Because retail workers are so devalued, creative and dynamic strategies are needed to tackle this devaluation and change the dominant ideas about retail work. Two particularly noteworthy initiatives are taking up this task, and promoting a crucial shift in how retail workers and work are both viewed and valued.
Just yesterday, the Retail Justice Alliance was launched in the US. This coalition brings together diverse leaders and policy experts committed to propelling change in retail through education, research, and collective action.
In Ireland, the Mandate Trade Union is promoting positive change in retail through various routes, including with the Respect Retail Workers campaign. This project specifically confronts abuse of retail workers, but also fosters understanding and social solidarity across sectors.
Both initiatives rightly highlight the role retail plays in the lives of millions of people, but also its significance in the economy more broadly. Put concisely, retail matters not only because it affects the lives of millions of people, but because it affects everyone. These kinds of campaigns should be expanded globally, to help challenge misperceptions and revolutionize retail.