JOBS & CAREERS SPRING 2018 - 209
R ETA I L
Retail doesn't just
to creative design
roles, this huge
sector has plenty
ritain is a nation
built on commerce.
Many events in our
history, from the
to the expansion
of the empire, were driven by a desire
to sell more things to more people.
Even now, with the UK economy
facing uncertain times, retail is one
of the country's strongest sectors,
generating around £368bn in 2017
and employing 2.9 million people.
As shoppers, we're always on the
lookout for bargains and the best
value, and it can be just as fulfilling
to be on the other side, creating,
marketing and selling the deals that
send customers home satisfied. Whether
that's on a shop floor or behind the
scenes, retail has roles for everyone.
The traditional entry point is as a store
assistant, not least because you generally
won't need formal qualifications. The
positions are available to anyone - as
long as you display a positive attitude,
possess good communication skills and
can remain calm under pressure. Other
options are to take an apprenticeship
or to complete a diploma or degree
and join as a management trainee.
Many big retailers offer graduate training
schemes and the requirements can be less
stringent than in other industries - some
companies will accept 2:2 degrees rather
than insisting on a 2:1. A degree in
business management or marketing is a
bonus, but a passion for retail, leadership
skills, creative thinking and organisational
prowess are also important.
Increased competition and tough
economic conditions have forced the
industry to re-examine its approach to
selling, and as a result more varied roles
are now available. The rise in online sales
has seen a growing demand for graduates
with the ability to produce smartphone
apps, for example, and knowledge of
supply-chain management and logistics.
Everyone in the retail industry is
dedicated to serving the customer, but
there are a variety of ways to do so. It
really is an industry of all the talents,
whether you're keen to interact with the
public directly or channel your creative
impulses into marketing products or
getting them to people's doors.
J O B S & C A R E E R S /// 2 0 9