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Retail Job Descriptions

With five million people working in the retail sector, there is a mass of talent looking for the best jobs, benefits, and working environments. With a business sector flush with trained and untrained workers, getting an overwhelming flood of applicants when advertising vacancies is all too easy. This can put employers and recruiters in a position where it is hard to filter through the available talent, costing time and valuable resources.

If you are hiring a Store Manager, Shop Assistant, Merchandiser, or Buyer, we recommend placing focus on the must-have skills, experience, and in some cases, qualifications. The most straightforward and practical approach is to start with a job description template.

Here we provide ten retail job description examples and offer resources to tailor your job ad and job specifications.

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What Do Retail Staff Do?

Your retail job descriptions detail the shop floor and retail team functions and how they fit in your organisational culture. Your retail business needs to hire its sales and retail staff carefully to ensure your company has the best mix of experience and skills. The professional performance of your team will affect crucial business aspects such as hitting sales targets, generating profit, ensuring a good customer experience, and building or maintaining your brand’s reputation.

Depending on the retail environment, retail employees oversee:

  • Providing customer assistance and answering customer queries
  • Hitting sales targets
  • Maintaining product knowledge
  • Welcoming customers
  • Implementing product displays (Visual Merchandiser)
  • Enforcing company policies (Head Office Retail Management/Store Retail Manager)
  • Completing purchase contracts and agreements
  • Processing transactions and sales
  • Handling money and preparing banking
  • Delivering training (Head Office/Store Managers)
  • Auditing the inventory
  • Administrative tasks

Retail Role

The duties of retail professionals are completed by individuals in roles titled as:

  • Retail Associate
  • Sales Associate
  • Store Manager
  • Retail Manager
  • Visual Merchandiser
  • Auto Glass Technician
  • Retail Sales Assistant

Retail Responsibilities And Duties

Retail Associate duties are the must-do and high-priority responsibilities of the role. These are the job aspects that you will likely govern the individual’s performance on, and as you can imagine, hitting sales targets and providing excellent customer service will probably be top of the list.

Important tasks of retail employees might include:

  • Greeting customers
  • Responding to customer needs/answering questions/helping customers
  • Processing sales transactions/processing payments and financial transactions/using cash registers
  • Organising staff schedules (Store Manager)
  • Performing business administration and updating customer records
  • Balancing the cash register and preparing banking
  • Setting up displays and promotional items (Visual Merchandiser)
  • Giving demonstrations of services and products
  • Receiving stock and inventory
  • Performing stock audits
  • Cleaning and presenting merchandise
  • Collaborating with marketing staff
  • Attending training workshops
  • Monitoring budgets and petty cash
  • Performing credit checks
  • Hitting sales goals
  • Assisting customers
  • Provide excellent customer service
  • Managing the retail team (Store Manager)
  • Training retail staff
  • Following company policies

These duties are pretty generic, but you can make the job’s duties more engaging and meaningful by saying how the responsibility should be accomplished. For example, “Providing customer assistance by explaining product features and resolving customer complaints.”

Retail Skills

To ensure your company leverages best practices, hits its targets, and completes its different tasks, you need to hire retail and sales associates with the necessary skills.

To complete their retail job duties, a Retail Associate needs hard and soft skills that include:

  • Knowledge of retail management
  • Sales and negotiation
  • Interpersonal skills
  • Excellent communication skills
  • Numeracy and accuracy
  • Organisation
  • Complaints resolution
  • Team player
  • Excellent customer service skills
  • Time management
  • Attention to detail
  • Polite
  • Problem-solving skills
  • Active listening
  • Confidence/offering assistance
  • Trustworthiness
  • Target driven
  • Adaptable
  • Leadership and motivational
  • Physical fitness for lifting heavy items and stocking shelves

Retail Qualifications And Education

The qualifications and education depend on the role and level of seniority but might include:

  • A Bachelor’s Degree in Sales, Business Administration, Marketing, or a related field
  • High School Diploma/GCSEs
  • College Degree

Required Retail Experience And Retail Training

Experience and training relevant to retail jobs include:

  • A proven track record selling similar products and services
  • Previous retail experience and an in-depth understanding of the retail environment
  • Commercial awareness
  • Previous experience in a management position
  • Previous Customer Service Representative experience
  • Proficiency in using computers, point of sale systems (POS systems), spreadsheets, and inventory or stock databases

Retail Job Description FAQs

Here we answer your questions on retail roles and job descriptions.


