Christchurch’s central business district has undergone a significant rejuvenation over the last year. Six years on from the devastating earthquakes, many of the new developments put in place to replace the city’s retail real estate are now complete, tempting retailers with a wide selection of stylish, central new premises.
Figures from a year ago indicate around 16,500 people are expected to occupy office space within Christchurch’s CBD by 2021. These workers will also be shoppers, driving retail growth in developments like the Cashel development with the BNZ Centre, ANZ Centre and The Crossing. New stores have been opening since September, with further growth expected across 2017.
Frontline Retail South Island agency delegate Chantelle Waite says the new Christchurch is full of buzz and consumer confidence. International brands like H&M are also starting to arrive in Christchurch, creating further excitement.
She reports that the market in Christchurch is candidate-rich, except for executive roles, where there’s a demand for homegrown leaders. The Christchurch retail job market differs from Wellington and Auckland’s in that Christchurch has few opportunities for staff to grow into head office roles, Waite says, so area managers are being outsourced rather than promoted internally.
Christchurch’s local culture is distinct and is best served by local leaders, Waite says: “They’ve been through a lot together.”
Queenstown’s retail industry is booming. A number of big-box retailers have opened in the area following the development of shopping complexes outside the main township, keeping residents spending locally rather than going elsewhere.
Waite says Queenstown retailers are finding it challenging to find quality staff because of the town’s transient, tourismdriven workforce and high cost of living. Queenstown’s salary brackets don’t align with the cost of living in the city, and while established local retail staff are secure in their roles, experienced retailers aren’t interested in relocating from other centres for a lower salary.
“It’s a challenging situation for both employers and candidates,” says Waite.
Retail salary figures for the South Island in 2017 run from $32,000 for a salesperson to $80,000 for a store manager with turnover of $15m plus. The average salary across all nonexecutive roles in the South Island is around $50,000.
She looks forward to seeing Christchurch continue its rapid growth rate, with The Hub in Hornby continue to expand and further CBD developments due to open later in 2017. With an influx in job vacancies, retailers seeking to hire will need to act quickly when presented with a strong candidate.
For full copy of the Frontline Retail Salary Guide please visit: www.frontlineretail.co.nz