Store Clerk Job Description
Store Clerks assist in the day to day operations of the store at which they work. They aim to ensure customers have a pleasant shopping experience. To this end, Store Clerks need to be very familiar with their shop and the products it offers so that they can direct customers to what they want. Store Clerks also are concerned with maintaining an attractive environment where customers can move around easily and safely.
Store Clerks work at brick-and-mortar establishments that sell goods directly to consumers. While many work for large retailers that sell grocery or general merchandise, others find employment at specialty shops such as bookstores or clothing boutiques. Stamina, physical fitness and a good pair of walking shoes serve Store Clerks well because they are often on their feet and moving items. During busy times of the year, Store Clerks may be expected to work extra hours beyond their normal shift. Overall demand for Store Clerks, categorized by the Bureau of Labor Statistics under Retail Sales Workers, is expected to grow 7 percent between 2014 and 2024. Since many stores hire additional help for the holiday season, aspiring Store Clerks often accept these temporary positions as a way to get a foot in the door for a permanent role.
Store Clerk Duties and Responsibilities
To accomplish their objective of providing a top-notch customer experience, Store Clerks perform a variety of tasks. Our analysis of job listings reveals the following core responsibilities:
With the rise of online shopping, traditional stores are putting an increasing emphasis on customer service as a way to distinguish themselves. Store Clerks play a large role in this effort. They may greet people entering, direct shoppers to appropriate departments or search for specific items within the store. Store Clerks may be responsible for processing payments at the register, checking prices, bagging items or helping to load purchases into a customer’s vehicle.
Gathering carts from the parking lot, putting discarded items back in the right place and picking up trash in the aisles are some of the tasks Store Clerks may be assigned to perform to keep the place orderly.
Working on Promotions and Displays
Store Clerks may be called upon to set up displays that highlight certain products. They also make customers aware of various store activities and offers, such as signing up for a credit card to receive a discount.
Experienced Store Clerks are often tasked with teaching new employees and looking after their progress.
Store Clerk Skills
Successful Store Clerks are comfortable interacting with anyone who comes through the door. Interpersonal skills and desire to serve the customer in any way possible are at the heart of their job. Employers also love applicants capable of the following:
- Going the extra mile to make shoppers happy
- Following directions
- Perceiving what needs to be done and doing it, such as requesting more stock for an empty shelf or opening a new checkout line during the evening rush
- Learning about new items and procedures willingly and quickly
- Getting along with teammates
- Looking and acting professionally at all times
Tools of the trade
Familiarity with the following items will serve you well when pursuing a career as a Store Clerk:
- Displays – Arrangements of merchandise designed in ways to draw attention from those passing by
- Scanners – Equipment that reads codes in order to display the price of an object and collect information that keeps inventory counts up to date
- Registers – Places where customers pay for their purchases through a monetary or electronic transaction
Store Clerk Education and Training
Typically, there are no education requirements for Store Clerks; often, Clerks may be in high school or college and working part-time. Applicants should be prepared for on-the-job training to become familiar with their employer’s products and procedures.
Store Clerk Salary
Stores may employ full-time, part-time and seasonal workers. Most are paid by the hour rather than an annual salary and may receive discounts on merchandise. The median hourly wage for Store Clerks, categorized by the BLS under “Retail Sales Workers,” is $10.90. The lowest 10 percent earn about $8.55 per hour, and the highest 10 percent make in excess of $19.90. Retail Sales Workers in the District of Columbia, North Dakota and Rhode Island make the highest medians in the U.S. – $16.94, $15.49 and $15.41, respectively.
Store Clerk Resources
Whether you’re interested in learning more about becoming a Store Clerk or how to develop the traits for which employers are looking, these three resources can be worth checking out:
National Retail Federation – Whether you’re interested in holiday buying trends or finding a scholarship to use toward furthering your career, this organization is a great place for aspiring Store Clerks to learn more about everything related to the retail industry.
The Customer Rules: The 39 Essential Rules for Delivering Sensational Service by Lee Cockerell – The author of this handbook is the former Executive Vice President of Operations at Walt Disney World, so he knows a thing or two about making customers happy. Readers describe his book as “easy to read” and “understandable, but profound.” Among his rules: Ask Yourself “What Would Mom Do?” and Treat Every Customer Like a Regular. His universal wisdom can help Store Clerks become better at their jobs.
Why We Buy: The Science of Shopping by Paco Underhill – Written by an expert in retail behavior, this guide looks at shopping habits and how retailers can use this information to build a better customer base. One reviewer calls it “a funny and insightful book for people on both sides of the retail counter.”
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