The industry employs millions of workers in a variety of roles, from sales and customer service to stocking shelves and managing stores. And while many retailers are struggling in the current economy, others are doing quite well, which means there are plenty of job opportunities for those looking to enter the field or advance their careers. Sales associate is perhaps the most common retail job, and also one of the most entry-level. Sales associates typically help customers find what they’re looking for, answer questions about products, and ring up purchases. The job doesn’t require a lot of experience or education, but it is important to be friendly and helpful- customers will remember good service and are more likely to come back (and spend more money) at a store where they had a positive experience.
Stock clerk or stocker is another entry-level retail position. Stock clerks keep shelves stocked with merchandise and may also help set up displays; some may even assist with customer orders if the store gets busy. It’s important to be able to lift heavy boxes (sometimes 50 pounds or more) and have good organizational skills; stockroom work can be chaotic, so being able to stay calm under pressure is key. Most stock clerk jobs don’t require any formal education beyond a high school diploma.
Cashier is another common retail job, though one that requires slightly more skill than being a sales associate or stock clerk- cashiers must be able handle money quickly and accurately (often during very busy times), as well as provide excellent customer service. Many cashiers also have other responsibilities such as running the store’s loyalty program or returns desk; some may even serve as assistant manager when needed. Cashiering generally doesn’t require much formal education either, although some employers prefer candidates who have completed at least some college coursework
The retail industry employs millions of people across the United States and offers a variety of job opportunities, from entry-level positions to management roles. Getting a job in retail can be a great way to start your career or earn some extra income.
Here are some tips to help you get started:
1. Start by writing down what you want in a retail job. What hours are you available to work? What days? Do you want full-time or part-time work? What kind of setting do you prefer – indoor or outdoor, fast-paced or slow-paced? Once you have an idea of what you’re looking for, it will be easier to find the right job opportunity.
2. Take advantage of technology and search for retail jobs online. There are many websites that list open positions in retail stores near you (such as Indeed, Glassdoor, Craigslist and Job.Guide), so take some time to browse through them. You can also check with specific Job Board websites – most have a section dedicated to employment opportunities, example being https://job.guide/i/jobs-retail.html or https://www.glassdoor.com/Job/retail-jobs-SRCH_KO0,6.htm
3. Get your resume in order and customize it for each position you apply for. Many retail employers require applicants to submit a resume, so make sure yours is up-to-date and includes relevant information such as customer service experience, previous work in the retail industry (if any), and education/training related to the field. If you don’t have much experience, don’t worry – highlight other skills that would make you good at the job (such as being able to handle multiple tasks simultaneously or having a friendly personality).
4. Cover all your bases and fill out an application form even if it isn’t required by the employer. This shows that you’re serious about getting the job and willing to put in the extra effort; plus, if they happen to lose your resume, they still have all your information on file! Application forms can usually be found on retailers’ websites or obtained in person at the store itself; just make sure to follow instructions carefully and fill out all required fields truthfully (including dates of employment and references).
5) Submit your application/resume either online or in person (depending on what the employer prefers).
6) Be patient – depending on how popular the position is and how many applications they receive, it could take weeks or even months before hearing back from potential employers.
7) When contacted for an interview, dress professionally and arrive early.
8) During the interview itself, try not answer questions with simple “yes” or “no” responses; elaborate where possible without going off on tangents.
9) Afterward, send thank-you emails/notes promptly to everyone who interviewed you – this demonstrates politeness as well as keen interest in working for the company.
10) Last but not least…be prepared to start working hard once hired! Retail jobs may not always be glamorous but they can be rewarding – both financially and personally.
The top 10 largest retailers in the US account for about 25% of all retail sales in the country. Walmart is by far the largest retailer in the US, with total sales of $367 billion in 2016 (equivalent to about 8% of total US retail sales). Other large retailers include Amazon, Target, Costco, and Kroger.
The US retail industry is highly fragmented, with thousands of small mom-and-pop stores accounting for a significant portion of total retail sales. However, the top 10 largest retailers account for a much larger share of total retail sales than they do in other countries. In China, for example, the top 10 retailers only account for about 5% of total retail sales.
While Walmart’s store count and revenues are impressive, its profits are even more so. Walmart reported net income (profits) of $13 billion in 2016 on revenues of $486 billion – an impressive profit margin of 2.7%. This means that for every dollar of revenue it generates, Walmart keeps 27 cents as profit. By comparison, Amazon had a profit margin of just 1% last year despite being almost twice as large as Walmart by revenue ($136 billion).
Target is another one of America’s large discount retailers and was founded in 1902 as Dayton Dry Goods Company before changing its name to Target Corporation in 2000. Today, Target operates more than 1,800 stores across America and had revenues of $71 .3 billion last year.