Retail stores exist to provide a physical space where customers can buy products and services. They allow people to see the items they want to buy, get help from staff, and make informed decisions. In a retail store, you could find yourself selling nearly anything, including clothing and accessories, electronics and gadgets, home appliances and furnishings, books, toys and games, beauty and personal care products, groceries and household items, sporting goods, and automotive supplies.
Even though online shopping has exploded in popularity, there are still lots of physical stores that need staff too. Retail stores offer social connections and contribute to local economies by creating jobs and supporting other businesses.
Each retail store is different, but there are some things they have in common:
- You’ll be working with people a lot – including both interactions with customers and collaborating with your co-workers.
- Problem solving is key – from figuring out the best solution for a customer to quickly calculating prices in your head.
- Lots of flexibility – many roles in retail are highly flexible, including many opportunities for part-time and casual work.
Provide goods and services to the public
The main purpose of a retail store is to make shopping convenient and enjoyable for customers.
- Assist customers with inquiries and purchases.
- Operate cash registers and handle transactions.
- Stock and organise merchandise on store shelves.
- Maintain store cleanliness and organisation.
- Monitor and managing inventory levels.
- Provide product information and recommendations.
- Process returns and exchanges.
- Set up visual displays and merchandising.
- Ensure store security and loss prevention measures.
- Collaborate with team members.
You can find retail stores in the retail trade industry
Retail stores are generally found in the retail trade industry. They can vary in size from small boutique shops that sell just a few select products, to huge supermarket-style stores that stock a wide variety of goods.
You can expect regular hours and on-site work
Regular hours | Work on-site | Jobs in metro, regional, and rural areas | Moderate job growth
Many retail stores are open during normal trading hours (generally 9 to 5), and also tend to open on weekends. Some stores are open on holidays, but this will vary depending on the store’s policy. Lots of roles available in retail stores are part-time or casual.
Retail roles typically require a physical presence in the store, meaning opportunities to work remotely or from home are limited. But there are some exceptions, such as administration, marketing, or even online customer support.
Retail stores can be found right around the country, though the type of store and kinds of things you’ll sell will likely be different depending on the needs of the community.
The Career Clusters you’ll find in a retail store
People from all Clusters are needed for a retail store to run successfully, but the most common Clusters you’ll find are Linkers and Coordinators. In many roles, you might find yourself performing tasks across multiple Clusters.