The department/specialty retail industry includes a wide range of stores, from large department stores to small specialty shops. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, there are approximately 5.5 million people employed in the industry. In the United States, retail sales accounts for over 5% of the nation’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP).
What is department/specialty retail stores? Department/specialty stores are businesses that specialize in selling specific types of products, such as clothing, jewelry, electronics, or home goods. Department stores typically offer a wide range of products, while specialty stores focus on a specific product or category. Both types of stores are popular with consumers, and provide essential services to communities across the United States.
Overview of the Department/Specialty Retail Stores Job Market
The department/specialty retail industry is a vast and diverse market that includes a wide range of stores and job positions. Within the retail trade industry, department/specialty stores accounts for approximately 5.5 million jobs. The majority of these jobs concentrate in general merchandise stores, clothing stores, and specialty food stores.
Despite the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic, the retail industry is a major source of employment in the US. In fact, the BLS projects that employment in the industry will increase by 2.2% in the next ten years.
What are the Available Jobs in Department/Specialty Retail Stores?
In department/specialty retail stores, there are numerous job opportunities available for individuals with various skill sets and experience levels.
From Sales Associates to Managers, these stores offer a wide range of positions to suit different career aspirations.
Some of the most common jobs in department/specialty retail stores include:
Average Annual Salary: $133,380
Available Jobs: 347,000
A Marketing Manager develops and implements marketing strategies to increase sales and revenue in the store. This is the best paying job in department/specialty retail stores.
A Bachelor’s Degree in Marketing or a related field is required, along with strong analytical and communication skills.
The job growth rate is positive, as the BLS projects a 10% increase from 2021 to 2031. It will produce about 33,700 new job opportunities in the US.
Human Resources Manager
Average Annual Salary: $126,230
Available Jobs: 174,200
A Human Resources Manager recruits, hires, and manages employees, and ensures compliance with employment laws and regulations. A Bachelor’s Degree in Human Resources or a related field is required, along with strong leadership and communication skills.
The job outlook is positive with growth rate of 7% from 2021 to 2031, according to the BLS. This will create around 12,600 job opportunities.
Average Annual Salary: $52,180
Available Jobs: 191,000
A Store Manager oversees all aspects of the store, from sales to staffing to inventory management. A Bachelor’s Degree in Business Management or equivalent experience is required, along with strong leadership and organizational skills.
The job growth rate is negative, as the BLS projects a 0.2% decline from 2021 to 2031. This will result in a loss of around 300 jobs.
Average Annual Salary: $51,500
Available Jobs: 253,000
An Assistant Manager helps the Store Manager in overseeing the day-to-day operations of the store, including managing employees, and ensuring customer satisfaction.
A Bachelor’s Degree in Retail Management or equivalent experience is required, along with strong leadership and communication skills.
The job outlook is positive with growth rate of 2.9% from 2021 to 2031, according to the BLS. It will create around 7,400 new employment opportunities in the US.
Average Annual Salary: $41,790
Available Jobs: 618,000
A Retail Supervisor oversees Sales Associates and other Department/Specialty retail sales workers. They also ensure the smooth operation of the store, hire and train employees in sales.
Strong leadership and communication skills are necessary for a Retail Supervisor to possess. Employers typically require a High School Diploma, but a Bachelor’s Degree in Retail Management or a related field is also necessary.
The job growth rate is positive, as the BLS projects a 2.9% increase from 2021 to 2031. It will create about 18,000 new job opportunities in the US.
Customer Service Representative
Average Annual Salary: $36,920
Available Jobs: 2,898,900
A Customer Service Representative assists customers with inquiries, complaints, and other issues. Strong communication, proactive and problem-solving skills are important for a Customer Service Representative to have. A High School Diploma or equivalent is typically required.
The job outlook is negative with a decline rate of -4% from 2021 to 2031, according to the BLS. This will result in a loss of around 78,000 jobs in the US.
