I want to work in ..... Retail
There are many roles in retailing: store management, buying, merchandising, distribution, property etc. Many retailers will expect graduates to begin their careers in store management before moving into head office functions such as buying – this gives a knowledge of the retailer, its products and customers that can only be gained through front-line experience. You can, of course, start to gain this experience as a student through part-time or vacation work in retail – see our Work Experience pages
Also see our PRACTICE INTERVIEW FOR RETAIL MANAGEMENT
For fashion retailing see www.kent.ac.uk/careers/workin/fashion.htm
PROFILE: Retail Manager
INVOLVES: Management of a shop or store. Maximising sales impact of shop. Achieving sales targets. Control & banking of takings. Responsible for turnover, weekly accounts/long-term financial planning (profit/loss). Managing & developing staff, recruitment/training/motivation/control. Stock control/replenishment/shrinkage control. Merchandising. Improving profile of shop in local community
INVOLVES: Working to locate suppliers, & maintain relationships with established suppliers, of products to be sold in retail or wholesale outlets & by mail-order, negotiating prices, delivery dates & product specifications. Working with merchandisers & store managers to monitor sales & anticipate future demands.
INVOLVES: Ensuring shops have adequate supplies of the goods the customers want; working with buyers & store managers to obtain products, distribute them to stores & present them to customers. Planning new ranges; analysing & forecasting sales
General Information Sources
- See the Prospects Sector Briefing on the Retail Sector www.prospects.ac.uk/links/RetailSB for an overview.
- SkillsMart www.skillsmartretail.com excellent advice on careers in retaiL Includes graduate level job profiles and career pathways.
- The Appointment www.theappointment.co.uk - careers magazine for fashion, retail and leisure
- In Retail www.inretail.co.uk retail recruitment web site
- An overview of occupations within the retail sector, current issues, skills gaps and predicted trends can be found at: www.guidance-research.org/future-trends/retail
- Retail Careers www.retailcareers.co.uk Vacancy Site
There is problem of candidates not explaining the skills they have gained from their work experience. E.g. that working as a sales assistant will involve working in a busy team, providing a quality service under pressure and dealing tactfully with customer concerns.
They look for “great work experience” - this includes voluntary work but preferably anything that demonstrates leadership skills and customer service experience (retail, hospitality, call centres etc - anything involving putting the customer first). Also an understanding of what they are applying for and why it is right for them. Why Sainsbury’s?
SAINSBURY’S GRADUATE SCHEME
- Retail Human Resources www.retailhumanresources.com recruitment agency whose site includes careers advice
- Retail Moves www.retailmoves.com all types of retail vacancies in the UK and internationally
- Retail Options www.retailoptions.co.uk all types of retail vacancies
- Talisman fashion retailing recruitment www.talismanfashion.com
- Careers in Food & Drink www.careersinfoodanddrink.co.uk advice and information about jobs in all areas of food manufacture, sales and service.
- The Grocer Magazine http://jobs.thegrocer.co.uk excellent source of retailing and sales jobs
- Draper's Record www.drapersrecord.com jobs in fashion, retail, buying and merchandising
- Entertainment Retailers www.eraltd.org
- Also see the BBC article Shopping: The new tactics to get you spending
One graduate, working in a shop, described his job as a "Counter Intelligence Agent"!
- Aldi www.graduates.aldirecruitment.co.uk
- Arcadia www.arcadiagroup.co.uk/careers - the UK's largest fashion retailer. Stores include Burton, Dorothy Perkins, Evans, Miss Selfridge, Outfit, Topman, Topshop and Wallis
- ASDA www.asda.co.uk Carries specific graduate recruitment information
- The Body Shop www.thebodyshop.co.uk/_en/_gb/services/aboutus_careers.aspx
- Boots http://boots.jobs
- Debenhams www.debenhams.com
Several years ago I interviewed a Theology graduate who had just been awarded a 3rd class degree. He was a bit despondent about this but had a really pleasant outgoing personality and a conscientious attitude to everything he did.
A few months later I was shopping in Debenhams when I bumped into him. He was really happy. His manager had been so impressed with his hard work, cheerful demeanor, his desire to go out of his way to help customers, keenness to learn and positive attitude to even the most routine tasks that she had had no hesitation in putting his name forward for the company management training scheme.
- Dreams www.Dreams.co.uk/info/Management-Training retailer of beds and mattresses with 200 bed superstores nationwide. 12 month management training programme for business graduates. Receive specific training in stock management, driving sales and motivating their teams.
- Fenwick www.fenwick.co.uk
- Harrods www.harrods.com
- HMV www.hmvcareers.co.uk
- House of Fraser www.houseoffraser.co.uk
- John Lewis Partnership www.jlpjobs.com
- Marks & Spencer www.marks-and-spencer.com
- Morrisons www.morrisonsgraduates.com
- Next http://careers.next.co.uk/Index.aspx
- Waterstone's www.waterstones.com/waterstonesweb/navigate.do?pPageID=1009
- Sainsbury's www.sainsburys.co.uk/graduates
- Tesco www.tesco.com/careers
- WH Smith www.whsmithcareers.co.uk
Last fully updated 2013