As a manager of retail operators they really take some stick day in day out whereas you might have an RST guy who does little but opening doors, potentially going after every shift to see their family, similar hours to a retail operator. If you compared their job spec side by side with little knowledge of the industry I wonder which you give the higher wage too.
The question suffers a flawed approach to basic rules of economy, from which the Security industry is not exempt.
By linking the wages to the amount of "punishment" the Security Officer takes during his/her shift, the question implies that the wages paid for an hour's work are a sort of compensation for the Security Officer's inconvenience. While the term compensation is widely used in the business world, it is ill-fitted to describe the dynamics of work and payment.
In reality, the money earned in security (and anywhere else) is akin to renting another person's skills. I pay you to guard my store, meaning I am renting your set of skills in order to prevent damage to my business.
Now through those lenses, and not those of compensation for damage, we must examine the situation and in my opinion, a CPO offers a set of skills and services which a retail Security Officer simply cannot match.
Whether the client chooses to make use of the full extent of the CPO's skill set is a different question (most of them barely scratch the surface) is a different question. And yet the skills of a good CPO are rarer and harder to come by than that of a retail Security Officer.
If a retail Security Officer is exceptionally talented and can match a CPO, then he/she is in the wrong job and are contributing to the professional inflation which is rapidly ruining the industry.
Loss Prevention is an essential function, and undoubtedly affects bottom line profits in a positive way. But Loss Prevention is an enterprise wide function, and the amount of personnel input and the level of impact of each person is small when relative to the individual, therefore although the strategy is extremely valuable, the loss prevention officer as an individual has less value to the organisation.
Compare this to a Personal Protection Officer of the company CEO. Although they are acting within an EP Program, as part of a larger function, the individual value of the PPO and the impacts of failure are more direct and less shared. As an example, if the CEO is kidnapped the company stand to potentially lose millions in cash, plus damage to brand reputation which is priceless. The PPO is the sole risk barrier on the ground in this case, and inevitably deserves a reflective salary, cost to benefit. It sounds harsh from an individual perspective, the worth of a persons well-being, but loss prevention and close protection are ultimately business functions, as is the rest of security, and will be calculated as such.