Don’t believe the stories about the retail sector disappearing under the tsunami of online shopping and commerce. We love shopping, and in the next four years over 100,000 new workers will be needed to satisfy our need for the retail experience.
Right now one in every six workers in New Zealand is in retail or part of the retail supply chain getting goods into consumers’ hands. That’s over 400,000 workers.
Always room for young workers in retail
And the sector has always had room for young workers, with one in every five NZ workers aged between 15 and 24 being employed in retail.
However parts of the retail sector are struggling to secure the new workers they need, and the government have been asked to allow more workers with retail skills to be allowed to immigrate to New Zealand. It’s a move that has its share of critics who suggest it is a recipe for lower pay and poorer conditions.
New word check: Showrooming and webrooming
The biggest challenge facing retail is the online world. We’ve all done the ‘showrooming’ thing, checked out a product in a shop then bought it cheaper online.
But smart retailers are starting to turn this phenomenon around by engaging customers better, offering online as well as instore purchasing and by showing their expertise and knowledge of the products they sell.
It’s leading to the reverse of ‘showrooming’, ‘webrooming’, where customers research online before puchasing instore. A US survey shows that almost 70% of shoppers webroom while the number showrooming is less than 50% and dropping.
So, retail isn’t dying and in fact will continue to be a viable job option for plenty of school leavers in years to come. If you want to know where the job openings are likely to be, take a look through Service IQ’s really detailed Regional Roadmaps.
While you’re looking at Service IQ – the industry training organisation which covers retail training – check out their Service Career Kick Starter booklet. It covers how you can grow your career in retail and open all sorts of opportunities for yourself.
Skills retail employers are looking for:
- great communication and interpersonal skills.
- good standard of IT and numeracy.
- strong customer focus.
- ability to work under pressure and strong time-management skills.
- analysing and problem-solving skills.
Above all else, employers are looking for people who can use their initiative to find ways of improving the way things are done, who are committed to their employer and who are passionate about their sector whether it be fashion, food or cars.