Retail Associates hold a full or part time retail job that completes tasks such as processing transactions, resolving customers’ complaints, and hitting goals set by the retail business or retail manager.


GCSEs in English and maths are sufficient minimum qualifications for a candidate that will fill your part-time retail job.


Employers can advertise a part-time retail job on job boards, social media, in local newspapers, or by word of mouth. Many referrals come from the retail associate that is already working for you.


To create a Retail Associate or part-time retail job advert, write a list of the tasks and skills the individual will be responsible for. Include the experience and qualifications you require and define your vision, values, and business culture. You can find what each retail role is responsible for below.


Job advertising for retail will differ based on the job skills and position. It will help to leverage a recruitment strategy that encompasses advertising on general and specialist retail job boards, social media, and word-of-mouth referrals. Your hiring strategy might also include having a presence at leadership or industry conferences and online with sales organisations or professional bodies.

Crucial elements that will affect hiring success include writing an effective job description and selecting the proper job title. Your job description should define the retail job, and the job advert should highlight your company culture and values and state if you are recruiting for full-time or part-time retail jobs.

Flat fee recruitment solutions continue to deliver the best results when recruiting a Retail Sales Associate or Manager.


A retail job description is a document that sets out the role’s duties, tasks, and skills. Putting these in black and white is crucial and will help you find the right match for a position that directly affects revenue, profit, growth, and customer experience.

The job description should be transparent and clearly set out who you are, who you want, what they will do, and why a potential candidate might want to work for you. It helps tremendously to use language and jargon that engages your audience.

When you get all of this right and include the best words to use when writing retail job descriptions, you will get job applications from qualified candidates that closely match your ideal person profile.


When writing a job description either for a retail job advert or an internal job specification you need to focus on 5 main criteria:

  1. What are the key jobs, tasks, and duties required for retail positions
  2. Consider all the job responsibilities required for a retail role
  3. What skills the person must have for the job
  4. What personality traits the person must have to work in retail
  5. Appropriate and relevant education and qualifications

These five criteria should help you build a picture of your ideal candidate. Good questions to consider that will help you write a concise retail job description that stands apart from others (essential in the current competitive job market), and attract the best retail candidates, include:

  • What value does this role bring to your company?
  • How does the role align with your company culture, values, and mission?
  • How does this role differ from other company positions?
  • How is this role similar to other company positions?
  • What are the minimum retail skills or transferable skills?
  • What are examples of your products and services sales targets?

Suppose you are not hands-on in a retail store or highly familiar with the company’s products and services. In that case, it can help to interview one of your top-performing sales associates or a store manager to gain a greater understanding.

A word about jargon: The phrase ”jargon” has good and bad connotations, and if it isn’t carefully considered, it may deter retail candidates from applying. Ask yourself if words and phrases are company-exclusive or industry recognised.

Furthermore, if you are hiring for senior-level retail positions, you might expect candidates to have a greater vocabulary and understanding of retail and business jargon. However, if you are hiring junior-level retail associates or for part-time retail jobs, consider being as straightforward and transparent as possible.


Retail sector tasks are any other activities that a retail associate or retail manager completes on a regular or occasional basis. These are usually subsidiary tasks such as completing company paperwork or responding to customers” emails.

It is tempting to leave some of the more ”boring” tasks out to make your vacancy sound more attractive, but this can lead to trouble down the road as you may hire retail employees that are not a perfect match. If you hire the wrong retail associates, your business, team, and customers may suffer. The employee might leave your company, and you are back to square one, requiring another investment in recruitment and training.

If you get to the end of the process outlined here and find that your job description is too long and concise has gone out the window, it is time to review your first draft. To bring things back into line, you should delete unnecessary phrases and fluff, remove prepositional phrases, focus on what is role critical, and refrain from putting your entire ”about us” page in your content.


As a final note for employers and recruiters, it is crucial to remember that while a job description is about what and who you want, describing this alone will not create an inbox full of eager candidates willing to comply. A job advert must go beyond the duties, skills, education, qualifications, traits, and different tasks that you want and communicate the position’s value to job seekers.

Your retail business should convey its employee value propositions to engage candidates, highlighting both monetary and other benefits. Benefits that will entice qualified job seekers to apply might include:

  • Stating the retail position’ average salary range rather than saying ”competitive salary”
  • Focusing on work-life balance
  • Training opportunities
  • Career development opportunities
  • The quality of products or services
  • How company values align with those of customers and employees

Retail Job Description Examples And Samples

We recommend creating your retail job description using one of the samples and examples below.

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