Average Annual Salary: $32,020
Available Jobs: 68,000
A Visual Merchandiser creates attractive displays that showcase the store’s products and draw in customers. Creativity and attention to detail are important, and a High School Diploma or equivalent is required.
The job outlook is positive with growth rate of 1.2% from 2021 to 2031, according to the BLS. This will create around 800 job opportunities in the US.
Average Annual Salary: $30,110
Available Jobs: 1,600,000
A Stock Clerk receives and organizes merchandise, restocks shelves, and maintains inventory records. Good organizational and time management skills are important for every Stock Clerk to possess. Employers also require a High School Diploma or equivalent.
The job growth rate is positive, as the BLS projects a 1.9% increase from 2021 to 2031. This will create around 29,000 new employment opportunities in the US.
Average Annual Salary: $29,180
Available Jobs: 4,125,700
A Sales Associate assists customers with purchases, restocking shelves, and maintaining a clean store. Good communication and customer service skills are essential to be a good Sales Associate. Employers also require a High School Diploma or its equivalent.
The job growth rate is neutral, as the BLS projects a 0% increase from 2021 to 2031. It will only create about 1,900 job opportunities across the US.
Average Annual Salary: $27,260
Available Jobs: 3,371,600
A Cashier processes transactions and handles cash, among other duties. Strong math and communication skills are important for every Cashier to possess. Employers also require them to have a High School Diploma or equivalent.
The job outlook is negative with decline rate of -10% from 2021 to 2031, according to the BLS. This will result in a loss of around 335,700 jobs.
Other Jobs Available in Department/Specialty Retail Stores
- Loss Prevention Specialist
- Retail Pharmacist
- Operations Manager
- E-commerce Manager
- Inventory Control Specialist
- Product Demonstrator
- Fashion Designer
- Warehouse Worker
What are the Factors Affecting the Availability of Jobs in Department/Specialty Retail Stores?
The availability of jobs in department/specialty retail stores depends on various factors that impact the industry’s growth and development. Understanding these factors is crucial for both job seekers and employers to adapt to changing market trends.
Here are 5 factors affecting the availability of jobs in department/specialty retail stores:
The department/specialty retail industry is grossly affected by consumer demand for goods and services. When demand for a particular product or service increases, retailers will need to hire additional staff to meet the demand. This also applies to when demand decreases.
Economic conditions such as recessions and economic downturns can impact the department/specialty retail industry’s growth and hiring practices. During tough economic times, retailers may need to reduce their workforce or cut back on hiring to stay afloat. Also, during an economic boom, the need for more workers may increase.
From the rise of e-commerce to the use of automation in retail stores, advancements in technology have impacted the industry. These advancements can change the types of jobs available and the skill sets required to succeed in the industry.
Department/specialty retailers face stiff competition from both brick-and-mortar stores and online retailers. To remain competitive, retailers may need to adjust their hiring practices to attract and retain top talent.
The regulatory environment can also impact the availability of jobs in the department/specialty retail industry. Changes in labor laws, taxes, and other regulations can affect retailers’ hiring practices and workforce planning.
How to Get a Job in Department/Specialty Retail Stores
Getting a job in department/specialty retail stores requires a combination of skills, knowledge, and experience. As the retail industry becomes more competitive, job seekers need to secure a good career path in the industry.
Here are 5 steps to get a job in department/specialty retail stores:
Build your skills
Retail jobs require a range of skills like customer service, sales, and inventory management. Consider taking courses or workshops to build these skills and make yourself a more attractive candidate.
Volunteer or intern
Volunteering or interning in a retail environment can give you valuable experience and help you build your network. It shows potential employers that you are committed to the industry.
Use social media
Social media can be a powerful tool when job searching. Follow the companies you are interested in and engage with them on social media to learn about new job opportunities.
Apply for positions
Apply for positions that match your education, skills and experience. Also, tailor your application to each job you apply for.
Consider part-time or seasonal work
Part-time or seasonal work can be a great way to gain valuable experience in the department/specialty retail stores. Many retailers also hire seasonal workers for the holiday season, which can open doors to more permanent employment.
