What retailers pay for top talent today

Allison Zeller

The makeup of the retail business workforce is rapidly changing, and attracting top talent matters to retailers more than ever. As business professor and author Scott Galloway said recently on an episode of NRF’s Retail Gets Real podcast, “in the digital age, the team with the best players wins.”

The retail industry isn’t just competing with itself, it’s competing with other industries for top talent. Competitive pay and a quality benefits package can lead to higher employee satisfaction, but as the retail industry grows and evolves, insights on compensation offer retailers a competitive advantage — not just for the HR team, but from a strategic management perspective.

Since it’s important that retailers stay up to date on compensation trends, NRF continues to partner with Mercer on the U.S. Retail Compensation and Benefits Survey.

Taking a broad view on compensation can offer valuable insight on broader retail industry trends. This year’s data from Mercer indicated that the most growth in positions came from ecommerce positions, which reflects the diversity of roles needed in modern retail. 

Data in this year’s report reflects the significant changes to the industry landscape, including:

  • Strong logistics are increasingly important: Total compensation for distribution center managers increased by an average of 21 percent.
  • Retailers are reinventing the store experience: Average base salaries for top store planning, design and construction executives have risen by 18 percent.
  • The front-line workforce needs skilled talent: Total compensation for training managers has increased by 13 percent.

If you’ve been planning next year’s strategic initiatives, this report serves as due diligence. Understanding the costs and competition for talent can help you grow and expand your business.

The full report can be purchased directly through Mercer at a discount for NRF members, and includes comprehensive compensation benchmarks by position, level and geographic location.

Have questions or want to know how to participate in the 2018 survey to receive custom benchmarks and additional data? Reach out to the NRF research team: research@nrf.com.