Super Careers With Supermarket Retail
It might surprise you to learn that supermarket retail offers interesting opportunities beyond the mundane shelf stacking or beeping barcodes on the tills.
As with most large organisations, especially brands such as large supermarkets, the front of house presentation is merely a layer. Looking a bit closer reveals more than you’d necessarily imagine about possible career routes.
You might initially think that a career in retail is going nowhere since, as we all know, the high street environment is still a very challenging place to do business. However, the rules appear to be slightly different for supermarket brands. Indeed, any list you care to examine of the UK’s top retailers proves that supermarkets still dominate.
There’s no question that the retail market is going through an extended period of adjustment. Traditional shopping is still the most popular retail practice but unsurprisingly it’s online where the growth is taking place. In a sense, this doesn’t really matter, since it’s still part of the supermarket retail sphere. The big players are still the big players, online or in-store (unlike in other retail areas where some big high street brands are still struggling to adapt to online trading).
Not only is the supermarket retail market relatively buoyant it’s also true that it’s brimming with opportunities for Service-leavers to utilise their experience and transferable skills in a wide variety of roles.
Firstly, we’re talking about large numbers of staff that are likely to work different shifts but will need effective management to make sure that they’re all pulling in the same direction; not unlike organising Military personnel. Beyond that there are requirements for people with defined skills in IT as well as in other trades such as electrician, plumber and builder that may match your training and experience.
Invisible but essential
There are also roles connected with logistics, warehousing and supply chain that you might not have considered. These will include controlling stock and getting the timing right on deliveries so that you aren’t left with lots of unsold and rapidly deteriorating fruit and vegetables for example, or for instance, prematurely selling out of salads on the hottest day of the year.
Supermarket retail is a great place to pick up new skills which you can then look to develop and become specialist in, such as marketing, merchandising, buying, customer service or specific management of departments such as food or fashion.
The buzzword here is likely to be ‘innovation’. Retail success is often about spotting a trend or a gap in the market. Currently, retailers are reconsidering how their physical stores work in a shopping environment that increasingly stretches in to online territory and market share and its subsequent effect on ‘customer experience’. Not only that, but other challenges such as those connected with concerns such as the environment, reducing plastics and even alternatives to meat consumption are likely to keep supermarket retailers on their toes for the foreseeable future.
Retail is easy to get in to at an entry level, although for more specific roles you’ll need to relate how your transferable skills give you the edge over other candidates. In most cases, retail employers will provide training. In short, success in supermarket retail starts with passion, people skills and organisation.