The U.S. lost 60,000 retail jobs in the first three months of 2017, but early 2018 numbers could show an improvement. And while the industry stands to lose as many as 7.5 million in the future to automation, the current need for workers remains high, especially in today’s tight labor market. As retail options for consumers expand, many companies have bet on strong customer service to differentiate themselves in the market — a strategy that requires talented workers.

Competitive retailers, including Target and Walmart, have raised their minimum wage to better retain employees. Others began offering educational opportunities, expanded their benefit offerings and made work schedules more flexible to attract candidates. All of these changes show that employers becoming more cognizant of both their internal and external brands and how the two intersect.

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