Retail trade is the business activity of selling products or services to consumers. This can be done through one-time transactions or subscriptions. The industry employs many workers in hundreds of occupations, such as merchandise displayers and window trimmers; security guards who protect people, goods, and money in stores; building cleaning workers who keep stores tidy by collecting trash, wiping surfaces, and sweeping floors.
In recent years, the retail trade industry has undergone dramatic transformations as physical stores were overwhelmed by online competition and shifting consumer habits. Many customers now shop in smaller establishments or those that specialize in particular types of goods or services. Other trends include an increasing reliance on digital technology as well as increased importance placed on customer service.
Retail trade employment increased slightly between 2012 and 2022, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. At 15 million employees in May 2013, this sector represented 11 percent of all nonfarm jobs nationwide.
Trends Impacting Retail Trade
Employment growth in the retail trade industry has slowed recently as online shopping grows in popularity. Nonetheless, it remains an integral part of the economy; employment related to electronic shopping and auctions grew at an annual rate of 164 percent from 2004 through 2013.
Other Employment Options
Retail traders offer a range of jobs that can be done at their store or home. They may work as stock clerks or order fillers, as well as salespeople or supervisors of other employees. Some retail salespeople and stock clerks earn commissions: a portion of what is sold.
They must be able to work well with other staff and be flexible enough to adjust their hours as the store’s needs shift. Some retailers also hire assistants for inventory management, restocking duties, and other duties.
Retail worker wages vary based on several factors, including the job and whether they earn a commission or fixed wage. Some industries, such as auto dealers and apparel/footwear manufacturers, tend to offer higher average wages than other retail sectors.
Wholesalers are companies that purchase goods from suppliers at discounted prices and then resell them to retailers at a profit. This keeps prices low for consumers, who don’t have to pay full price when shopping at retail stores.
In many cases, wholesalers offer their goods at a reduced cost, and retailers pass these savings onto customers in the form of lower prices. The relationship between wholesalers and retailers is beneficial for all parties involved as it helps maintain the supply chain while guaranteeing everyone gets their money’s worth.
Product placement is an integral aspect of retail trade and essential for a retailer’s success. Neglecting to display products correctly could cost the business money. Furthermore, ensure that merchandise is displayed correctly in store with consistent messages regarding brand identity and promotional activities.