What do People Working in Department/Specialty Retail Stores do?
People who work in department/specialty retail stores are responsible for a variety of tasks. These tasks may include greeting customers, helping them find products, processing transactions, and maintaining inventory levels. Depending on their specific role within the store, retail workers may have additional responsibilities.
Customer service is a vital skill, as workers are often the first point of contact between the store and customers. Retail workers must be friendly, knowledgeable, and able to help customers find the products they need. They may also be responsible for processing returns or exchanges and handling customer complaints in a professional and courteous manner.
In addition to customer service, department/specialty retail workers may restock shelves, manage inventory levels, and maintain the store’s appearance. They may also create displays and set up promotional materials to attract customers. Some retail workers may have specialized roles, such as Visual Merchandisers, who create eye-catching displays and layouts that highlight products.
What are the Educational Requirements and Trainings for Department/Specialty Retail Stores Jobs?
Most retail jobs in department/specialty retail stores do not require formal education beyond a High School Diploma or equivalent.
However, some positions may require specialized training or education, such as Management positions, Accounting or Human Resources. Some companies may prefer or require candidates with post-Secondary education or relevant certifications.
Here are some common educational requirements for department/specialty retail store jobs:
- High School Diploma or equivalent.
- Some College coursework or post-Secondary education.
- Relevant certifications, such as those in Customer Service or Inventory Management.
Many retail companies provide on-the-job training for new employees. This may include training in Customer Service, Sales techniques, Product Knowledge, and company policies and procedures.
Some companies may also offer formal training programs, such as leadership or management training, for employees who show potential for advancement.
Here are some common types of training provided for department/specialty retail store jobs:
- On-the-job training in Customer Service, Sales techniques, and company policies and procedures.
- Product Knowledge training to help employees become familiar with the store’s merchandise.
- Leadership and Management training for employees who show potential for advancement.
What are the Skills Needed to get a Job in Department/Specialty Retail Stores?
To get a job in department/specialty retail stores, there are certain skills that you must possess.
6 skills you need to land a job in department/specialty retail stores:
Attention to detail
Retail workers need to be able to pay close attention to details such as product placement, pricing, and inventory levels. They also need to have a creative eye and a sense of style to create eye-catching visuals that attract customers.
Strong verbal and written communication skills are crucial for department/specialty retail store workers. They need these to interact well with customers and colleagues on a daily basis.
Many retail jobs involve selling products or services, so workers need to have the ability to persuade and influence customers.
Retail workers often have to juggle multiple tasks at once, so good time management skills are essential.
With the increasing use of technology in retail, workers need to have at least basic proficiency in areas such as point-of-sale systems and inventory management software.
It is important for retail workers to have empathy, show compassion and have the ability to manage their emotions. This is because they have to interact with different types of customers with different needs and temperaments.
Where to Find Jobs in Department/Specialty Retail Stores
If you’re looking for a job in department/specialty retail stores, there are several sources you can use to find opportunities.
5 places to find jobs in department/specialty retail stores:
Online job boards
One of the best places to start is by checking online job boards such as Indeed, Glassdoor, and Monster. These websites often have a wide range of job listings for various positions in the retail industry.
Sources dedicated to department/specialty retail stores
Some sources are specifically dedicated to department/specialty retail stores. For example, Retail Careers is a job board that specifically lists jobs in the retail industry, including department/specialty retail stores. The National Retail Federation also has a job board on its website that lists open positions in the retail industry.
Websites of companies in department/specialty retail stores
Another option is to check the websites of major companies in department/specialty retail stores in your area. Many of these stores have websites with dedicated “Careers” sections where they list open positions and how to apply.
Networking can also be a valuable tool in your job search. Reach out to friends, family members, or former colleagues who may have connections in the industry.
Additionally, consider attending job fairs or industry events where you can meet with representatives from various retailers. You can potentially land an interview or even a job offer.
