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How To Get A Job in Retail and Wholesale

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What is Retail and Wholesale?

Retail and Wholesale involve the selling items, however each have slight differences.

Retail differs from wholesale as it refers to selling on an individual basis, whereas wholesale is about selling in large quantities, or bulk.

Wholesale often occurs prior to retail: wholesalers will buy items from manufacturers, and sell these in bulk to retail stores or retail chains. Retailers will then divide the items between individual stores and sell them to the general public.

What jobs are available in Retail and Wholesale?

Typical job roles in Retail and Wholesale include Retail Assistant, Supervisor, Store Manager, and Wholesaler.

When working in retail, your main role is to sell and meet the company’s sales targets. Your daily work will include working on a till, keeping store standards high, and helping customers. Your tasks will differ depending on your role, with more admin and people managing as you progress from an assistant, to a supervisor, to finally running the store yourself as manager.

Typical duties within retail include:

  • Working on a till
  • Keeping store standards high throughout the day
  • Helping customers and upselling products sold
  • Cleaning at the end of the working day

As you climb the retail ladder, your responsibilities will go on to include:

  • Cashing up
  • Opening and closing the store
  • Managing your team
  • Helping team reach sales targets

Who are the top employers in Retail and Wholesale?

Employers within the retail and wholesale industry are incredibly popular. Some of the top retail employers include John Lewis, Lush, Ikea and Marks and Spencer.

What qualifications, training, and skills are required?

As an entry level job, more often that not you will be able to join a Retail Assistant role with no qualifications or training. Most places tend to ask for some experience previously, however if you are professional, friendly, and well spoken, these jobs are a possibility with no experience. If any training is specifically required due to the type of product you are selling, this will given after successfully securing the job.

Key skills required:

  • Ability to manage own time eg. between stocking up and customer service
  • Comfortable working on a till
  • Good communication skills
  • Positive attitude

If looking to enter a company at a higher level immediately, having experience in retail will be necessary. This could come from working within the company and earning promotions, or moving to a management role after gaining key experience elsewhere.

Key skills required:

  • Keeping a team motivated
  • Leading and taking responsibility for team
  • Cashing up and managing sales targets
  • Making sure store is kept clean and tidy throughout the day and duties fulfilled at end of the day
  • Recruiting the store team
  • Writing reports to head office about sales and store standards
  • As most senior member of staff, being able to deal with queries and complaints
  • Understanding product benefits and ability to upsell with detail

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