Anyone who has ever had a retail job knows it’s like working on the front lines. It’s the
line where the customer comes in contact with the company their buying from. It should be obvious that this job
requires excellent customer service skills if you’re working on the sales floor or even in management.
Customers want and expect a good reception when they walk into a store to spend their money.
With the arrival of e-commerce, many people felt that online shopping would be the wave of
the future. And that the traditional retail model of shops, store and even shopping malls would lose
significant shares of the market, But the habits of the consumer are not always cut and dry. Although people
liked the convenience of shopping from their living rooms, waiting for the purchases to be delivered was a turn
off for many.
This may be the single highest factor that’s holding the online retail environment at bay,
while allowing the more traditional outlets to maintain a place in the market. Of all the different types of
industries in the world, the retail industry is probably the industry that faces the public most often.
Most people don’t have to go to the bank every day or even every week. But most people buy
something almost every day. It could be a pack of chewing gum from a shop one day and vegetables from a super
market the next followed by clothing from the mall the day after. And the fact that the retail market is highly
competitive means there a need for competent manager, purchasers, stock room personnel and all the other
positions that a typical retail enterprise would have.
Working in retail can be quite fun if you have the right personality. A person needs to be a
people person and have good manners. Sometime customers can be difficult and the job itself can become
stressful, so a person with a calm demeanour would be an asset. As the market place becomes more technology
centered, there will probably be more IT related jobs popping up in the retail sector. The retail landscape is
likely to continue to change.
Nowadays, there seems to be a movement towards super retail outlets or superstores, where
customers can make one stop and pick up most of the items they need. This means retail staffs now have to work
as part of large teams to keep these large stores running. It may not mean more or less retail jobs. But it may
change where those jobs are. Like most industries, retail has been affected by the global recession. But as the
recession shows signs of easing, retail sales rose in the UK, for the first quarter of this year, by a total of
That could very well mean more jobs in retail may be opening up in the future. Retail job
vacancies have always been strong in the UK. There’s no indication that will change when the economy does
bounce back. But we’re not out of the woods yet. There are some negative forecasts for the retail industry for
the immediate future.