Hotspots of skills in demand: Jan - June 2019

Posted: 31st May

Looking firstly at the store management market, skills shortages are intensifying even further. As a result, retail employers are investing in the training and development of staff, which is creating opportunities for retail candidates to progress to Store Assistants and Assistant Store Managers. This trend ensures that the future is promising for junior retail candidates seeking a career in this industry.

Of course, Store Managers with experience implementing change continue to be in high demand. There is also a constant need to replace departing Store Managers who have no promotional pathway remaining in their current store so pursue a new challenge elsewhere.

Australian fashion retailers are showing a keen interest in candidates who have run their own small business and are now looking to return to the retail industry. Employers value the wealth of creativity and solid business acumen that such candidates possess.

Sales Assistants will continue to be needed too in response to turnover. Given the training and development on offer, a strong retail career path is available for successful performers.

Demand also exists for retail professionals with digital development and marketing expertise as traditional retailers develop e-commerce head office teams and add digital responsibilities to traditional bricks and mortar roles.

Skilled Merchandise Planners with traditional bricks and mortar Australian retail experience remain in high demand too. With margins continuing to narrow across the retail landscape, there will be an increasing demand for data-driven Merchandise Planners for optimal inventory management. Specific category experience is important too, such as fashion, apparel versus big box and hard goods.

Online retailers are also looking for Merchandise Planners with previous planning experience gained within both an online outlet as well as in traditional retail.

Merchandise Allocators with previous experience are needed too. Most Merchandise Allocators start their retail career in a stock room or on the shop floor and remain in this role for only one to two years before progressing to Assistant Planner. This therefore creates ongoing demand for Merchandise Allocators. With many candidates viewing the role as a side-step rather than step forward in their career, employers need to offer a clear development pathway to attract top talent.

Concessions Managers are in short supply.

Finally, retail professionals with luxury goods experience are sought. Employers require candidates with previous relevant experience.

Jobseeker advice

Retail jobseekers are advised to mention in your CV any retail certifications you have attained, such as a gemology certificate or a relevant retail training course.

Your CV should also detail your greatest achievements in each role, such as the highest sales achievement across your team. This allows you to clearly demonstrate how you can add value in a new role.

It is also advisable to include any feedback you have received from clients or managers to support your experience and achievements.

A skill that is always in demand across retail operations is the ability to speak a second language. If you are bilingual, mention this in your CV.

Employers also value candidates who upskill by undertaking additional relevant study.

Merchandise Allocators and Planners should outline your technology and systems skills on your CV, since new technology can improve the accuracy of forecasting.