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November 2022

Careers in retail in changing economic times

By Uncategorized

Learning how to build and maintain career security in uncertain economic times is a task many of us will have to perfect. Certainly, credit crunches have historically affected career security.

Building career security is a crucial step for all employees. The retail industry employs a large workforce; the shelf stacker, the cashier and the shop assistant front it. However, its back end includes an army of managers, buyers, accountants, and human resource professionals, who often train in retail as a steppingstone to other industries. If you do want to move from the retail sector into a more secure role, professional careers advice can point you in the right direction.

Unfortunately, the retail industry bends to consumer and economic trends. A credit crunch affects credit and lack of credit indirectly affects a family’s disposable income. Inflation and higher food prices have not helped that trend. Although people still have to eat, they do not have to have new fashion accessories. Many households in the UK will have to prioritise their needs when it comes to spending.

Retailers in the last ten years have had to pare down their profits to maintain sustainability in sales. Internet sales now account for 10 times the volume of 10 years ago (25% as opposed to 2.5% then). The creation of better online security and more interactive websites will ensure that the volume of online shopping increases.

However, while being able to purchase your weekly shop online may be labour and timesaving, it may not provide the same ‘retail therapy’; the thrill of seeing an object and having to have it, and the gratification of treating oneself! People love to window shop, and many would not dream of risking purchasing an outfit they had not first tried on, or a piece of fruit they had not first felt and smelt.

There will no doubt always be successful retailers and they will continue to adapt to changing economic times and work patterns. Employers are being forced to tackle life-work balance issues that will improve retail career working conditions in an industry long dogged by overwork and underpay at lower levels. While many stores now offer self-serve facilities, retailers will still have to employ increasing numbers of staff to expand their empires; Britain may well remain a nation of shopkeepers for a while longer!