Shop assistants are friendly staff who help and advise shoppers with their purchases.
Who can I work for?
From clothing to furniture, from sweet shops to supermarkets, anywhere a product is sold a shop assistant is there to make the sale.
Where and when can I work?
Shop locations are extremely diverse, ranging from everyday high street retail shops to souvenir shops in remote destinations.
What can I earn?
Junior staff can expect to earn the national minimum wage of £12,400 per annum with an increase to approximately £14-£15k for more experienced employees. Managers earn approximately £20k per annum and some companies offer commission based upon sales figures.
What are the benefits?
It is a people orientated role and customers often provide immediate feedback if they are satisfied with the service they have received. Employees are entitled to staff discounts in some circumstances or a clothing allowance is given. There is also an opportunity for increased pay or overtime at weekends and public holidays.
Are there chances of promotion?
As you gain experience, it is possible to progress to more senior roles, such as supervisor or store manager. Being competent as a shop assistant can open doors to many different careers in the retail sector, including buyer, display merchandiser, or designer.
What will I be responsible for?
A shop assistant's primary responsibility is attending to a customer's needs by helping them make a purchase. This can include advising on products, stocking shelves and rails, locating products and detailing special offers. A shop assistant also takes payments and wraps goods and in some smaller stores, they might be responsible for guarding against damage or theft.
What qualifications do I need?
There are no formal minimum entry requirements for a shop assistant.
Do I need any experience?
There are many opportunities for shop assistants who have no previous experience. When applying for a job it is useful to demonstrate experience of dealing with the public and handling money. If you want to work in a specialist shop such as a pharmacy, prior knowledge of the products is an advantage.
What attributes are needed?
A shop assistant must enjoy working with the general public and be friendly and polite, even when tired, or under pressure. Having the ability to follow procedures correctly, such as using a till, is essential too.