Health Bill Won't Prompt Job Loss for Most Retailers

October 13, 2009 ( - Some 71% of chief financial officers (CFOs) at leading U.S. retailers do not think they will reduce headcount as a reaction to health care reform, according to a new poll.

The BDO Seidman LLP news release about the accounting and consulting firm’s survey said 80% of those who do not eliminate positions will pass increased health care costs on to employees. The remaining 20% do not anticipate that employees will incur increased health care costs.

“Managing health care costs is a significant challenge for any business and the retail industry, which is the second largest employer in the U.S., bears a large brunt of the burden,” said Catherine Fox-Simpson, a partner in the Retail and Consumer Products Practice at BDO Seidman LLP, in the news release. “How retailers react to health care reform will be critical to its success but at the end of the day retailers need employees to run operations, and health care will be considered just another cost of doing business.”

The findings are from the most recent BDO Seidman poll which examined the opinions of 100 chief financial officers at leading U.S. retailers.

The retailers in the study were among the largest in the country, with revenues ranging from $100 million to $100 billion, including 10% of the top 100 based on annual sales revenue, according to the news release. The survey was conducted in August and September 2009.