The Retail Wage Gap

By Sam Iontton19/10/2022

In the UK, the amount that the average person gets paid is a hot topic, with strikes and other actions being taken up and down the country over the course of 2022. Most of the arguments we’ve seen going on via the media have been centred around transportation and logistics workers, but the retail sector is also affected by low wages and long hours across the board.

This disparity is highlighted even further when you look at how much CEO’s get paid compared to their own workers. Displaysense have reviewed the annual reports of 5 of the most profitable retailers in the UK to understand how wide the wage gap is between those at the top and bottom of the ladder.

CEOs vs. their workers

Almost unsurprisingly, the CEO of Amazon Andrew R. Jassy rakes in the highest income of all the CEOs we looked at, earning a staggering £196,072,191. This is a crazy contrast to the average Amazon warehouse workers annual salary of just over £20k.

Annual Wages

Annual Wages

Per hour, this translates to…

Hourly Wages

All of this number crunching made us think…

How many years would an Amazon employee need to work to earn the CEO’s annual wage packet?

And the answer is quite shocking - scroll down to find out.

The other retailers aren’t quite as bad as this, but it would still take over 2x the average lifespan of a human to earn their annual salaries in most cases.


We based our piece off the top 10 retailers in the UK based on sales in billion GDP - Source

We chose to gather data that has come directly from the retailers themselves rather than relying on 3rd party sites like Glassdoor and Indeed, who often aggregate their data to formulate an average.

Only 5 of these retailers published annual reports that we could access, so Asda, Aldi, The Co-operative, Lidl, and Boots were eliminated from the piece.

CEO wages – data was gathered from annual 2021/2022 reports published by each retailer. We focused on the total remuneration of the CEO/s for each company (annual salary plus bonuses, performance pay, stocks, etc.). Hourly wage was calculated based on a 37.5 hour working week, assuming 256 workable days of the year (annual wage / 256 days / 7.5 hours)
Retail worker wages – we reviewed press releases/news articles for each retailer to get the standard hourly wage of the average worker. We then calculated the average annual wage based on a 37 hour working week, assuming 256 workable days of the year (hourly wage x 7.5 hours x 256 days)
Any calculations/estimates were based on the above figures.


CEO Wage, page 78 -

Worker wage


CEO wage, page 82 Report 2022/J Sainsbury plc Annual Report and Financial Statements 2022.pdf

Worker wage

CEO wage, page 98 –
Worker wage
CEO wage, page 73 –
Worker wage
CEO wage, page 3 –
Worker wage