Jun 1, 2021 - News
Retail supplier recruiting rebounds as retail sales pick up
Data: Census Bureau; Chart: Axios Visuals

Business for Cameron Smith & Associates (CSA), a recruiter for NWA's retail supplier industry, is back to pre-pandemic levels.

Why it matters: Recruiting within the retail supplier industry is a sign of optimism in the economy.

Driving the news: Retail sales in April were flat, but in March they were up more than 10%, which was the largest gain in the previous 10 months, reports Axios' Hope King.

Context: Cameron Smith's initial focus when he founded the company in 1994 was on the supplier industry, though it now accounts for between 30% to 40% of his business.

  • CSA is still a top recruiter for the industry, serving an estimated 1,600 suppliers and 400 "suppliers to suppliers," like design, packaging and display companies.
  • CSA's placements plummeted by 85% in the second quarter of 2020 as companies everywhere had hiring freezes.
  • But as summer wore on, businesses started filling empty spots again, keeping recruiters busy.

Smith's business, which has diversified into other fields including construction and international C-suite placements, is on track for a record year, he said.

What to watch: Walmart's annual shareholders' meeting is Wednesday, which may give some indication of how its leaders are thinking about the rest of 2021.

avatar

Get more local stories in your inbox with Axios NW Arkansas.

More NW Arkansas stories

No stories could be found

NW Arkansaspostcard

Get a free daily digest of the most important news in your backyard with Axios NW Arkansas.