Retailing crosses specialist areas - e.g. retail banking, pharmaceuticals, medical, food and beverage, fashion, communications and consumer products, and functions - e.g. HR, IT, management, finance, marketing, logistics and purchasing. Larger organisations may cover some or most of these and each specialism will have its own management team.
Job roles are varied and most large retail chains will have buyers, merchandisers, store managers, a finance team, logistics and supply chain, design team and communications/PR managers. Most organisations will also have their own Human Resources department.
Some organisations may also have a fair trade or development operations, with potential for overseas work or visits.
A number of employers within this sector do not fill their annual graduate training programmes so you may find opportunities throughout the year.
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Typical assessment centres include a series of exercises over a 1-2 day period e.g.:
- Group exercises - analytical and pragmatic exercises, to assess candidates ability to build relationships
- Presentations - often without PowerPoint to see how a candidate works without technology. Past topics include:"Retail in 5 years time: what are the challenges and your proposals to overcome them"
- Role play - recent graduate hires brought in to help
- Face-to-Face group interviews - favoured mechanism to identify the 'go getters' in the group.
- In Retail - recruitment website for the industry with a section for graduates
- Retail careers- UK's foremost website dedicated to retail recruitment
- Retail Human Resources - retail recruitment consultancy
- Sales Vacancies.com- UK’s leading jobsite dedicated to the recruitment of sales professionals
- TARGETjobs employer insights
Professional Associations/Trade Bodies
- British Franchise Association - single regulatory body for franchising in the UK
- Chartered Institute of Marketing - marketing association and officially appointed body for setting the standards for sales and marketing
- Chartered Institute of Purchasing and Supply - international organisation, based in the UK, serving the purchasing and supply profession.
- Institute of Sales and Marketing Management– UK’s foremost professional body for salespeople