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Retail opportunities include entry-level jobs and part-time jobs such as sales associate or warehouse worker, and they also include better paying positions with more responsibility, such as store manager positions, regional manager, and even corporate positions within a retail company. Most retail opportunities start at the lowest levels, such as sales positions, though employees have the potential to move up quickly within a company, from relatively low-paying positions to salaried positions with benefits. The specific job responsibilities of an employee will vary according to the type of position as well as the type of retail establishment in which the employee works.
A sales associate position is one of many retail opportunities that allow a person with little or no experience to obtain a job in retail. A sales associate is responsible for selling goods to customers, which means he or she will interact directly with several people during a shift, and the associate must represent the company in the best way possible. This means being polite, knowledgeable, and friendly; the associate must be able to develop a relationship with customers and answer all the customer's questions accurately and clearly. Sales associates must very often operate a cash register as well.
Some retail opportunities allow a person to work outside of a store or specific location. Product representatives may travel to different retail establishments to meet with managers about stocking certain products. A product rep for a shoe company, for example, may travel throughout a specific region to speak with managers or owners of retail shoe establishments to discuss carrying the representative's line of shoes. The product representative can help the owner or manager place an order should he or she choose to carry the line, and the representative can take care of any warranty issues that may arise.
Management positions vary significant. Some retail opportunities for managers may require that person to work directly in a store, or he or she may have to visit several stores within a region. A manager is responsible for hiring and firing employees, addressing specific issues at a certain store, writing schedules, ensuring paychecks get written and delivered quickly and accurately, and addressing any issues or problems that may arise in the store. A manager must adapt to different situations and ensure the store runs smoothly while improving sales performance and reducing customer complaints.