Human Resources


The 21st Century Retail Workforce will bring together many areas of the retail ecosystem to build a workforce that is diverse, innovative and skilled.  The retail industry is evolving in the omnichannel environment in all ways including workforce planning. Having the right talent in the right places will always be a priority and will ensure success. 

However, the industry is currently facing substantial legal, regulatory and policy challenges from activists and policymakers across the country.  Many of these obstacles are inhibiting retailers from recruiting and retaining the right talent.  

In addition to traditional competition in the retail industry from fellow retailers, the industry is also facing new challenges for talent from disruptors like Uber.  In the battle for top talent ranging from data scientists to associates, leading retailers are increasingly focused on workforce related issues and the challenges associated with planning effectively for the 21st Century Retail Workforce.  

RILA will be dedicated, in partnership with the Retail Talent Council, to develop a long-term strategic vision for a diverse, innovative and skilled 21st Century Retail Workforce.  

Why Talent Matters to Retail    

Although the retail environment is evolving from pure brick and mortar to a mix of physical and digital, retail is and will continue to be driven by its people who are helping consumers get the goods they want. What is changing is how we interact with those customers. Retailers know that they are in a fierce battle for talent not just with other retailers but other industries including newly powerful gig companies that offer job seekers the opportunity to work when, where and how they want.  Moreover, the competition for tech talent has never been fiercer and as retailers build out more digital, omnichannel and in-store capabilities, we must learn how to recruit and retain the talent of today and cultivate the talent of tomorrow. 

Our Priorities  

The RTC priorities will consist of providing high level thought leadership around the 21st Century Retail Workforce -- a workforce that is diverse, innovative and skilled. Specifically, the RTC will serve a leadership role in guiding activities around the future of retail work, RILA’s Diversity and Inclusion Initiative as well as on-going programs with the Retail Innovation Center that connect retailers with top tech talent.

Diversity & Inclusion Initiative

Diversity & Inclusion Initiative

Our Diversity and Inclusion initiative focuses on the differentiated Diversity and Inclusion practices within the retail operating model and minimizes duplication with other non-retail focused initiatives.

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A Deeper Look into Human Resources

Growing the 21st Century Retail Workforce

Growing the 21st Century Retail Workforce

RILA advocates for forward-thinking workplace policies at the state and federal level that reflect the needs of a large and diverse workforce.

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Health Care

Health Care

RILA members are at the forefront of developing new innovative approaches designed to encourage preventative health, improve outcomes, and lower cost.

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Retail Opportunities

Retail Opportunities

RILA recently surveyed our members to learn more about the opportunities for work and career advancement that exist in retail.

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Retail is for Everyone

Whether you are a teen looking for that first shot at a paycheck, a senior citizen looking to stay active, or just someone looking for a second chance. Flexibility, upward mobility, and the power to choose your own path is the hallmark of the industry, and it is what gives us confidence in saying that retail is for everyone.

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Human Resources Committees

Retail is the nation’s largest private sector employer, providing opportunity for all. RILA advocates for sound policies that support diversity, flexibility, upward mobility, and the power to choose one’s own path.

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Upcoming Meetings

Labor & Employment Committee Meeting

  • Nov 19, 2019
  • Washington, DC

Retail CEO Forum 2020

  • Jan 19 - Jan 21, 2020
  • Palm Beach, FL

The Retail CEO Forum is the once-yearly, invitation-only event for CEOs from the most recognized retail brands in the industry. Limited to 100 hand-selected retail industry executives, this elite gathering offers two full days of meeting, networking and exchanging ideas. The most powerful U.S. retail and product manufacturer CEOs, along with a few select members of their C-suite teams, attend, to share business insights, assess trends and tackle the critical issues facing the retail industry today and in the future.

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