Retail Dogma

Highest Paying Retail Jobs

Retail as an industry is considered one of the biggest employers in the U.S. , and provides a good entry point for many people starting their careers, as well as temporary jobs between jobs for a lot of us.

While the common reporting on retail jobs usually represents store-based roles, and hence reports low paying jobs in general, retail as an industry in itself has some of the most fulfilling career options, with high paying jobs across the different functions, from operations, to buying and merchandising.

Many of the people who start at entry level store jobs grow within the industry very fast, if they have the passion and right business skills and acumen. In this article, we are going to list some of the highest paying retail jobs, including store-based role.

1. Luxury Retail Sales Associates

Luxury brands require a certain set of soft skills to deliver their brand experience to their customers through clienteling, and so they are ready to pay for the right profile that has those skills.

What Retail Stores Pay The Most Per Hour?

Luxury retailers have the highest rate per hour for store-based roles. For example, the average salary for a retail sales associate at Chanel is $40/hr, Cartier $25/hr, Louis Vuitton $23/hr and Gucci $21/hr.

Highest Paying Luxury Retail Sales Jobs

EmployerAverage Salary (hourly)
Tiffany & Co.$25
Data Source: Glassdoor

2. Big Box Retail Store Manager

Store manager salaries depend on the size and turnover of the stores they are operating, with a national average salary of $68,216.

The bigger the store and the higher the turnover, the higher the store manager salary.

Some of the bigger stores call a person in this role a General Manager rather than a Store Manager. This is because, typically at such high volume of sales and big size of a team, the job is more of a general management of a business unit, with more responsibilities and requirements of higher leadership skills. 

Such a role would also be managing a team of managers, with each one responsible for their respective departments and teams.

See Also: Walmart Management Structure

According to Walmart a Store Manager can earn between $65,000 and $170,000, and the average wage for this job in 2021 was $210,000, which makes it rank as one of the highest paying retail jobs that are store-based.

Highest Paying Store Manager Jobs

EmployerAverage Store Manager Salary (annual)
The Home Depot$103,301
Lowe's Home Improvement$102,609
DICK's Sporting Goods$97,470
Pet Smart$82,833
Bed Bath & Beyond$81,083
Victoria's Secret$75,058
Data Source: Glassdoor

Complete the learning path and receive a career certificate in Operational Retail Management or Commercial Retail Management

career certificate in retail management

3. Buyer

Buying is one of the most important retail functions, and every big retailer recognizes that.

Buyers directly affect the top line and bottom line of the business through their choice of merchandise, and so retail companies are ready to invest in hiring good buyers.

While the national average salary for a Buyer is $63,198, this salary quickly jumps to six figures at many big retailers.

Highest Paying Buyer Jobs

EmployerAverage Buyer Salary (annual)
Ross Stores$115,753
Data Source: Glassdoor

4. Merchandise Planner

Merchandise planners work hand in hand with buyers to bring the right merchandise in the right quantities, to deliver the sales targets of the business.

So, just like buyers, merchandise planners are extremely important to the retail organization, because they work out all the numbers, factor in all the trends, and give the buyers the purchasing budget to buy with. Because their job is so critical, it is one of the highest paying retail jobs.

The average salary for a Merchandise Planner is $84,885, and at many retailers this figure exceeds $100K.

Highest Paying Merchandise Planner Jobs

EmployerAverage Merchandise Planner Salary (annual)
Saks Fifth Avenue$127,685
J.C. Penny$114,996
Victoria's Secret$108,120
Tommy Hilfiger$107,492
Bath & Body Works$105,613
Bed Bath & Beyond$101,304
Data Source: Glassdoor

Complete the learning path and receive a career certificate in Operational Retail Management or Commercial Retail Management

career certificate in retail management

5. Category Manager

A lot of big box retailers like grocery chains and ecommerce giants like Amazon divide the business into categories and put a category manager on top of each category to manage it end-to-end.

Read Also: Category Management

Because Category Managers are essentially business unit managers, with full responsibility of the top-line and bottom line of their respective categories, this role is one of the highest paying retail jobs.

The average salary for a Category Manager is $93,792, and many retailers pay more than $100,000 for this job.

Highest Paying Category Manager Jobs

EmployerAverage Category Manager Salary (annual)
CVS Health$126,242
Whole Foods Market$101,794
Data Source: Glassdoor

6. Retail Recruiter

Unlike recruitment in other industries, retail recruitment is a very demanding job. The talent acquisition team at big retail companies are constantly hiring in mass for new store openings, and to fill store roles that get vacant.

That’s why the salary of a retail recruiter is typically higher than the average salary for this job. 

For example, while the national average salary for a recruiter is $52657, we have found that at many retail companies the salaries range from $70K and goes beyond $100K at some retailers.

EmployerAverage Recruiter Salary (annual)
J.C. Penny$106,053
Whole Foods Market$101,794
Whole Foods Market$81,724
CVS Health$73,563
Data Source: Glassdoor
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