Retail Hiring Forecast for 2016 in Canada

Retail Hiring Forecast for 2016 in Canada

By Mark Swartz

Yes, 2015 turned out to be a turbulent year for Canadian retailing. The rapid departure of Target stores left gaping holes in many malls and many merchandisers struggled to balance online sales with their physical outlets.

No despair, things look to be more interesting in 2016. Merchandising sales are expected to rise overall. But not every retailer or province will benefit. Meanwhile new luxury stores will enter Canada and raise the competitive bar. So this is a good time to update your retail resume and look for that perfect job.

Where will those jobs be in this year? Find out as Monster Canada looks at some bellwether trends and forecasts.


Sales And Employment To Rise In 2016

In the overall, Canada’s merchandising sales are projected to climb +3.6% in 2016. That’s according to retail consultant Ed Strapagiel. This increase compares to an estimated bump of +2.2% in 2015 and +4.6% in 2014.

Is retail the career for you? The 2016 Manpower Employment Outlook Survey tallied its responses recently. Wholesale & Retail Trade employers here anticipate hiring to grow +3% for first quarter 2016.


Regional Employment Forecast in Retail/Merchandising

Digging deeper into that Q1 2016 Manpower Survey, the retail and merchandising category is broken out by region. Almost every province is poised for job growth in this area.



Projected Job Increase

Atlantic Canada






Western Canada



However, La Belle Province, Quebec is an exception. Retail/merchandising employers there reported their weakest hiring plans since Quarter 3 2011. Alberta also faces decreases. In their case depressed oil prices are leading to higher unemployment.


Opportunities In E-Commerce

A survey by mobile app company Apptentive found that 51 per cent of respondents with retail mobile apps use them while shopping in-store. This allows retailers to engage customers, build loyalty and improve the overall shopping experience. Persuading consumers to download and use their mobile apps is the holy grail of online shopping.

Yet even as the ranks of Canadian smartphone users grow, Statistics Canada reports that just 19% of Canadian companies have websites optimized for mobile. It’s easy to see why retail job opportunities in such areas asOnline Locatability are in demand.

This year will also be the one that enables “IWWIWWIWI”: I want what I want when I want it. With the advent of instant order apps, shoppers can pre-order and pick-up without waiting in line. Its first cousin is click-and-collect, finally gaining steam in Canada by Loblaw, Walmart and others.


Luxury Retailers Are In For A Battle

At the higher end of the retail industry, Saks Fifth Avenue will open its first stores in Canada in 2016. Seattle-based Nordstrom, which arrived here about a year ago, will add more outlets. At the same time, fashion chain La Maison Simons will continue to expand beyond its Quebec base. Job opportunities for new retail hopefuls? You bet!


Plenty Of Jobs Available

With all of this change going on, openings abound. The majority of employment for merchandising is still inretail jobs that pay under $50,000 a year. Many of these are for entry-level or junior people. But further up the ranks are retail management jobs that can pay over $60,000 - $100,000 a year.

2016 can be your year, your time to explore a career in retailing. If so, check our retail job offerings frequently. The position that fits you could be a few clicks away.


Q1 2016 Manpower Employment Outlook Survey; Manpower, Dec 2015
The Canadian Business Stories to Watch in 2016; Globe and Mail, Jan 1 2016
Shopper Marketing Trends for 2016; (Canadian marketing mag), Dec 16, 2015
Apptentive Survey on Mobile App Usage; Mobile Marketer, Sep 15 2015
Statistics Canada survey on Digital Technology Use, StatsCan, 2013 (most recent available from them)
The Five Retail Trends That Will Shape How We Shop In 2015; Globe and Mail, Dec 30 2015

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