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12 Common Retail Job Titles & Positions For Your Store

12-common-retail-job-titles-&-positions-for-your-store
12 Common Retail Job Titles & Positions For Your Store

Are you a retail business owner who’s decided it’s time to hire your first employee? If so, you’ve made it over the first hurdle—and congratulations on the milestone! 

Next up? Knowing what position to fill. 

You know you need help, but where? How? First, consider what retail jobs would generate revenue for your business and your business’s specific needs.

For example, if you’re consistently facing long lines at the register, consider hiring a cashier first. If you have too many customers to help by yourself, you likely need a sales associate on the floor. 

Understanding your business needs while considering revenue-generating roles will help you make the right decision. But before diving into creating your job listing, you need a solid understanding of what to hire for and when

In this guide, learn about the most common jobs in retail, their job descriptions, required retail skills, and when to add that position to your team. 

12 retail job titles and positions

There’s not a one-size-fits-all job hierarchy for every retail business. However, following this general order will help you hire the right employees as you scale.

  1. Retail sales associates
  2. Cashiers
  3. Customer service representatives
  4. Visual merchandisers
  5. Buyers
  6. Inventory control specialists
  7. Marketing and advertising specialist
  8. Team leaders
  9. Store managers
  10. Assistant store managers
  11. Human resources manager
  12. Loss prevention or security guard

Retail sales associates

Retail sales associate pay range: $10–$22/hour or $33k-$66k/year (Indeed)

A retail sales associate ensures customers know someone’s available to help if they need anything, from answering product questions to showing them a product that meets their needs—thus helping increase your sales. If your retail business offers perks like appointment shopping or local pickup, a sales associate can also help manage those experiences.

Sales associates are also responsible for maintaining your store’s clean and organized appearance, setting up product displays, restocking items, and checking out customers (if you don’t also have a cashier). 

Screenshot of retail sales associate job opening for Mure + Grand
Jewelry and clothing brand Mure + Grand shares a retail sales associate job opening on its Shopify website. (Source)

Retail sales associate skills

Retail sales associates should have the following skills

  • Clear and effective communication with customers
  • Collaboration with other associates and team members
  • Quick and effective problem-solving and conflict-resolution skills
  • Ability to adapt and learn quickly
  • Organization and attention to detail
  • Experience with POS systems
  • Basic mathematics and financial knowledge

When to hire a retail sales associate

If you notice customers in your store seeking help that isn’t readily available and you’re stretched too thin to fill the role yourself, you’re likely ready to hire a sales associate.

Cashiers

Cashier pay range: $10-$20 per hour or $25k-$46k per year (Indeed)

A cashier might seem like a simple job title, but the position can provide great value to your retail business if you’re experiencing an influx of customers each day. A well-trained cashier helps expedite the purchasing process, making it as quick and seamless as possible for your customers.

Cashiers are responsible for processing purchases and transactions, welcoming customers once they walk into the door, assisting with returns and exchanges, answering the phone, and promoting any add-ons (like point of purchase displays or rewards programs) right before the customer checks out.

Screenshot of Roca Berry Farm job openings with “seasonal cashier” expanded
Roca Berry Farm hires cashiers seasonally to help out during busy periods. (Source)

Cashier skills

  • Excellent customer service skills
  • Experience with point-of-sale systems and cash handling
  • Organizational skills and attention to detail
  • Quick and effective problem-solving and conflict-resolution skills
  • Basic mathematics and financial knowledge

When to hire a cashier

Naturally, you want to avoid making it difficult for customers to purchase products they desire—and for you to make money—so hiring a cashier can help improve your customer experience and revenue.

Screenshot of Honey’s Cupcakes customer service representative job ad
Honey’s Cupcakes, a bakery with an online store powered by Shopify, is hiring a CSR for its business. (Source)

Customer service representatives

Customer service representative pay range: $10-$34 per hour or $36k-$51k per year (Indeed and Glassdoor)

The job of a customer service representative (CSR) might sound similar to that of a sales associate, but each job has distinct duties. A sales associate tends to work on the floor, while a CSR works over the phone or email.

