JRoss’ Retail Talent Spotlight - for pre-holiday 2023 and beyond!

With the holiday season and New Year approaching, mixed messages add uncertainty to anticipation. The solution? Finding the right talent at the right time!


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As the holiday season approaches, retailers are gearing up for the busiest time of the year. With increased demand and major increases in bricks & mortar traffic, the need for a focus on customer service and sales – and the retail professionals who make that happen – can’t be overstated.

The demand for retailers is up, with Statistic Canada reporting that full-time retail employment in October was up 3.4% YoY, and GlobalData reporting Canada had a 44% increase in new retail job postings in Q2 over Q1. And while Leger’s presentation on consumer insights at the Retail Council of Canada’s “Retail West” conference on November 2 showed challenges, there was also room for optimism.

Leger reported that retail spending for Christmas is expected to shine, with consumers planning to increase their holiday spend by 14%, indicating a resilient consumer base. Adding to the positive picture, Statistics Canada has reported YoY growth in core retail sales for every month in 2023, from a low of 1.2% growth in June to a high of 3.9% in April – comparing favourably to an average of 2.1% in 2019.

Leger’s findings also revealed an interesting contrast. While 63% of consumers believe Canada is in a recession, that’s actually not the case. This misunderstanding may be contributing to negative sentiments, as 58% of consumers feel their household income is good or very good, and 68% reported that their discretionary income was stable or even higher than it was in 2022.

Given the positive signs mixed in with others pointing elsewhere, the key to success in Canadian retail will be maximizing business during the upcoming holidays, setting the stage for the New Year, and then moving quickly to adjust when the New Year arrives. We can help you with all three.

The retail leaders needed to maximize business now are still open to chatting pre-holiday. That has the potential to set up quick success in filling key roles, whether with pre-holiday hires or setting the stage for successful hires within the first few weeks of the Near Year. For more challenging or senior level searches, collecting the background now can help align resources with New Year's plans after January fine-tuning, allowing for swift execution when the time comes.

You can reach out any time to see which approach makes the most sense for you and see how we can help – we’d be happy to chat.


To see how we can help you find the great retail leaders you need, just look below for a few examples!


These are just a few of the high performing retail professionals we’ve worked with :

Vice President – Store Operations (Vancouver)

This seasoned executive leader is poised to play a pivotal role in shaping your organization's future. With extensive experience as a brand leader within a Fortune 100 company, they have successfully developed and executed strategic directions for a vast network of 125+ stores across Canada. Overseeing one of the organization's largest profit centers, they have managed a financial portfolio generating over $2.8 billion in revenue while nurturing leaders who prioritize employee engagement, training, and development. The result has been exceptional customer experiences and robust sales performance. Currently seeking roles at the Regional or VP level, this high performing operator has the expertise and experience to successfully implement brand strategies, drive complex sales and new business initiatives, and adeptly manage retail processes to ensure sustained profitability.

Senior Buyer/Product Developer (Montreal)

Stylish and on-trend, this highly accomplished candidate has 10+ years of senior cross-functional buying, product development and leadership skills and experience. They bring depth and breadth to women’s contemporary fashion, both RTW and private label categories, working in both mass and niche markets, junior fashion-forward to luxury accessories, and prestige beauty product categories. This results-focused candidate is a global buying manager, currently catering to both domestic and international markets, and is a strong margin builder. Having recently moved into a merchant leadership role accountable for 40% of the business, this top-shelf product leader manages a seasoned team of international buyers responsible for multiple OTB budgets across multiple time zones. Their extensive knowledge of the competitive landscape makes this high-performing merchant an ideal choice to support any retail organization looking to tackle the diverse global marketplace and increase business contribution.

Ecommerce Manager (Toronto)

This customer-focused e-commerce and marketing pro excels at building and optimizing digital platforms and B2B/B2C market strategies. They’re a proven big-picture strategist, having helped transform businesses to go digital and access untapped markets through a comprehensive understanding of user demographics, trends and preferences. They combine this with a deep knowledge of UI/UX, monitoring techniques and web service technologies to translate strategic vision into operational roadmaps and unlock omnichannel growth. This creative thinker is able to ask the right questions and act on emerging trends. They’ve structured, revamped and implemented e-commerce platforms that grew monthly revenues by up to 50% while contributing to higher customer loyalty, increased brand presence, and lower attrition.

District Manager (Calgary)

This modern-day sales leader has extensive experience with leading brands in contemporary premium apparel and luxury goods. They are a high-volume store/multi-unit manager who increased their company’s “customer experience index” by elevating all aspects of the in-store experience. As a keen merchant, they drive sales in key product categories by ensuring proper assortment and depth and utilize creative visual merchandising for store-specific results. In Calgary’s hot luxury market, they increased the loyalty and shopping frequency of top-tier clients by ensuring consistency in clientele development efforts across all locations. This seasoned professional is well-versed in leading forward-thinking sales teams, setting a benchmark for quality in operations.


These are just a few of the searches we’ve worked on for top-performing retail organizations like yours :

Art Director (Vancouver – currently open)

This growing apparel retailer is seeking an Art Director with a consumer-centric and commercial design mentality, to oversee all creative aspects of in-store, digital content and communication. It’s an exciting opportunity to redefine their visual identity and creative direction as this revitalizing brand embarks on a brand-new chapter in 2024. The ideal candidate has previous art direction experience with a design agency or in-house fashion branding experience. We’re actively searching for just the right creative leader to build the strategy and manage the budget for in-store and on-line execution for this premium apparel brand.

Store Manager (Quebec City – successfully filled)

Our client is recognized as one of Canada’s most trusted brands, with a leading reputation in their market sector. Most customers leave their stores as raving fans. They needed a key operator to successfully operate a high-volume store while sharing their interests and experience in the outdoors with customers who share that enthusiasm. We found them a results-driven and customer-focused operator, one with the strong leadership skills required to oversee this high-volume, big-box operation. New in their role this year, their new Store Manager is now actively working to positively impact Q4 results, while inspiring everyone around them with their general enthusiasm and solid operational skills to do the same.

Director of Logistics (Montreal – successfully filled)

This retailer is very proud to be one of Canada's emerging home-grown success stories, with hundreds of stores in small and large towns from Newfoundland to Vancouver Island. They asked us to find them a dynamic Director of Logistics to be responsible for their third-party distribution, distribution center and transportation network management and budgets. We found them a leader who is skilled in optimizing logistics and supply chain networks, streamlining operations, and maximizing available resources. Armed with certifications and an MBA, they came to the table with a demonstrated track record in managing complex logistics functions, directing business operations, and identifying opportunities for growth.

Senior Loyalty Program Manager (Winnipeg – currently open)

This company provides corporate shared support and third-party logistics services to a group of affiliated Canadian retailers. As they currently implement a multi-brand loyalty program across five retail banners this year, they need a proven leader to drive the successful business launch of the program, and grow it over time. As a key member of the marketing team, their new Senior Loyalty Program Manager will be responsible for ensuring that the loyalty program design and features are successfully implemented across all brands and channels and that they deliver a superior experience to existing and new loyalty members.


For over twenty years we’ve assisted leading Canadian retailers in filling roles including:

  • The executive suite
  • Single-and multi-unit operator roles
  • Key head office support roles.

With offices in Vancouver, Calgary, Toronto and Montreal, we deliver on searches across the country. Whether it’s one key hire or a project you need help with, just let us know.



Please contact Lee Arthur-Burke at 416.410.5316 x 1 or send an email to lee.arthurburke@jrossrecruiters.com



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