2019 Retail Salary Guide

January 23, 2019 5 mins read
2019 Retail Salary Guide

Expected salary ranges in 2019 for Retail professionals in Shanghai.

Store Management | Retail Operation Management | Store Expansion & Business Development | Franchise & Account Management | Planning | Merchandising & Buying | VM & Design | Retail Training
Commentary on Retail Roles and Remuneration in Shanghai for 2019

Basic Salary Per Month (¥‎)


Store Management
ROLE Low High
Store Manager 15,000 35,000
Flagship store GM 30,000 50,000
Retail Operation Management
ROLE Low High
Area Manager 25,000 50,000
Regional Manager 35,000 60,000
Retail Director 50,000 100,000
Retail GM 70,000 150,000
Retail Operation Manager 25,000 50,000
Retail Operation Director 45,000 75,000
Store Expansion & Business Development
ROLE Low High
Store Expansion Manager 25,000 50,000
Store Expansion Director 55,000 100,000
Business Development Manager 20,000 50,000
Busines Development Manager 50,000 100,000
Franchise & Account Management
ROLE Low High
KA Manager 20,000 40,000
KA Director 40,000 100,000
Wholesale Manager 20,000 40,000
Wholesale Director 40,000 100,000


ROLE Low High
Retail Planning Manager 25,000 50,000
Retail Planning Director 50,000 100,000
Merchandising Planning Manager 20,000 45,000
Merchandising Planning Director 45,000 100,000
Inventory Planning Manager 20,000 40,000
Inventory Planning Director 40,000 70,000
Demand Planning Manager 25,000 50,000
Demand Planning Director 50,000 100,000
Merchandising & Buying
ROLE Low High
Merchandiser 15,000 30,000
Merchandising Manager 25,000 50,000
Merchandising Director 50,000 120,000
Buyer 20,000 40,000
Buying Manager 30,000 60,000
Buying Director 50,000 120,000


VM & Design
ROLE Low High
Visual Merchandiser 20,000 40,000
VM Manager 25,000 50,000
VM Director 45,000 100,000
Graphic Designer 20,000 40,000
Graphic Design Manager 30,000 50,000
Graphic Design Director 50,000 100,000
Fashion Designer 20,000 40,000
Fashion Design Manager 30,000 50,000
Fashion Design Director 50,000 100,000
Retail Training
ROLE Low High
Sales Coach 15,000 30,000
In-store Trainer 15,000 30,000
Field Trainer 20,000 35,000
Training Manager 30,000 50,000
Training Director 50,000 100,000
Trainer -Academy 20,000 40,000
Training Manager -Academy 30,000 50,000
Training Director -Academy 50,000 100,000



Commentary on Retail Roles and Remuneration in Shanghai for 2019


2018 Trends in the Retail Recruitment in Greater China

China is home to the world’s largest e-commerce and retail market with sales continually increasing year-on-year. Recruitment in the sector experienced positive growth in 2018, powered by innovation, opportunities in e-commerce and the ongoing integration of online and offline retail. We saw both replacement hires and new roles emerging in 2018 with the market remaining active and dynamic in every quarter. The rapid growth of digital retailing in the past few years has led to the emergence of new omnichannel or O2O positions (online-to-offline), a hiring trend set to remain for the coming few years. As clients continue to merge online and offline retail in today’s omnichannel reality, new functions in e-commerce, business planning, buying and merchandising continue to materialise, presenting abundant opportunities for candidates. While it remains a job seekers market, we do see some discrepancy in pay rises between traditional and new retail functions. While traditional roles typically command salary increases of around 20-30 per cent, we see this jump to 40-50 per cent for adequately skilled omnichannel, e-commerce and other digital transformation-focused talent. Hiring managers are finding it more challenging to pin down expertise in these new retail categories, and candidates often have the luxury of comparing two or more offers before accepting a role.

In-demand Roles, Skills and Qualifications for Retail Professionals

In 2018, retail training talents were one of the most highly sought after experts in the market. As companies endeavour to improve the in-store experience they offer to customers and differentiate themselves from competitors, individuals that can provide sales, customer service and other employee training remained hot.

We saw continued demand for experienced buyers that can source new merchandise and review existing items to ensure products remain competitive for both e-commerce and offline. Retail planning roles also grew in number as organisations reviewed their brick-and-mortar retail strategies, set sales targets and managed new store expansion.

China retail employment is already focusing on the soft skills required to create an agile workforce and candidates with strong interpersonal, communications and presentation skills were highly sought after, as too were those of the right culture fit for an organisation.

Requirements for sales and product-related positions are placing less value in traditionally sought-after education and qualifications. However, organisations do expect talent in supply chain logistics, warehouse and distribution management and quality control to possess relevant industry certifications.

Workplace Trends Impacting Retail Professionals in Mainland China

When it comes to talent background, in 2018 the preference remained on domestically cultivated Chinese talent over foreign professionals. While three to five years ago expat professionals were highly sought after to bring expertise from more mature markets, the swift changes in China’s retail market have brought about more localisation in hiring trends.

A competitive labour market, new technology and the changing expectations of younger generations is galvanising flexible working trends. Previously candidates limited their considerations to the package and title offered, today they are paying closer attention to flexibility of working hours, opportunities to work remotely, work-life balance and company culture.

While the ongoing US-China trade war may cause some disruptions for MNCs, large retail and import-export companies, overall, the impact on China’s retail market is expected to be minimal.

In the past 12 months, social media has impacted recruitment and hiring from an organisation and candidate perspective. While information on the realities of working at an organisation is easier to come by, there have been adverse effects and we see organisations bolstering their employer branding efforts on social networks as a result. GDPR is impacting the processing of candidate data in the EU, and while this is not applicable to China, we expect new technology to play a role in both the protection and release of candidates’ personal details going forward.

What Does the Future Hold for Retail Professionals? Predictions for 2019 and Beyond

The future looks incredibly bright for China’s retail sector in 2019, and we remain confident that recruitment will experience strong growth as this booming industry continues to mature.

New technology will impact how customers shop in-store and online and we expect organisations to integrate innovations that transform the shopping journey. The traditional retail sector will continue its evolution throughout 2019, presenting challenges to be overcome and opportunities to be seized.

Advice for clients in 2019 is to keep an open mind when selecting talent. The e-commerce market, in particular, will be fiercely competitive and organisations should remain highly selective to ensure they find the right candidate. Advice for job seekers is to be patient; the market is hot and there are vast opportunities for those with the right skills and experience. Be sure to take a 360-degree perspective when selecting a role, taking into consideration your long-term career path and the likely development of the retail sector.

Marlon Mai's picture
Marlon Mai
Managing Director, Greater China