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Process cost study -

Personnel expenses in the supermarket

Merchandise clearance ties up personnel

EHI study “Personnel costs in supermarkets”


A friendly gree­ting, good advice or a smile at the check­out — compe­tent staff contri­bute signi­fi­cantly to the success of a super­mar­ket, but also to the costs. Around 13 percent of sales must be budgeted for person­nel in the super­mar­ket. In the EHI study “Person­nel Costs in Retail”, commis­sio­ned by POS TUNING, person­nel costs are broken down trans­par­ently by depart­ment and acti­vity, reve­al­ing what the biggest cost drivers are and where costs can poten­ti­ally be redu­ced.

Distribution of weekly hours …

At 27.4 percent, service accounts for the most hours per week. 20.5 percent of the weekly hours are requi­red at the check­out, and 14.6 percent are requi­red at dry goods. All the other sectors accoun­ted for less than ten percent each: fruit and vege­ta­bles 9.3 percent, mopro 9.3 percent, administration/other 9.1 percent, bever­a­ges 7.8 percent. At 2 percent, the frozen assort­ment is the least costly.

.… According to activities

In addi­tion, the EHI study exami­nes how much time is needed for which acti­vi­ties in the indi­vi­dual areas. The fruit and vege­ta­ble area takes up the most time with 82 hours per week, with the hand­ling (stocking, re-stocking, price labe­l­ing) of fresh produce accoun­ting for the largest share with 69 hours. For goods receipt (control, repack­ing, trans­port in the store) and disposition/inventory incl. stock correc­tion, on the other hand, only 6.5 hours are needed in each case. Plus refri­ge­ra­tion requi­res 67.2 hours of care per week — inclu­ding 7 hours for recei­ving and 3.7 hours for scheduling/inventory — ranking second in share of labor hours, follo­wed by AfG/beer with 45.4 hours, confec­tion­ery with 17.9 hours. The drugs­tore assort­ment takes up the least amount of time, just 11.6 hours. In each area, the hand­ling of the goods is the most time-consum­ing.

“Most retail­ers forego a detailed inspec­tion at goods receipt due to time cons­traints. Howe­ver, if the pallets and roll contai­ners are alre­ady stocked in the warehouse in a way that is opti­mi­zed in terms of shel­ving and stocking, this will signi­fi­cantly shor­ten the stocking process.” summa­ri­zes Marco Atzber­ger, member of the manage­ment team at EHI and author of the study. The rela­tively high number of working hours for plus cooling also appears striking. Here, the shelf life or the best-before date and the over­all small parts are drivers of the time requi­red. Howe­ver, Atzber­ger recom­mends that, given the tight margins, every simpli­fi­ca­tion should really be exami­ned here.