Retail operations -- where goods are sold to the public -- require a range of specialized professionals to operate efficiently. It takes professionals in positions ranging from supervision to sales and inventory management to run a retail store smoothly. In small shops, a few employees might wear many hats and perform more than one job duty, while larger stores have separate job titles for each position.
Retail managers are in charge of the overall operations of a particular branch or store. They direct employees in carrying out their duties. They are directly responsible for the financial success of the store and for implementing store policies. Managers typically are in charge of coordinating the hiring, scheduling and training of employees. They also answer to direct supervisors or owners, ensuring that certain goals are met. The ultimate responsibility for customer satisfaction falls to the retail managers as well.
Salespeople work on the floor of the store. Some work in specific departments, while others work throughout the entire store. The job of the salesperson is to directly assist customers and help them get what they need. Salespeople welcome customers and ask whether they need assistance. Knowledge of the store layout is crucial, and salespeople should also be up to date on sales and special offerings. Knowledge of the products and the ability to make suggestions are also important.
Retail stockers are responsible for keeping the store filled with products. A normal shift involves receiving a shipment of goods and completing the related paperwork. Items are then either put into appropriate storage or stocked on the shelves of the store. After this, stockers generally survey the store and fill out an order for goods that are in need. Stockers occasionally take a full inventory of the store. They are responsible for making sure that the store’s inventory meets consumer demands.
Cashiers help customers pay for their goods. They need to have good math and cash register skills to ensure that neither the store nor the customer gets shortchanged. Cashiers also may provide customer service because they are readily available during checkout, when customers may have questions. They should have knowledge of the store’s setup, products and store policies. Cashiers need to be able to multitask and cordially interact with customers, while checking people out as quickly as possible without making mistakes.
2016 Salary Information for Retail Sales Workers
Retail sales workers earned a median annual salary of $23,040 in 2016, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. On the low end, retail sales workers earned a 25th percentile salary of $19,570, meaning 75 percent earned more than this amount. The 75th percentile salary is $30,020, meaning 25 percent earn more. In 2016, 4,854,400 people were employed in the U.S. as retail sales workers.