What is a Retail Assistant?
A retail assistant works within the retail industry and ultimately aids the sales process. They provide stellar customer service, process sales transactions, restock shelves, advise customers on their buying decisions, resolve customer complaints and ensure that the sales floor is well maintained.
Retail assistant jobs also offer the potential for flexible working hours. Unlike an office job, most retail assistant positions don’t have fixed Monday to Friday working hours. This makes it a suitable role for people looking for full or part-time shift work, such as students or people with children.
As well as this, a retail assistant position allows for excellent progression opportunities, and it is often possible to work your way up the ladder through promotions to becoming a store manager.
What is a Retail Assistant?
Qualifications and Education
A retail assistant’s main responsibilities include, but are not limited to:
- Ensuring high levels of customer satisfaction through excellent sales service
- Greeting and serving customers
- Dealing with customer complaints and queries
- Processing customer transactions
- Ensuring the sales floor is well maintained by displaying and restocking products
- Ordering stock and overseeing deliveries
- Advising and providing customers with merchandise
- Preparing the store for daily trading
To be a successful retail assistant, you need:
- Excellent customer service skills
- To be organised and detail oriented
- Communication skills
- Ability to multitask
- Teamworking skills
- Interpersonal skills
- Problem solving and initiative
- To work well under pressure
- Ability to grasp knowledge of the product or service quickly
- Conflict resolution skills
Beyond this, some desirable (but not essential) skills are:
- Commercial awareness
- Upselling ability
Aside from skills and experience, you will make a stand-out retail assistant if you have the following personality traits:
- An upbeat attitude
Education and Qualifications
Generally speaking, there are no specific qualifications needed to become a retail assistant. The requirements are mainly skill and experience based, however some GCSE qualifications graded A*-C (including English and Maths) is preferred.
Although not essential, there are college courses that can help you get your foot in the door for most retail assistant jobs, such as a Level 2 Diploma in Retail Skills. You can also consider volunteering your time in a retail establishment such as a charity shop to get yourself some hands on industry experience.
According to Payscale, the average salary for a retail assistant in the UK is £17,484, with the average hourly pay being £7.39.
The reported salaries are highest at Waitrose where the average pay is £8.39, and lowest at Sports Direct, which has an average pay at around £5.23. However, retail assistant salaries differ massively based on location and experience in the industry.
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