The future of shopping is digital and online sellers are increasingly powerful. As a result, retail competition is always changing.The future of shopping is digital and online sellers are increasingly powerful. As a result, retail competition is always changing. For example, there will undoubtedly be a growing a need for information workers. Employees who can analyze data quickly and figure out what customers want and don’t want. Sure, to the computer and data folk, retailers may have less recruiting appeal than say, Google or Apple. But retailers are increasingly resourceful about attracting data talent. Sears, for instance, recently hosted a hackathon to help fill technology positions, reported The Wall Street Journal. With Amazon and Walmart making waves as they experiment with same-day food delivery, brick and mortar stores could really do with some data savvy staffers who can help them stay in the game. With data and tech savvy employees retailers could respond quickly to customer needs and potentially improve performance. However, demand for this talent exceeds the supply. The Lempert Report believes the pending high costs to recruit are already influencing decisions to limit compensation and benefits for conventional retail staffers. Add this to the possible impact the Affordable Care Act could have on business costs—and we’ll see less retail generosity to non-information workers. Trader Joe’s—which had been exemplary for giving part-time workers (less than 30 hours a week) health care, dental and vision coverage for a reportedly modest cost—announced last week this practice would end this year. Companies also impose spousal surcharges on health insurance—20% of large employers already do this, and 13% more will do so in 2014, according to a survey by Towers Watson and the National Business Group on Health, reports The Associated Press. Retailers need Millennials in abundance as tech workers as well as shoppers. Chains that invest in the technologies and cultures that attract them will gain a significant edge.