Competition for cashiers forces Kaufland to up salaries

The Czech Republic’s discount chain Kaufland, owned by Germany’s Schwarz, has announced its plans to significantly increase employees’ salaries.

Illustrative photo: Tomáš AdamecIllustrative photo: Tomáš Adamec As of the beginning of June, the average monthly wage of cashiers in Kaufland will reach an average 24, 000 crowns, which is an increase of about 25 percent to the current salary, the daily Hospodářské noviny reported on Thursday.

Kaufland, the Czech Republic’s biggest chain based on turnover, has been struggling with an outflow of employees. As a result, customers complained about long queues and disarray.

The chain has also reacted to a significant salary hike by rival supermarket chain Lidl, which was recently increased the cashier’s average monthly wage to 28,000 crowns.

“Shop assistants and cashiers in the Czech Republic are willing to change jobs even for an extra thousand crowns. Migration on these posts is very high, just like in workers’ professions, Jitka Součková, spokeswoman for the Grafton recruitment agency, told the daily Hospodářské noviny.

“People know that Lidl pays better so they are willing to try it. Those who don’t react fast enough won’t have enough employees,” she said.

According to the spokeswoman of Lidl, Zuzana Holá, the retail chain registered a 50 percent increase in applications after announcing the salary increase.

Management of other chains, including Billa, Tesco and Penny Market are currently negotiating with the unions about new collective agreement for next year.

“We hope that the salary hike in Kaufland will inspire other chains to do the same thing,” Renáta Burianová of the central organisation of the retail sector-focused union told the daily.

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