The retail industry employs around 2.9m people in the UK and generates over £260bn a year in sales – larger than the combined economies of Portugal and Denmark.
By its very nature retail is a fast-moving industry as organisations try to respond to - and predict - customer demand and future trends. But if you think that a career in retail is limited solely to the shop floor, think again.
From sourcing new producers to transporting goods, ordering stock and forecasting trends, there are a multitude of roles that are critical to the retail operation that you may never have even realised.
And these roles can also be found in a number of associated sectors, from warehousing and distribution to finance, marketing and design.
Here are a few examples of jobs from across the retail spectrum:
- Merchandiser - Forecasting trends and budgeting
- Store Manager - Running an outlet and meeting targets
- Visual Merchandiser - Designing product displays
- Logistics Manager - Distributing and storing products
- Market Researcher - Analysing consumer behaviour
- Buyer - Finding new products and anticipating demand
- PR & Marketing - Promotion of brands to consumers
- Design - Creating and developing new products and packaging
There are many opportunities to move between each of these disciplines if you feel you’d like to move your career in a different direction.
As many departments work closely together of projects, it’s likely that you will pick up a diverse range of skills in various business disciplines without you even realising.
One of the other benefits of retail is the flexible working hours and Retail Sales Assistants account for 13% of all part-time positions in the UK.
In an age when consumers demand access to goods and services 24/7, retail workers are needed to 'man the shop' around the clock meaning there are many opportunities to fit your working hours around your personal and family commitments.
The retail industry has plenty of variety – not least because of the vast array of products in the marketplace.
In both traditional retail stores and in new online markets, there really are limitless opportunities for people to work within a sector that interests them regardless of whether you are a petrol-head or fashion lover.
Wondering what to do now? Check out our expert career advice, find out more about the Retail industry or search for the latest Retail jobs.