We love retail in the UK. Instore or online, it’s safe to say that as a nation we really know how to shop until we drop (all of our money). It’s a massive industry, with 290,000 retail businesses providing jobs to over three million people and generating over £360 billion a year – that’s larger than the combined economies of Portugal and Denmark.
From serving customers on the shop floor, managing whole teams of people, designing your own fashion line or even be the person managing an entire department store, there are a huge range of opportunities out there to suit everyone. It’s safe to say that those who think a career in retail is limited to the shop floor are incredibly wrong.
For some people, working in retail may be a good part-time job whilst you study or as a way to re-enter the work force, others make an entire career out of it to great success. From its very nature, retail is incredibly fast-paced, working to respond to, and predict, the ever-developing demands of its customers.
What options can I take for a career in retail?
Work experience is widely available in the retail industry – nearly everyone you know will have spent at least some time working in the sector. However, work experience isn’t limited to a part-time job working the shop floor. In reality there is a huge availability of roles, from roles in logistics to purchasing or even marketing. Work experience is highly recommended, as some positions in the retail industry can be competitive. Not only can you get a feel for whether you enjoy the job, but you’ll also prove to employers that you’re motivated and have the skills to do well in your role.
Unsure about what a work placement could involve? You should’ve asked!
As an apprentice in retail, your role will depend heavily on your employer. However, it is safe to say that this is an excellent opportunity if you wish to pursue a career in this industry. Not only will you gain experience in the workplace, working alongside experienced professionals in the field, but you’ll also be working towards your qualification to give you a good theoretical understanding of the wider sector. All of this while being paid a salary! Here are some possible retail apprenticeships that you could consider:
- Level 2 – Retailer
- Level 3 – Retail Team Leader
- Level 4 – Retail Manager
Want to know what apprenticeships are all about? We have you covered!
A degree apprenticeship in retail is definitely a worthwhile option to consider as it will open up a number of opportunities for you. Not only will you be gaining experience in the job, but you will also be able to gain your degree with all of your university fees being paid for by your employer. You’ll have both the practical know-how and the theoretical knowledge that will give you the perfect chance to pursue a career in the retail industry.
- Level 6 – Retail Leadership – degree
Is a degree apprenticeship up your street? We’ll help you know!
You could opt to study retail as a university degree. This is a great opportunity if you’d like to gain some independence and learn all the theoretical knowledge that you’ll need about the industry so you can apply this to your job once you graduate. You’ll be able to choose the units you study which means you could specialise in the areas of the retail industry that most fascinate you. Here are potential degrees in retail that you could study:
- Retail Management BA (Hons)
- Business and Retail Management BSc (Hons)
- Marketing with Retail Management BA (Hons)
- Retail, Marketing and Management (Hons)
- Retail Business Management BA (Hons)
Want to find out what University could offer you? We have your back!
An impressive amount of widely recognised brands run retail graduate schemes or offer jobs to graduates straight out of university. These can be available in a variety of functions, from purchasing, digital e-commerce and supply chain specialists. It’s not necessary to have a retail degree as this industry has roles that suit a huge range of degree-backgrounds, including law, business and IT. Graduate schemes are available in many retail-related areas and are set up by employers to train their recruits in the workplace and prepare recent graduates for particular roles.
Want to know what graduate jobs are all about? We can help!
There are plenty of routes into the retail industry, this is one that does not require a huge amount of qualifications unless you have a particular role in mind. Many people in the retail sector opt to join and work their way up through the organisation to great success.