A CSR is responsible for answering all customer inquiries, such as purchase concerns, product questions, or even negative reviews. According to your retail company policies, CSRs work to resolve customers’ complaints, improve customer experience, and build customer loyalty.

Customer service representative skills

When hiring a customer service representative, look for the following skills

  • Excellent people and communication skills
  • Quick and effective problem-solving skills
  • Great energy and infective enthusiasm
  • Organizational skills and attention to detail
  • Ability to work as a team player and independently
  • Basic computer skills and familiarity with POS systems and customer service technology

When to hire a customer service representative

Some retail stores may never need a customer service representative, but if you’re seeing an influx of emails and calls, especially if you sell products both online and offline, it’s worthwhile to look into hiring a CSR.

Visual merchandisers

Visual merchandiser pay range: $44k-$86k per year (Indeed)

If you’ve ever envied an eye-catching product or window display, a visual merchandiser was likely responsible. Their job is to highlight and display your products in strategic ways to elevate sales and customer experience. They know where products belong and why, along with how to leverage elements of design and buyer psychology to prompt sales across your entire store.

A great visual merchandiser can also help with new product launches, promotions, and other marketing campaigns when it comes to staging product photos and encouraging user-generated content via content creation studios. Lastly, they can also help build relationships with your suppliers (if you don’t have a buyer). There are also different types of visual merchandisers for different needs, such as events or retail.

Screenshot of City Mattress Field Visual Merchandise Coordinator job ad
City Mattress is hiring a field visual merchandise coordinator with specific roles and responsibilities. (Source)

Visual merchandiser skills

  • Previous experience with visual merchandising
  • Experience developing floor display strategies and planograms
  • Possesses the ability to think creatively and strategically
  • Must meet deadlines and handle multiple tasks simultaneously
  • Experience working with suppliers and manufacturers
  • Ability to handle a physical workload
  • Ability to work as a team player and independently
  • Experience applying sales numbers to floor layout plans

When to hire a visual merchandiser

If you usually don’t have an eye for design and/or don’t see your store living up to its full potential, invest in a visual merchandiser to help give your store the facelift it deserves. Similarly, if you’re moving into a new retail store location, consider chatting with a visual merchandiser to understand how to adapt to your new space.

Buyers

Buyer pay range: $96k-$170k per year (Glassdoor)

A buyer does so much more than simply purchase your retail products. This retail job is responsible for doing the necessary research to determine exactly what products you should put on your shelves (or online) and locate the best possible price for you as the retail owner. 

A buyer is also responsible for establishing relationships with vendors, manufacturers, and other companies to get the best deals for your store—and products for your customers.

Screenshot of ReLove buyer/curator job ad
ReLove is seeking a buyer with experience in its niche of secondhand goods. It calls its buyer role a “buyer/curator.” (Source)

Buyer skills

  • Experience negotiating and managing contracts
  • Ability to effectively research, evaluate, and analyze products based on a variety of factors such as price and quality
  • Experience working with suppliers and vendors
  • Organizational skills and attention to detail
  • Experience maintaining and tracking purchase orders and inventory levels

When to hire a buyer

If you lack the resources to find the best deals on products or need help revamping the products you’re offering in-store, look to a buyer to help you save money and provide the best products to your customers.

Inventory control specialists 

Screenshot of Madluvv controller job ad
Beauty and cosmetics brand Madluvv is hiring an inventory control specialist for a role with the job title of “controller.” (Source)

Inventory control specialist pay range: $35k-$67k per year (Indeed and Glassdoor)

An inventory control specialist is a great addition to your retail management team. This retail position’s responsibilities include preventing loss, tracking and maintaining inventory, implementing procedures to control costs, controlling the ebb and flow of inventory, creating reports regarding defects, stock levels, demand, and quantity, and ensuring received products are accurate and up to company standards.

Like the other roles in this list, the duties of an inventory control specialist should be subjective to what your retail business needs. The scope for this job can be as little or as much as your company structure demands.

Inventory control specialist skills

  • Proven experience controlling inventory within a retail setting
  • Experience creating, analyzing, and maintaining reports
  • Experience creating and maintaining inventory procedures
  • Proven ability to increase or maintain a company’s profits through inventory control
  • Experience in a management role
  • Ability to think strategically and analytically
  • Familiarity and experience working with inventory management and control software

When to hire an inventory control specialist

An inventory control specialist may be the last missing piece to your scaling retail business, especially if the inventory tasks become more than what your buyer can handle with their other day-to-day responsibilities.