In this digital age, you can use social media platforms to research companies and people in the industry. By following them, you will be up to date on trends and job openings.
Tips for Finding Jobs in Department/Specialty Retail Stores
Finding a job in department/specialty retail stores requires the knowledge of certain things.
Follow these 10 tips to find available jobs in department/specialty retail stores:
- Narrow down your job search to positions that suit you best.
- Customize your resume and cover letter.
- Be persistent.
- Utilize online job boards.
- Use social media to search for job openings.
- Contact staffing agencies.
- Sign up for job alerts from relevant websites.
- Follow up with employers after submitting your application.
- Consider internships or volunteer work to gain experience and network.
How to Apply for Jobs in Department/Specialty Retail Stores
Here’s a step-by-step process to apply for jobs in department/specialty retail stores:
Identify potential employers
Search for department/specialty retail stores and make a list of the ones you would like to work for. You can find this information through online job boards, the companies’ websites, or by visiting the stores in person.
Update your resume and cover letter
Make sure your resume is up to date and highlights your relevant skills and experience. Craft a cover letter that is tailored to the specific job you are applying for.
Submit your application
Many department/specialty retail stores have online applications that you can fill out on their website. Include all required information and attachments, such as your resume and cover letter.
Follow up with the employer
After submitting your application, wait a few days and then follow up with the employer. You can do this by sending a polite email or calling the store to speak to the hiring manager.
Prepare for the interview
If the employer invites you for an interview, prepare by researching the company and practicing common interview questions. Dress professionally and arrive early for your interview.
During the interview, be sure to listen carefully to the questions and provide thoughtful responses. Ask questions about the job and the company to demonstrate your interest.
Wait for a response
After the interview, wait a few days for the employer to contact you. If they don’t, follow up with a polite email or phone call to inquire about the status of your application. If they don’t get back, keep submitting your application to others.
What is the Future of the Department/Specialty Retail Stores?
The department/specialty retail stores industry is expected to experience both challenges and opportunities in the coming years. The growth of e-commerce and online shopping continues to pose a threat to the industry.
However, department/specialty retail stores are expected to continue evolving and adapting to changing consumer preferences to stay relevant. The BLS projects that employment in the industry will increase by 2.2% in the next ten years.
Are department/specialty retail stores jobs in high demand?
Yes, department/specialty retail stores jobs are in high demand. Some positions, such as Sales Associates or Cashiers, may have a higher demand than others due to turnover or seasonal fluctuations.
However, overall, the demand for jobs in department/specialty retail stores may not be as high as in some other industries.
What department/specialty retail stores jobs are in most demand?
Jobs such as Sales Associates, Cashiers, and Customer Service Representatives are often in most demand in this industry.
What is the hardest department/specialty retail stores job?
Positions like Store Manager or Assistant Store Manager are regarded as the hardest due to the high level of responsibility required.
What are department/specialty retail stores skills?
Department/specialty retail stores require a range of skills for various positions. Some of the most common skills for these jobs include Customer service, Communication, Product knowledge, Cash handling, and Computer literacy.
How big is the department retail stores industry?
According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the department retail stores industry accounts for a market size of around $6.15 trillion.
How big is the specialty retail stores industry?
According to data from IBISWorld, the specialty retail stores industry in the US has a market size of $40.4 billion.
How big is the department/specialty retail stores industry?
According to the U.S. Census Bureau’s Monthly Retail Trade Report, as of January 2022, the estimated total sales of department stores and other general merchandise stores was $58.1 billion, while the estimated sales of specialty stores was $67.6 billion.
This puts the combined industry at total estimated sales of $125.7 billion for the month of January 2022 alone. This makes the industry a significant sector of the US economy.
Conclusion: How Many Jobs are Available in Department/Specialty Retail Stores?
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, there are approximately 5.5 million people employed in the retail trade industry. The department/specialty retail stores industry remains a significant contributor to the global economy.
Overall, the future of the department and specialty retail stores industry remains promising, particularly as technology continues to shape the way businesses operate.