Working in retail is one of the most common jobs out there, especially in a time where consumption and material wealth is so high on the agenda of some. Shopping demands are high as are the demands for longer opening hours of shops and earlier opening times. In the inner-city areas, shops are operating twenty-four hour services in some cases and even fast food restaurants are going into the business of being awake twenty-four hours a day. There are a lot of myths surrounding working in retail and in this article, we are going to bust those myths for you.
Myth 1: Most retail workers are young adults or students.
The average age of a retail worker is 37 and the job they hold in a retail capacity is a main income for a family.
Myth 2: Retail workers are unskilled.
28% of retail workers have completed a degree and the list of skills a retail worker needs is not exhaustive. They need to have soft and hard skills including product knowledge, merchant service solution knowledge, ability to relate to customers, and an increasing understanding of online sales and online technology.
Myth 3: Most retail workers only do the job temporarily while they wait to climb the corporate ladder.
Retail has one of the highest turnovers compared to every other industry but most retail workers stay within the industry itself even if they move from job to job. This means that the industry itself isn’t the problem, but the individual employers that pay low wages and offer no benefits – so those who offer only zero hours’ contracts – are the problem.
Myth 4: Retail work is an entry level position.
There are more than 15 million people working in the retail sector and this number is growing in some places and decreasing in others that are employing more self-service tills than people. More than one in ten jobs is retail trade and unlikely for most that they will ever leave the industry.
Myth 5: Retail workers are lazy and that’s why they chose to work in a shop.
Totally wrong. Retail is one of the toughest customer facing industries to work in. Serving people daily – people who think everything they do is wrong – is hard. It’s tough to be on feet and standing for an entire shift and dealing with customers who, while for the most part, are pleasant, you do get the occasional person who thinks that they know better than the worker!
Ultimately, it’s important to understand that someone working in retail is there to help and not there to just to you a favour. Retail is an industry that is ever changing and playing catch up to the newest ways of doing things can be difficult. It isn’t easy work and it makes it harder when the public don’t understand that fact. Learning new software as tills update and card payment systems update is difficult to follow.