New Zealand retail workers’ pay rises 6.1%

Amid a shortage of experienced retail staff, employers have been forced to increase wages to retain and attract talent.
By: | June 25, 2021

According to Retail NZ’s annual wages guide, the salaries of retail workers have increased by 6.1% over the past year to the average wage of NZ$25.05 (US$17.62) per hour. 

Retail NZ chief executive Greg Harford said the increase can be attributed to the substantial increases in average wages in the sector and in the minimum wage, as well as the competition for talent and the need to attract and retain great staff.  

The adult minimum hourly wage rose from NZ$18.90 (US$13.29) to NZ$20.00 (US$14.01) in April, while the “living wage” is set to rise to NZ$22.75 (US$16.00) an hour from September. 

Retail wages in the country vary depending on location and the cost of living of the area, said Harford. They ranged from NZ$24.00 (US$16.88) in Wellington, NZ$25.99 (US$18.28) in Auckland to NZ$26.01 (US$18.29) paid by national retailers. 

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Besides offering a higher pay package, employers are wooing retail workers with benefits and incentives such as in-store discounts (for 77% of workers), flexible working hours (for just under half of workers), training opportunities, and commissions and incentive payments (for a quarter of workers), according to Stuff.