Brick-and-mortar retailers hoping to fend off Amazon need to deploy the one weapon that could set them apart: top-notch customer service, provided by actual humans.
But making that goal a reality relies on something they’ve not really invested in - well-trained employees with the kinds of wages and regular hours that make them want to stick around.
This illustrates traditional retailers’ dilemma. In the face of existential threats such as e-commerce and declining mall traffic, more generous pay might improve service. But it comes at the risk of spooking skeptical investors, who are already closely monitoring costs and margins.