Replenishment associates, also known as stock clerks, typically work in department stores, grocery stores, supermarkets, electronics stores and other retail outlets. They move items from the warehouse, stockroom or other storage facility to the sales floor, and then stock them on the shelves. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, stock clerks and order fillers earned an average annual salary of $24,940 in 2013.
Using the Skills
The job of replenishment associates involves carrying merchandise and standing and bending for long periods, so they need physical stamina to endure these activities. These associates also must be creative individuals with a keen attention to detail, as they should be able to attractively display products on the shelves, as well as attach serial numbers and price tags to the right products. Clerical and customer-service skills are also important, as they must keep accurate records of replenishment orders and interact with customers in a courteous and friendly manner.
Refilling the Shelves
The primary duty of replenishment associates is to ensure customers have a consistent supply of merchandise. They spend most of their time on the sales floor, regularly checking shelves to identify items that are running low and recording the information on a replenishment order. If a grocery store is running out of apples and oranges, for example, the associate may coordinate the transfer of the fruits from the stockyard or personally perform the transfer. Once the items on are on the sales floor, it is the replenishment associate’s job to place them in the right shelves and ensure that price labels are clear.
Assisting Customers and Other Duties
These associates also help customers on the sales floor. For example, if a customer in an electronics store inquires about the price of a stereo, the associate can check the item’s serial number in the store’s electronic price list and provide the information.
Other duties may include keeping the store clean by sweeping floors and dusting shelves, placing purchase orders for products that are running low in the warehouse, and repositioning mobile shelves as necessary.
To become a replenishment associate, you typically need a high school diploma and some retail sales experience. To stand out from the crowd and enhance your chances, pursue a certificate program in retail management.
To improve competence and heighten your chances of rising to senior positions such as customer services or retail manager, obtain the customer service and sales or retail management certifications from the National Retail Federation. Combining these credentials with a bachelor’s degree in retail management can make you a competitive candidate for senior retail positions in large stores.