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The retail industry is facing challenging times. In the midst of a recession and a decline in consumer wealth and spending, retailers are focused on the short term: getting customers into stores and online to drive sales while looking to cut costs. At the same time, companies face a stiff, longer-term challenge that does not show up on a daily report: a dwindling supply of qualified talent with the knowledge and experience to perform the critical and increasingly complex tasks necessary to attain and sustain high performance. For many retailers, the talent situation is a crisis that is already at hand. Difficulties in filling hourly, frontline jobs are nothing new, of course.
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