College of Science and Health Theses and Dissertations

Date of Award

Spring 6-9-2023

Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)



First Advisor

Jane Halpert, PhD

Second Advisor

Shelly Rauvola, PhD

Third Advisor

Sandra Virtue, PhD


Retail workers face unique job pressures and the industry itself has always been plagued with turnover rates much higher than other industries. The COVID-19 pandemic only exacerbated issues, causing employers to struggle even more with attraction and retention. The goal of this study is to gain a comprehensive understanding of what retail workers value in their job by determining the job characteristics that drive attraction, retention, and attrition. Current retail workers were asked to rate the importance of multiple different job attributes that impacted recent job decisions. Multinomial logistic regression was used to analyze responses and found different job characteristics were predictive of quitting, considering quitting, and remaining with their current job. Among the most predictive factors for intentions to stay were finding the job enjoyable, liking co-workers, and perceiving job stability. For intentions to quit and turnover, top predictors were lack of education benefits, disliking management, stress and exhaustion from physical demands, and low pay. To understand drivers of joining decisions, a conjoint analysis was conducted in which realistic job decisions were simulated, asking participants to select between two job packages based on which is most attractive. Results found that top drivers of attractive job packages were health benefits, pay level, and promotion and career opportunities. Implications are provided for retail employers in creating and shaping an employee value proposition that will better attract, engage, and motivate employees.

SLP Collection


Included in

Psychology Commons