Tue, Jun 25, 2019 - Page 10 News List

Uniqlo mulls pay hike for star workers

Bloomberg

Asia’s largest retailer is hoping that a US$280,000 annual salary and a managerial title in three years will lure top talent as it grapples with one of the tightest labor markets in Japanese history.

The salary being considered by Uniqlo owner Fast Retailing Co would be more than three times the average pay at the company, and nearly 10 times the national average in Japan for those with similar employment tenures.

The higher pay is meant to draw in talented people to Fast Retailing and is being considered by CEO Tadashi Yanai, the company said.

He is mulling putting the higher salaries into effect next spring.

The effort follows a move earlier this year to raise compensation for some new hires.

The company is considering promising young talent a move into management within three years with annual salaries of ¥20 million to ¥30 million (US$186,219 to US$279,329) for those sent to the US or Europe, and more than ¥10 million for those in Japan, according to a Nikkei report from an interview with Yanai.

Tech companies in Japan have made similar moves to draw in young talent, promising million dollar salaries and raising starting pay by 20 percent for top candidates.

The average Fast Retailing annual pay was about ¥8.77 million as of August last year, company filings showed.

The lowest salary at the company was about ¥4 million a year, Nikkei said, citing previous data from the company’s recruiting Web site.

Nationally, the average annual salary for workers with up to four years of work experience was ¥3.1 million in 2017, Japan’s National Tax Agency data showed.

Fast Retailing assigns most fresh recruits to work in Uniqlo stores, but under the new system, more would be sent to specialized departments that suit their skills in areas, the Nikkei report said.

The company would then choose candidates for managerial positions in Japan and overseas after three to five years, it said.

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