It’s that time of year!
Our inboxes are already flooded with anticipatory deals, and we might have made a little list of all the goodies we want to snap up when the biggest retail weekend of the year rolls around!
If Black Friday and Cyber Monday get you more excited than most, there could be something worth pursuing here regarding your next career steps.
If you love shopping, there’s no better industry to explore than retail!
What are Black Friday and Cyber Monday?
Black Friday and Cyber Monday are two of the biggest shopping retail days in the year.
Black Friday covers in-store shopping, and Cyber Monday offers a similar discount retail experience but for online shopping.
Traditionally, Black Friday follows the Friday after Thanksgiving, offering shoppers the chance to get in a little retail therapy while on a long weekend holiday. It’s also seen as the perfect opportunity to make a head start on some holiday shopping for the Christmas season ahead!
What Does a Career in Retail Look Like?
The retail and customer service sector encompasses more than your average high street: online retail is booming, and the opportunities to build a successful career in the industry are strong!
It’s estimated that 50% of all adults currently work or have worked in some form of retail at some point in their careers. The industry exhibits excellent diversity in business size, region, retail format, sectors, and the nature of goods sold.
You can find retail and customer service work across:
- Food and Beverage Retail
- Fuel, Motor & Mechanical Retail
- Hardware, Building & Gardening Retail
- Clothing and Footwear Retail
- Cross-Selling Department Stores
- Furniture and Homegoods Retail
- Small and Boutique Retail
- High Street Retail
- High-End Fashion Retail
- Online Retail
There’s lots of part-time and casual work, which tends to suit students, and longer-term, permanent opportunities too. This flexibility makes it suited to different lifestyles, which is one of the reasons it’s a popular pathway for many.
Entry into the sector is as varied as the available roles, so no matter what academic pathway you choose, there’ll be an opportunity to start with a retail career.
5 Great Retail Roles to Explore
Job roles in the industry are varied. Some areas may require specialist qualifications, particularly in fashion design or high-end/senior retail or customer service roles.
Here’s a little look at some of the most common roles you could explore:
- Retail Assistant: Retail Sales Assistants are responsible for providing customers with a positive, informative, and engaging shopping experience. They may also assist with the coordination and training of other staff, depending on their experience within a given store environment.
- Retail Manager: Retail Managers run a store or group of stores successfully. Their day involves working across different business areas, including front-of-store, storage, warehouse, back-office administration, finance, and budgeting. They are responsible for ensuring their staff provide excellent customer service and monitoring the financial performance to ensure the store achieves Key Performance Indicators (KPI). They may also handle customer complaints and be responsible for stock orders.
- Retail Buyer: Retail Buyers are responsible for considering which goods will sell well in particular locations and what prices customers are prepared to pay. They spend a lot of time researching customer demands and trends by processing store sales and inventory reports. They then use this data to decide what stock to order and how much. They can work for a high-street retailer, department stores, warehouses, and supermarkets.
- Customer Service Manager: Customer Service Managers oversee a team or teams of customer service assistants and provide vital support to do their jobs well. This may include giving problem-solving resources, answering complicated or unusual customer requests, hiring and training new staff, providing human resource support, and managing KPIs, policies, and procedures.
- Retail Wholesale & Logistics: In wholesale distribution, goods arriving from a manufacturer are first inventoried, and arrangements are made for shipping goods to the point of sale. It’s a vast component of the retail sector that ensures stores have all the products they need to serve customers. You could work as Logistics Manager, Warehouse Manager, Delivery Driver, Accountant, and Wholesale Advisor in these roles.
Find Out More
These job roles are only just scratching the surface!
Each industry segment will include administrative and other support functions, including marketing, communications, human resources, and accounting.
As more retailers move to deliver online experiences, there are increasing roles for web development, web store management, marketing, and online customer service support.
We’re always adding new employers across a wide range of sectors, so check back regularly to see who’s new!