Posted on June 26, 2018
Few people view a retail career as a viable profession, a misconception that harms the industry as a whole. Talented young people pursue work in retail as a gateway to the job market, but often leave after high school or college to pursue entirely different professions. Experienced salespeople leave a void in the industry as they retire, and no new generation of retail professionals seems likely to take their place. It falls on the shoulders of retailers to address this issue, and refashion retail work as an attractive and lucrative career option.
Retailers often have no problem attracting employees; the problem lies in retainment. Too many young people view retail as a part-time affair: seasonal employment, or a stopgap job until a ‘real’ career presents itself. Retail has not always had this problem. Go into any large department store, and you will still find a handful of professional adults who devoted themselves to a retail career. These individuals provide a startling difference in service. Rather than disinterest, professional salespeople share the benefit of their experience with customers, and have expertise on the finer points of size and fit. Young salespeople often do not bother to learn these skills, since they consider their time in retail as limited.
In order to retain young talent, retailers must make sales positions attractive long-term choices. In order for someone to relate to a job as a career, they must see value in the development of marketable skills. If a job requires no skills, it fails to promote the personal growth that people look for in a satisfying profession. Rather than solely emphasizing the basic skills of customer service, fashion retailers can train sales associates to offer special services. BJ Wilson and Company offers customized training that gives employees all the skills and knowledge they need to become certified wardrobe experts. Once a salesperson begins to take pride in his or her skills, they begin to value their profession, and take ownership of a store’s success.
The ability to translate marketable skills across employers and into non-professional life is what differentiates a career from a job. A wardrobe expert need never feel trapped in a dead-end position, as they have sought-after skills in their knowledge and expertise. A retailer that invests in the training of employees helps the industry as a whole, and is more likely to attract top-level talent. Better salespeople lead to better served customers, who will likely return again and again to receive the same high level of service. Retailers, in order to find the talent they need, must create it themselves. Employee development, such as that offered by BJ Wilson and Company, can close the talent gap for good.
To learn more about strategies such as these, and find guidance on how to present a retail career as a viable profession, visit Amazon to purchase a copy of The Fashion Cycle: Strategic Buying & Selling for Retail: A Workbook and Practical Guide. To learn more about the book, click here. For questions or inquiries about how to promote a retail career in Dallas and Fort Worth, TX, call 817-763-5081 today.