The Road to Retail

Careers in retail extend far beyond the people you see assisting you on the floor like the cashier or manager. The retail industry is major part of what keep our economy afloat by keeping up consumer spending. The way to keep people spending is by putting the money in their pockets for them to give back and hopefully with interest.

Retail is also not just a sector to employ younger workers, but it has been given that stigma due to its mostly part-time nature and minimal work requirements. While this may be true of most entry-level positions, there are plenty of non-entry level positions that many who start from the bottom can work their way up to.

These careers are ones that really pay to be in the business since they have higher requirements. One advantage of working your way up to a higher position through internal promotion is that many companies will provide you the resources to meet these requirements such as putting you in training and educational certification courses.

Take a look at just a few of these positions to get an idea of what kinds of different careers are available throughout the retail industry:

Loss Prevention Manager
These managers help stores reduce their financial losses. Losses can involve a variety of circumstances from employee theft, arson, and shoplifting. It’s the loss prevention manager’s responsibility to develop policies for preventing these losses from incurring. They track reported losses and calculate the amounts for legal reports. Some stores may even hire those with a criminal justice background. A degree in that field prepares the manager for conducting legal investigations and working with law enforcement.

Merchandising Team Associate
Merchandising team associates are similar to sales associates but they have more of a behind-the-scenes role. In addition to typical store duties (greeting customers, cleaning stock rooms, assisting staff), these team associates also compile and process merchandise returns to retail vendors or store suppliers. Employers will looks for people with exceptional customer service skills and are open to working odd hours. Another perk is that on-the-job training is usually provided for this position.

Divisional Merchandise Manager
In this position, the manager’s job is to help retail organizations with sales, inventory, and marketing goals. They look into retail competitors, put together written merchandise stock guidelines and evaluate employee performance. The candidates that retail employers typically look for in a divisional merchandise manager are those who have educational backgrounds in business management, retail management or marketing. Important qualities for divisional merchandise managers to have are financial and communication skills. They, too must be open be working non-traditional hours and traveling between stores.

The retail sector is an avenue that people from all different starting points funnel into. No matter where you start, it’s more than likely that you’ll be able to find a destination in retail that suits you.