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.


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