Retail Career

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Overview About the Retail Career

The Retail career is a key area of business: includes the activities of selling goods to the end consumer, the last link in the chain of commercial distribution. Retail stores buy large quantities of goods from wholesalers and then resell them in small quantities to individual end customers, or sell their own products directly.

Professionals who work in the Retail sector don't only deal with sales, but also with multiple related activities: setting up the goods on the shelves, in the counters and in the windows, welcoming customers and customer service, managing payments and cash, advertising and activities promotional to support sales.

The classic professions in the retail sector are cashiers, shop assistants, counter salesmen, window dressers and visual merchandisers. Then there are the professionals who deal with the operational management of the point of sale and who keep it efficient and profitable, such as Store Managers and supermarket directors.

The training required for professional figures in the Retail sector is very varied: entry-level positions - for example as a shelf operator or sales assistant - don't require specific training, while in job offers for management and responsibility roles, qualifications are required such as a degree in Management, Economics or Marketing, or adequate work experience in the sector.

What types of companies do they hire in the retail sector?

The vacancies in the retail sector come from stores and outlets of small, medium and large: a small supermarket and department stores, supermarkets and hypermarkets, boutiques and shopping centers, in shops franchise and discount stores, small family-run shops and outlets big chains.

In addition to fixed-office sales, the sector also includes itinerant trade (for example in markets), door-to-door sales, sales through machines and vending machines, and online retail trade - i. e. e-commerce..

The retail sale covers all product sectors, food and non-food: clothing and footwear, electronics, telephony, furniture, DIY, books, cosmetics and perfumery, automotive and many others.

Retail - Job prospects

The current trends in the retail sector are pushing towards a consolidation of chain stores and large outlets, to the detriment of small local shops with less competitive capacity.

The main innovation of the sector, however, is the development of electronic commerce. The spread of e-commerce has changed the purchasing process: customers use applications and websites to search, evaluate and buy online the products they previously physically bought in a store.

The point of sale of the future is therefore conceived as an integration between the physical and digital store: the key to success for companies will be the hybridization between online and offline, to obtain speed, quality and competitive advantage.

These developments inevitably have an impact on the labor market in the Retail sector: the number of generic workers tends to decrease, due to technological solutions that progressively replace repetitive manual tasks (for example, cash and payment management), while the demand increases. of professionals who deal with customer assistance, IT experts and warehouse logistics staff.

What skills are needed for the Retail career?

Professionals in the retail sector need a set of technical skills and transversal skills ( hard and soft skills ) to assist customers in the best way and direct them to purchase, and to manage the point of sale efficiently.

Here are the skills that are most frequently requested in retail job vacancies:

Attention to the customer

The ability to provide customer assistance, a positive and friendly attitude, courtesy in welcoming, the ability to interpret and predict the needs of customers, patience in following their requests: these are all declinations of a customer orientation that must characterize workers in this sector.

Sales skills

In order to be a good professional in Retail, you need to know how to sell. This means, for example, convincing the customer to make the purchase, underlining the convenience, advantages and characteristics of the product that may interest the most, proposing complementary solutions to the item sold, advising and suggesting alternatives if what is requested is missing.

Communication skills

The ability to communicate clearly and effectively is an important skill for everyone involved in Retail. Depending on the position, communication skills materialize in different ways: with clients you need to be skilled in persuasive communication, negotiation and building relationships; to communicate with colleagues, managers and suppliers it's necessary to be able to transmit clear and accurate information.

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