(Image from Topshop)
Working part-time in retail is a tried and tested means of financial support to take you through university or college. Not only that, a progressive career in retail can take off when you reach the other end of your degree and enter the world of graduates. From the shop floor and onwards to store manager and Head Office roles, a career in retail can take you there.
With employment in UK fashion retail remaining stable over time, retail employees make up 11% of the total UK workforce (fashionuntited.co.uk).
By 2017 the UK will have 3.3 million retail employees.
The retail sector is the UK’s largest private sector employer.
Almost a third of retail employees are under 25 years old.
50% of retail staff work in sales and customer service occupations.
18% of retail staff are managers or senior officials.
Roles in Retail:
Store Operations: whether you’re serving customers on the shop floor or overseeing the department as a store manager, friendly and approachable people need apply.
Department Manager: create and implement policies, goals and strategies and supervise employees.
Buyer: plan sales promotions and select merchandise.
Planner: distribute goods, plan and control inventories to maximise sales and profit.
Retail companies can offer a range of disciplines:
Buying and merchandising.
Marketing and brand management.
Logistics, IT and business management.
Many graduate retail employees can achieve management status in less than 5 years.
Bag a Retail Job:
Print off a bundle of CVs and hit the high street.
Ask a shop assistant for the manager and explain that you are looking to see if the shop has any vacancies.
If you’re applying for a fashion position, dress in a way that embodies your personal style and make your first impression count.
Don’t hand over a CV from a pile in your bag, it may give the impression that you’re applying for every shop in town.
Be polite and confident, your CV is likely to go further than firing off an email.
To stand out in a group interview, make the effort to chat to other applicants before the interview begins. You can share your nerves and may find that you have a friend to pair up with for later group tasks.
Make eye-contact with the managers when you have a chance to speak (refrain from any overt staring), and thank them on your way out.
Enjoy the experience and the adrenaline will fuel you onwards, even if you don’t feel like being the star of the show, a chatty and can-do attitude will get you far.