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Shop Attendant Job Description

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A shop attendant is an entry-level position in retail. Shop attendants are also referred to as sales assistants, store clerks and retail assistants. Shop attendants are employed in a range of stores and usually work as part of a wider sales team. Regardless of the type of stores shop attendants are employed by, all are expected to be good communicators, have a smart appearance and be helpful and friendly.


There are no set entry requirements to becoming a shop attendant. The role is a junior position in which little previous experience is required. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, employers prefer those with a high school diploma. New shop attendants will be given some form of training when they begin work, usually in the form of shadowing a more experienced employee.


Shop attendants should enjoy working with members of the public. A shop attendant acts as a representative of the company they are working for and should be helpful and professional, with good customer service skills. Customers at times can be demanding and a shop attendant should be able to handle these situations in a professional manner. Tact and a positive attitude are beneficial personal attributes to hold.


Day-to-day shop attendants work on the shop-floor of the store. This could be in a large grocery store, department store or smaller local independent store. Typical duties include advising customers, issuing refunds, conducting financial transactions, stock taking and greeting customers. If working in a store such as one that sells televisions, shop attendants are expected to have a reasonable level of product knowledge in order to assist customers effectively.


Salary varies widely depending on the location, size and type of store. According to the average annual salary of a shop attendant in June 2010, was $18,000. The BLS reports that many new and inexperienced retail sales workers could expect to earn federal minimum wage of $7.25. However, many states set the minimum wage at a higher rate than this and wages reflect this in different states.

Employment Outlook

The BLS reports that employment growth in retail is expected to grow by around eight percent until 2018. Employment prospects are positive for the industry as new staff are continually replacing the high numbers that leave the profession each year. Most stores also employ additional staff during peak times such as Christmas. The BLS also notes positive employment for part-time workers.


Based in Manchester, U.K., Natalie Baker has been a freelance beauty and fashion writer since 2009. Her work appears in the beauty pages of "The Detour Magazine" and online at Just Makeup Artists. Baker is experienced in both television and print journalism, and holds a Bachelor of Arts broadcast journalism from Salford University.

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