Media Releases

Retail wages continue to rise

23 June 2021.

The average wage in retail has climbed 6.1 per cent nationally in the last year, and now sits at $25.05 nationally, according to Retail NZ’s latest Wages Guide.

“There has been strong movement in average wages across the sector over the past year, both because of the substantial increases in the Minimum Wage, but also because of the war for talent and the need to attract and retain great staff,” Greg Harford, Retail NZ’s Chief Executive said today.

“There are regional differences, reflecting the position of different businesses and the cost of living in different regions.  Retailers which operate nationally tend to pay their staff slightly more than smaller businesses operating from only one or two stores.  While some staff are paid minimum wage, the average rate for national chains is now $26.01 an hour, slightly ahead of Auckland at $25.99 an hour.  Retailers operating only in the Wellington region pay the lowest average rates, at just under $24 an hour, reflecting the difficult business environment in the capital.

“Retailers also offer a range of other benefits to attract and retain team members.  Amongst other benefits, 77 per cent of employees receive in-store discounts, 42 per cent benefit from flexible work hours and upskilling opportunities, and 25 per cent are rewarded with commission or incentive payments.

“Retail is a really diverse industry, and there are a range of fascinating roles available to people who want to build a career in the sector.  While shop floor staff are the retail employees most commonly seen by the public, there are many other roles available, including roles for e-commerce managers, technicians, marketers, social media gurus, distribution workers, managers, security staff and specialist roles such as beauticians and baristas. 

“The Retail NZ Wages Guide is the most comprehensive source of wages information in New Zealand and covers 23 roles with regionally specific data.  The Guide is published annually and is available for purchase from”.

For further information, please contact:
Greg Harford
Chief Executive, Retail NZ
[email protected]
027 243 2842

For our latest Media Releases click here.

Our Supporters


Would you like one of our team to give you a call? Let us know and we will get back to you.