Shop Assistant job description

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Shop assistants play a vital role in the retail industry and have a significant effect on a consumer’s shopping experience. The growing retail sector employs over three million members of staff, and employers range from village corner shops to multi-national department stores
Serving customers and taking payments are the key responsibilities of shop assistants. Depending on the retailer worked for, they may also advise customers, assist in locating requested goods, provide information on products, stack and display merchandise, and order stock
Qualities looked for by employers include trustworthiness, diplomacy and politeness, as well as excellent communication and customer service skills. Candidates should also have a high level of stamina to cope with the long hours and challenging nature of the job.
Although formal qualifications are often overlooked, it is necessary to have basic numeracy and cash handling skills. Salaries for full-time workers are between £11,000 and £15,000 per annum, with the potential to earn up to £20,000 at supervisor level.


The position of a Shop Assistant is an introductory and intern one. Their jobs involve interacting with clients who come into a store and answering any questions that they may have. They also keep the store stocked, cleaned and fitted with promotional information.
Shop Assistants are also referred to as Retail or Sales Assistants. They receive good starting salaries and benefits. Assistants may be required to work long hours, holidays, overtime or on weekends, including Sundays. More and more males are working in this sector even though it is dominated by females.
A Shop Assistant usually performs many of the following tasks:
• Answering customer questions
• Collecting payment for items sold
• Conducting in store promotion
• Notifying customers of sales and special offers
• Placing orders for products
• Stocking shelves


• Teamwork and flexibility
• Stress management and politeness
• Being resilient and approachable
• Communication and arithmetic
• Being responsible and attentive
• Being self motivated and confident
• Being discrete and meticulous
• Following orders and resolving customer problems
• Following health and safety guidelines
• Working and standing for long hours
• Dressing and acting professionally


Formal education is not a requirement to work as a Shop Assistant. Many of the duties can be learnt on the job. Assistants are more valued for their skills, ability to interact with clients and getting a sale. Basic High School diploma, HNC, GCSE subjects, and NVQs are helpful. For those persons looking to get promoted to higher positions, studying Business, Management, Retail and Sales courses is advised.

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