Media Releases

Retail wages show small increase

27 June 2024

The average wage in retail has climbed just 2.8% in the last year, to $29.68 an hour, according to Retail NZ’s latest Wages Guide.

Although this is a higher rate of increase than the minimum wage (which rose 2% to $23.15 an hour on 1 April), it reflects the tough trading conditions facing retailers, Retail NZ Chief Executive Carolyn Young says.

The previous survey for 2023 showed an 8.3% increase in average hourly wages.

“The 230,000 people working in retail provide an essential service to New Zealanders. Retailers know they must pay competitive rates to attract the best people and it’s pleasing to see that the average wage remains well above the minimum wage. But wages have been increasing at a rate faster than growth in revenue across the retail sector,” Ms Young says.

In addition to wages, 94% of retail employers offer additional benefits to their staff, including in-store discounts (83%), flexible work hours (50%), commissions and incentives.

The retail workforce is diverse, with a range of roles from customer service, to management, digital and data analytics, logistics, procurement, security, social media and marketing. 

This year’s Wages Guide covers 27 roles ranging from Juniors and Apprentices up to Regional, Operations and Store Managers.

Retailers which operate nationally tend to pay their staff slightly more than smaller businesses operating from only one or two stores. The survey shows the average rate for national chains is now $30.79 an hour, slightly ahead of the national average rate.

“Even in these challenging times for the retail sector, many of our members are still telling us that they have difficulties finding talented people to fill many roles around the country. The Wages Guide shows that there are some amazing opportunities for well-paid careers that extend beyond the shop floor,” Ms Young says.

The release of the Wages Guide follows the launch this week of the 7 Jobs in 7 Days TikTok campaign showcasing the diverse career pathways available in retail.

About the Retail NZ Wages Guide

The Retail NZ Wages Guide is the most comprehensive source of average wages information for the retail sector in New Zealand and covers 27 roles with regionally specific data. It has been produced since 1993 and is a valuable tool for tracking retail wage trends. The Guide is published annually and is available for purchase in the Retail NZ resource library. Find the 2024 Wages Guide here.

For the latest Retail NZ Media Releases click here.


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