Retail Mini-Guide


The retail sector is huge and the opportunities are vast 

Career – Retail

What is it?

The retail sector is huge and the opportunities are vast – it will include:

  • Retail management
  • Purchasing
  • Buying
  • Merchandising
  • Warehouse management
  • Logistics
  • Distribution
  • Customer service
  • Advertising

What skills and qualifications will I need?

You will need good communication skills both dealing with customers and colleagues, as a team leader you need to be able to motivate people and identify training needs. Flexibility is key as the retail sector is increasingly open for longer hours and over weekends. You’ll need to use and understand IT and statistics to predict sales trends to increase sales. 

What else do I need to know?

Most large retail companies offer graduate training programmes where you can experience the different departments and roles within the company before specialising and finding out the area that you enjoy the most. They are very competitive so any previous relevant part time work will be an advantage. 

Skills learned during this kind of training will be transferable to many other industries. With the development of online shops and continued growth in a variety of areas, the roles are ongoing and almost unlimited.

The application process sometimes involves a day of tasks where you compete with other applicants – look online for what kind of tasks they were asked to do so you’re prepared.

Top Tip

Don’t just look at the shops that you buy from – sometimes the best packages in terms of training and experience will be in a sector or brand that you don’t use. Most people like designer brands but now’s not the time to be snobby – do your research about all the training programmes on offer. Think about high street department stores as well as supermarkets or DIY chains.

Where can I get more information?

The industry magazine is The Grocer and has lots of industry information