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Overseas stores driving competition in Australia’s retail job market

Australia’s retail sector is expected to maintain a steady stream of hiring over the next six months, with 37% of employers expecting to increase their overall headcount, according to results of the 2014/15 Michael Page Australia Retail Salary & Employment Forecast. 
This is in part due to the increasing influence of big-name overseas stores setting up opera-tions in Australia and hiring local talent.
According to Richard Wynn, Michael Page Regional Director for retail, this influx of overseas brands is good news for employees. 
"In order to attract or retain the best talent, local Australian retailers will find themselves hav-ing to provide a salary package on par with international retailers,” he says.
Figures outlined in the 2014/15 Michael Page Australia Retail Salary & Employment Forecast  reflect this, with 58% of employers expected to award a salary increase to all of their employees in the next 12 months, depending on performance.   
Skills shortages in areas such as operations and merchandise planning are expected to drive salary increases for professionals with sought-after experience in fashion retail over the next 12 months. .
"There is a shortage of buyers and merchandise planners here in Australia, meaning they often need to be sourced overseas. This has a knock-on effect on the salaries overall in other non-food and general merchandise retail stores," says Wynn.
"The impact of new retail businesses on the Australian market will be to set the bar at a higher level for their store managers, who will find themselves managing more complex businesses,” Wynn adds. 
 Looking at the food retail sector, the outlook is also promising.  
"We have seen some of the major retail brands looking for talent outside Australia in order to gain an external perspective on their operations. This means they need to pay above average Australian wages to attract the best people, especially in areas where there isn’t enough local talent to meet demand," says Wynn. “So the impact on the local market is that is creates a more competitive environment as the ‘employee competition’ increases. 
Staff movement is expected at the mid to senior management level during 2015, from multi-site line managers, to state and national executives running organisations with 100-plus, or even 200-plus stores. Nevertheless, increases in pay will be fairly conservative – that is, $5,000 to $10,000 on salaries of around $200,000 or more.
For full details see the 2014/15 Michael Page Salary & Employment Forecast