You are here

Consumer confidence drives retail recruitment activity over Christmas

6 December 2013: Retail recruitment during the Christmas period is expected to be steady according to the 2013/14 Michael Page Salary & Employment Forecast – Retail. With improving consumer confidence since the Global Financial Crisis, record low interest rates and an anticipated above forecast increase in consumer spending over the coming festive season, retail employment levels are also expected to be positive over the next six months.

Key survey findings and industry insights

(Source: 2013/14 Michael Page Salary & Employment Forecast – Retail)

  • 92% of employers will consider awarding bonuses as part of employees’ salary package
  • 80% of employers chose flexible working arrangements as the most popular employee support option, prompting businesses to consider non-financial rewards to retain talent.
  • 60% of surveyed employers say all their employees will receive a salary increase but the amount will vary according to performance.
  • 83% of employers plan to increase employee salaries up to 5% compared with between 1% and 2% in previous years.
  • An increase in executive-level opportunities is expected due to the debut of new international brands in the Australian market

Following positive business results recorded during Christmas 2012, hiring activity in the retail sector was fairly steady and this enhanced opportunities in the retail job market throughout 2013. This is expected to continue over the next six months – particularly off the back of a hopefully strong Christmas trading period – with opportunities continuing to rise in NSW and VIC as well as QLD, particularly across food and non-food operations.

A strong flow of executive-level opportunities is also expected due to changes at the leadership level of operations, buying and merchandising roles at a number of large retailers.

According to Richard Wynn, Regional Director of Michael Page: “This trend is expected to continue over the coming year, particularly as new international brands like Williams-Sonoma, Uniqlo and H&M enter the Australian market.”

Based on market observations, physical stores that strengthen the customer experience through store theatre and visual merchandising are competing with the online retail sector for consumer attention. As such, retail professionals skilled at visual merchandising have been in demand in the lead up to Christmas to enhance physical store presence.

Bonuses and salary increases remain a key component in attraction and retention strategies for retailers, but businesses are shifting their attention to building strong company culture and recognising and rewarding staff with non-financial rewards, such as career development opportunities and flexible work arrangements.

Unwrap retail for more employment findings, market analysis and salary figures over the Christmas period and beyond here


About the Michael Page Salary & Employment Forecast

The Michael Page Salary & Employment Forecast, completed by over 1,800 employees across a range of industries, combines quantitative and qualitative research with extensive involvement in senior executive and professional employment market.

Providing useful insights into salary forecasts and expectations, hiring intentions, in-depth market analysis and observations, as well as recruitment challenges, the Michael Page Salary & Employment Forecast also details salary figures in a comprehensive salary guide for each of the 18 disciplines and industries.

In the lead-up to Christmas, Michael Page is going in-depth into the retail industry, a sector that is traditionally associated with increased recruitment activity during the festive season. We unwrap key findings, market observations, employment trends and open up related topics for discussion on our social media sites.

Join us in the conversation on our Blog, Facebook and LinkedIn pages or read the full report on the Michael Page Salary Centre.