Marketing and advertising specialist

Marketing and advertising specialist pay range: $38k-$105k per year (Indeed and Glassdoor)

As your retail business expands, bringing in a marketing and advertising specialist can boost brand visibility and sales. This role is pivotal in crafting and executing promotional campaigns, both online and offline, to attract and retain customers.

Responsibilities include developing marketing strategies, managing advertising budgets, analyzing market trends, and coordinating promotional events. They also collaborate with other departments to ensure brand consistency and effectiveness across all channels. 

Screenshot of Olivia Macaron digital marketing specialist job ad
Olivia Macaron is hiring a digital marketing specialist to help promote its brand and products. (Source)

You can choose a general marketing role or get specialized depending on your needs. 

Screenshot of Swank junior graphic designer job ad
Swank, for example, is hiring a junior graphic designer to assist its marketing team. (Source)

Marketing and advertising specialist skills

  • Proven experience in marketing or advertising, preferably within the retail industry
  • Strong analytical skills and proficiency in data-driven decision-making
  • Creativity and innovation in developing compelling campaigns
  • Proficiency in digital marketing tools and platforms
  • Excellent communication and collaboration skills

When to hire a marketing and advertising specialist

Consider hiring a marketing and advertising specialist when you’re looking to expand your customer base, launch new products, or enhance your brand presence in competitive markets.

Team leaders

Team leader pay range: $11-$25 per hour or $40k-$116k (Indeed and Glassdoor)

Introducing team leaders into your retail workforce can streamline operations and improve efficiency, especially as your team grows larger. These people oversee specific departments or teams, making sure teams are completing tasks correctly and also keeping them engaged and motivated.

Responsibilities include supervising team members, delegating tasks, providing training and guidance to department managers, and maintaining productivity and morale within the team. They also serve as a bridge between employees and upper management, addressing concerns and fostering a positive work environment.

Screenshot of Saje Natural Wellness Team Leader job description
Saje Natural Wellness has team leaders at each of its retail locations. In fact, many stores have multiple team leads. (Source)

Team leader skills

  • Previous leadership experience in a retail or similar setting
  • Strong interpersonal and conflict-resolution skills
  • Ability to prioritize tasks and manage time effectively
  • Knowledge of retail operations and customer service principles
  • Adaptability and resilience in fast-paced environments

When to hire a team leader

When your retail team becomes too large for direct management oversight or when specific departments require focused leadership, it’s time to consider adding team leaders to your organizational structure.

Store managers

Store manager pay range: $37k-$104k per year (Indeed and Glassdoor)

The specific responsibilities of a retail store manager should be tailored to your business’s needs, but generally speaking, this retail position handles a lot of what you might have started out doing as a business owner. This may include maintaining day-to-day tasks, managing employee schedules, training new employees, understanding sales trends, and marketing your store.

Your store manager may also be in charge of budgeting, payroll, store requirements (such as safety and other operational needs), implementing company policies and procedures, providing customer service, and more. All in all, your store manager needs to be responsible for filling your day-to-day role, so it’s important to find someone you trust with the necessary skills and experience.

Dover Street Market New York is seeking a store manager to help out with its brick-and-mortar business. (Source)

Store manager skills

  • Experience leading a team within a retail setting
  • Excellent problem-solving, leadership, and communication skills
  • Proven ability to set and achieve financial and business objectives
  • Experience enforcing and maintaining company policies and procedures
  • Firm understanding of sales, promotions, trends, retail markets, and merchandising
  • Excellent customer service skills
  • Experience creating and maintaining employee scheduling

When to hire a store manager

Once you’ve hired a few employees to handle a variety of tasks, you might find yourself ready to have a manager step in to oversee the day-to-day. This can also open up your schedule to focus on other areas of the business, such as opening a pop-up store in a new location.

