The year ahead in retail careers

With the ever impactful threat of European austerity measures and an economy which refuses to settle, those of us involved in the retail recruitment industry are under continual pressure to develop our understanding of the consumer shopping patterns affecting job vacancies and requirements across a wide variety of sectors.

The fashion industry remains as compliscated as any, with UK consumers in particular demonstrating increasingly complex shopping methods as a means of getting what they want in an affordable manner. Simply put, retail itself is being redefined by the European economy and 2013 looks set to continue with this unpredictable transformation.

Value and discount prices are becoming king in all retail industries. From fashion to groceries, entertainment goods to pet products, it seems that no one is willing to avoid a bargain, whilst the complexity of higher spends on ‘luxury’ items makes it even more difficult to predict consumer patterns. This not only affects brand in the high-street, online and at mid-market levels, but also has an impact upon those seeking or actively practicing a career in retail. From store managers to visual merchandisers, wholesale buyers to head office executives, no one is untouched by the actions of the consumer.

Of course, the affect of ecommerce upon the current practices and future practices of retail organisations is undeniable. It is estimated that UK internet users make a third of all purchases online, whilst the British Retail Consortium reported that it was online sales which were responsible for a boost in December’s Christmas shopping activity, up 1.5% in 2012, compared to the previous year. BRC director general Helen Dickinson noted that, “”For the more established retailers, it seems that much of the growth is now coming from online orders, while shop sales are stagnant at best.”

Whilst this affects the number of smaller retail stores opening throughout the UK in recent years, it hasn’t prevented larger retailers from announcing plans to increase job opportunities throughout 2013, with Debenhams preparing to open 17 new stores in the next 5 years. It also provides an incredibly large number of possibilities in regards to e-commerce job positions in retail. In fact, the UK are the world leaders when it comes to taking advantage of online retail channels, with The Centre for Retail Research listing Brits as sharing a 13.2% proportion of European online sales in 2012.

Technological advances in retail mean more than additional office hires who remain sat behind a computer screen all day. The urgency for developing such technologies in store have been spoken of by all of the major supermarkets, with multimedia displays set to have as much impact as any other form of visual merchandising.

It seems clear that the future of retail recruitment and retail careers is dependent upon a rapidly developing landscape; one which is not only affected by technology, but by the economy responsible for technology’s required and inevitable impact upon sales. Whether just starting your first retail job or continuing to develop a prosperous retail career, it seems that all sectors are in for continued excitement in 2013 and beyond.

Of course, at Fashion-Recruit, we are happy to help with both. So, should you need to discuss your next step in your fashion career or any fashion related retail job, please contact one of our expert recruitment team today.