Why all retailers should introduce the living wage

TL;DR: Pay your staff a living wage and people tend to say good things about your company.

Lidl has decided to pay the living wage to staff in Northern Ireland after all.

Last month, the company announced the introduction of the living wage at its UK stores with the exception of Northern Ireland, a position that has since been reversed.

The supermarket chain said similar pay commitment is also being made to staff in the Republic of Ireland.

Analysis of consumer perceptions demonstrates that it is in retailers' best interests to follow suit.

YouGov monitors the perception of brands through a variety of metrics, one of which is a ‘buzz score’, which measures the percentage of people who have heard something positive or negative in the past two weeks.

The buzz scores show a rise in positive association to the brands around the point of living wage announcements - Lidl’s was on 18 September, Morrisons' was announced formally on 29 September following a publicised consultation.

Sarah Murphy, Director of YouGov BrandIndex, said:

Our data shows that both Morrisons and Lidl have had an upturn in perception following their wage increase announcements.

However, the question remains, will a move which will undoubtedly win public favour actually lead to an upturn in sales which endures over a long period of time?

How rival retailers will react to these developments is also crucial to the future industry landscape, and the ongoing battle for increased market share.

So, aside from it being probably the right thing to do, a good PR move is another reason for retailers to pay their staff a proper wage.

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