Assistant store managers

Assistant store manager pay range: $27k-$82k per year (Indeed and Glassdoor)

An assistant store manager shares some duties with the store manager, but they generally provide support for day-to-day tasks and take over most of the employee-related responsibilities like management and scheduling. 

An assistant store manager might also be likely to first handle any elevated customer concerns or questions before handing them over to your store manager.

Screenshot of Saje Natural Wellness Team Leader job description
REAL Watersports is hiring an assistant store manager to help with the retail side of its business. (Source)

Assistant store manager skills

  • Experience managing a team within a retail setting
  • Problem-solving, leadership, and communication skills
  • Experience achieving financial and business objectives
  • Experience enforcing and maintaining company policies and procedures
  • Excellent customer service skills
  • Experience creating and maintaining employee scheduling

When to hire an assistant store manager

If your store manager needs help with their tasks and your retail team continues to grow, you’re ready to add an assistant store manager to the team.

Human resources manager

Human resources manager pay range: $54k-$139k per year (Indeed and Glassdoor)

As your retail business expands, proper human resource management becomes essential for maintaining employee satisfaction and compliance with labor laws. A human resources manager plays a crucial role in recruiting, training, and retaining talent, managing employee relations, and ensuring legal compliance.

Responsibilities include developing HR policies and procedures, managing recruitment and onboarding processes, administering employee benefits and payroll, handling disciplinary actions, and fostering a positive work culture.

Human resources manager skills

  • Extensive experience in human resources management, preferably in the retail industry
  • In-depth knowledge of employment laws and regulations
  • Strong organizational and multitasking abilities
  • Excellent communication and interpersonal skills
  • Proficiency in HR software and systems

When to hire a human resources manager

Consider hiring a human resources manager when your workforce expands beyond a manageable size, or when you encounter HR-related challenges that require specialized expertise and attention.

Loss prevention or security guard 

Loss prevention or security guard pay range: $38k-$97k per year (Indeed)

Protecting your retail assets and ensuring a safe shopping environment for customers and employees is important. Introducing a loss prevention officer or security guard position can help mitigate risks such as theft, vandalism, and safety incidents.

Responsibilities include monitoring surveillance systems, conducting patrols, deterring theft and fraudulent activities, and responding to security incidents. They also collaborate with law enforcement agencies and implement security protocols to minimize risks.

Loss prevention or security guard skills

  • Previous experience in security or law enforcement, preferably in a retail or similar environment
  • Strong observation and surveillance skills
  • Ability to remain calm and act decisively in stressful situations
  • Knowledge of security systems and protocols
  • Excellent communication and conflict-resolution skills

When to hire a loss prevention or security guard 

Consider hiring a loss prevention or security guard when your store experiences increasing incidents of theft or security breaches, or when you expand into larger premises that require enhanced security measures.

Start hiring for these retail jobs today

We’ve covered the common retail positions, their responsibilities and desired skills, and when to hire them. Now it’s time to make that job listing and hiring plan

Bookmark this guide on retail jobs and reference it as your retail business grows. You’ll be well on your way to finding the perfect applicant in no time.

Retail job positions FAQs

What job roles are there in retail?

  1. Cashiers
  2. Sales associates
  3. Customer service reps
  4. Store managers
  5. Visual merchandisers
  6. Buyers

What are retail job duties?

  1. Interacting with customers
  2. Answering questions about merchandise
  3. Collect payments
  4. Process returns and exchanges
  5. Restocking merchandise

What is the highest-paying retail job?

  1. Buyer: $96k-$170k/year
  2. Human resources manager: $54k-$139k/year
  3. Store manager pay range: $37k-$104k/year
  4. Visual merchandiser: $44k-$86k/year
  5. Loss prevention or security guard: $38k-$97k per year
  6. Assistant store manager: $27k-$82k/year

What is the job of someone who works in retail?

Retail work involves assisting customers, managing retail sales workers, handling transactions, restocking shelves, maintaining store cleanliness, and often promoting products or services.

What are retail store workers called?

Retail store workers can be called by various titles depending on their specific roles. Titles include: 

  • Sales associates
  • Cashiers
  • Customer service representatives
  • Store managers
  • Visual merchandisers
  • Buyers

This article originally appeared on Shopify Retail Blog and is available here for further discovery.
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