this report examines perceptions and experiences of intersecting technological transformations occurring in the Australian retail industry and the changing skills sets required for the future of retail work. The retail industry is Australia’s second largest employing industry, with its workers representing approximately 10% of the Australian labour force. A majority of retail employees are women, and it is the third most feminised industry in Australia. Younger workers are over-represented in retail, and over half of the retail workforce are employed on part-time or casual contracts.
    Original languageEnglish
    Commissioning bodyGender Equality in Working Life (GEWL) Research Initiative
    Publication statusPublished - 2022

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