Retail sales assistants are extremely important when helping the public to purchase a particular product or service, and will need to understand what the customer wants, know the features and benefits of their merchandise, offer demonstrations and make suggestions. A retail role may also involve processing payments, returns and exchanges, merchandising and replenishing stock, creating displays, wrapping purchases, dealing with complaints and processing deliveries.
It is often required that you have an interest in and knowledge of the goods you are selling, for example a high street fashion outlet may want you to have an interest in fashion and following the latest trends whilst it would help if you had read a wide range of books if hoping to work in a book store. People working in retail will often be required to work evenings and weekends, and peak trading times such as Christmas or Easter.
When starting out in a career in retail you will often be paid minimum wage but you can expect that to increase with the skills, knowledge and experience you gain. One major benefit of working in a retail environment is the staff discount offered by some employers and the option to work flexible, part-time hours.
What type of person is suited to this role?
As you will be interacting with members of the general public, people working in retail need to:
- Be outgoing, confident and patient
- Have excellent communication skills
- Have a smart appearance
What about career progression and salaries?
Your pay and benefits will depend on experience and the kind of employer you work for, but as a guide:
- Sales assistants can expect to earn between £11,000 and £15,000 per year
- Visual merchandisers can earn around £20,000 with experience
- Experienced store managers can earn up to £40,000 per year
Which retailers does Focus Training work with?
WC Rowe, One Stop and Fat Face to name but a few!
The Retail QCF could be the perfect opportunity to learn the skills you need to help you further your retail career. The qualification is also a great way to get the credit you deserve from the time and effort and put into your job role at present. The qualification is aimed at anyone working within a retail environment from superstores to local newsagents and everything in between.
For the Level 2 qualifications, two mandatory units must be completed:
- Unit 1 – Work effectively in your retail team.
Along with 5 units chosen from the following themes:
- Stock Management
- Product expertise
- Visual Merchandising
- Financial and Administration
- Customer Service
- Organisational effectiveness
For Level 3 qualifications one mandatory unit must be completed:
- Unit 1 – Work effectively in your Retail team
Along with five units chosen from three pathways
- Sales Pathway
- Visual Merchandising Pathway
- Management Pathway