Retail Industry: Jobs Explained
- Fashion designer - Fashion designers work on the design of a clothing range. Some may focus completely on a specialist area, such as sportswear, childrens-wear or accessories. Developments in technology mean that a designer ready-to-wear product can be produced as a high street version in under six weeks. Depending on level of responsibility and the company, a designer may do all there own work and design, or be given something to work towards by the company- such as colour and style.
- Industrial/product designer - Their work involves either designing, modelling, testing and producing prototypes of brand new products, or making improvements to existing products.
- Market Researcher - Market researchers collect and analyse market research information. They collect data from a variety of sources and use it to enable informed decision-making in the retail industry. Market researchers are responsible for planning and implementing research projects, as well as assessing results.
- Marketing executive - Marketing executives are involved in aspects of marketing, including: planning; advertising; promotion; public/media relations; product development; distribution; sponsorship; and research. The role is often challenging, varied and exciting.
- Retail buyer - Retail buyers purchase merchandise. They plan and select the range, type and quantity of products according to customer demand, trends and budget. By fully understanding customer needs, they are able to maximise profits and provide a commercially viable range of merchandise at competitive prices. Keeping up to date with market trends and reacting to changes in demand are key elements of the role.
- Retail Manager - A retail manager is responsible for the day-to-day management of a department or store. The main job of a retail manager is to improve the commercial performance of the store by increasing its turnover and maximising profitability. Major parts of the job on a day-to-day basis include managing staff, finding new ways to improve sales, and meeting customer demand.
- Retail Merchandiser - Merchandisers are responsible for making sure that the right amount of products appear in the right store at the right time. This involves working closely with the buying teams to accurately forecast trends, planning stock levels and monitoring performance. While the buyer selects the merchandise, the merchandiser decides how much money should be spent, how much should be bought, and in what quantities.
- Retail Sales Assistant - Sales assistants work across all retail areas in high street outlets, superstores and retail parks. Their key roles involve: client interaction, re-stocking, meeting sales targets, processing payments and offering advice to customers.