Study: Majority of Americans Favor Shopping at Retail Stores That Conduct Employee Background Checks

June 6th, 2019
Retail Industry Screening PR
Sterling Releases Data from 2019 ‘Retail Industry Screening’ Survey

NEW YORK, NY (June 6, 2019) — Sterling, the world’s leader in background and identity services, today released the results of its 2019 Retail Industry Screening Survey. An inaugural initiative, the survey examines Americans’ perspectives, experiences and concerns related to retail screening—covering topics from customer service to holiday shopping to cannabis screening.

According to the survey, 67% of Americans say they are more likely to shop at a retail store whose workers have been background checked than at a retail store whose workers have not been background checked.

In addition, 49% say that if they found out that a retail store they go to doesn’t background check all of their workers, they would be less likely to go back to that store.

“For retailers, candidate and employee screening is vital—and the data shows that many Americans are well-aware of the role that screening plays,” said Vincenza Caruso-Valente, General Manager, Sterling. “A comprehensive screening program will help find top talent and reduce employee turnover, as employers are looking for long-term workers and focused on developing new hires into managers and leaders.”

The study also found:

  • MARIJUANA TESTING: 65% of Americans say that drug testing retail workers for cannabis is unnecessary.
  • HOLIDAY SHOPPING: 53% say that during the holiday season, they notice that retail workers tend to be lower quality than they are during other times of year.
  • CUSTOMER SERVICE: 81% say that while shopping, when deciding what retailer to go to in person, they factor in a retailer’s quality of customer service.

“For retailers, maintaining a robust and consistent hiring process is paramount, and helps attract strong talent that can be retained and redeployed. Retailers also benefit from viewing their customers as potential employees, and from recruiting their talent through technology-enabled solutions. A healthy hiring program will cultivate a strong culture—and brand—of customer service,” said Caruso-Valente.

“Ultimately, retail store associates are crucial to brand promotion and customer engagement, as well as a safe shopping experience, which all customers expect. With that safe shopping experience in mind, drug screening is becoming the norm to preserve a drug-free environment,” added Caruso-Valente.


The survey was conducted online using Survey Monkey. One thousand and fifty nine participants were polled, spanning across the United States. The demographics of those polled represented a broad range in household income, geographic location, age and gender.

About Sterling

Sterling—a leading provider of background and identity services—provides a foundation of trust and safety that spans across industries, professions and borders. Our technology-powered services help organizations create great environments for their workers, partners and customers. Sterling has 20 offices in nine countries and conducts more than 75 million searches annually. Visit Sterling online at

Sterling is not a law firm. This publication is for informational purposes only and nothing contained in it should be construed as legal advice. We expressly disclaim any warranty or responsibility for damages arising out this information. We encourage you to consult with legal counsel regarding your specific needs. We do not undertake any duty to update previously posted materials.

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