In retail, strong branding is critical to business success and retail businesses are focusing heavily on leveraging their brands. Retail is a dynamic, fast paced and exciting industry with a broad scope of career opportunities for graduates, from the shop floor right through to head office.
In recent years the retail sector has been through several exciting changes and the industry looks set to evolve further, becoming more sophisticated and competitive than ever as it rises from the struggles it has faced through the Global Financial Crisis.
The retail sector employs graduates in a variety of roles such as retail buyer, retail sales manager and supply chain manager.
Many large retail firms offer graduate programs which train graduates from a range of disciplines for leadership and managerial roles. Graduate trainees are usually exposed to all aspects of the business, from marketing and sales to supply management and finance. Industry experience is often an advantage in applying for these programs.
While standard business hours are the norm for those in buying or supply chain roles, those in retail management often work longer hours. Work can be high pressure, with tight deadlines and expectations to meet targets in sales, production and distribution. Overseas travel opportunities are common for retail buyers. If you are a people-person, there is plenty of face-to-face contact in this industry.
Retail companies have greatly improved their work practices in recent years and are now offering more flexible conditions, quality leadership and a stimulating working environment with good opportunities for advancement.
What you need
- Generalist degrees are welcomed
- A degree in marketing, business, arts, commerce, management, fashion, textiles or design is often essential for management and specialised roles
- An advantage of the industry is that retail hours often fit in with study, so a career can be launched while at university
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