Store Assistant Job Description
Store Assistants function as a jack-of-all-trades in a retail environment. They perform any task related to generating business for their employer. This includes things like merchandising the floor, processing inventory and selling products to customers. This is a position where no two days are the same. It requires someone who can switch tasks seamlessly, as well as someone who likes to work on their feet. Any industry that is business-to-customer and has a physical store employs store assistants. They can work at places like supermarkets, electronics stores, big box retailers, home improvement stores and fashion boutiques.
The role of Store Assistant is an entry-level position. They are managed by either a Supervisor or Assistant Manager, which are the next positions on this career track. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, demand for Retail Sales Workers, which includes Store Assistants, is set to rise 2 percent through 2026.
Store Assistant Duties and Responsibilities
The products and types of customers may vary depending on the industry, but, besides that, the duties and responsibilities for Store Assistants are the same in all industries. We researched a plethora of Store Assistant job descriptions to come up with the following list of Store Assistant duties and responsibilities.
Stock and Merchandise Sales Floor
Store Assistants have to coordinate with stock clerks to replenish items on the floor when they get low. This duty can involve lifting and carrying items short distances. In addition to filling the floor, Store Assistants have to keep the floor organized according to their employer’s visual merchandising standards.
Process and Receive Shipment
Store Assistants also help stock clerks process and receive shipments. They use stock scanning guns and inventory software to check in each box, and then they put it in the stock room neatly.
Perform Store Opening and Closing Tasks
The store opening and closing process include several small tasks that are completed by Store Assistants. They are responsible for things like washing windows and mirrors, sweeping the sales floor and organizing items on the sales floor based on company standards.
Provide Customer Service
Store Assistants act as the sales staff for retail stores. They use communication skills to identify customer needs, and they use their product knowledge to provide solutions. This duty can also include fielding and diffusing customer complaints.
Store Assistants facilitate transactions in a retail environment using point of sale software. This requires basic math and computer skills, as well as good customer service skills.
Store Assistant Skills
The role of Store Assistant doesn’t require many technical skills, but it does require a basic familiarity with computers to operate point of sale software. It also requires one to have product knowledge of whatever their store sells to help customers make informed purchasing decisions. Those who succeed in this position thrive in a fast-paced environment and don’t mind multitasking or frequent task-switching. It is a position that takes strong prioritization skills. Besides these qualities, the following skills are needed to get a job as a store assistant.
- Listening actively to customers to identify their needs
- Using specific product knowledge to provide solutions to customers
- Prioritizing tasks to maximize efficiency each work shift
- Organizing items on sales floor based on knowledge of company visual standards
- Defusing upset customers using conflict resolution skills
Store Assistant Education and Training
This is an entry-level position that has no strict educational requirements. Some businesses may require candidates to have a high school diploma or GED. But this also is a job that is often performed part-time by students still in school. The vast majority of training for this role happens on the job, but previous retail experience may make candidates more attractive to employers.
Store Assistant Salary
According to Glassdoor, the national average salary for fulltime Store Assistants is $33,459. Those at the bottom of the scale make $24,000, and those at the top of the scale make $46,000.
Store Assistant Resources
Many Store Assistants go on to build a career in retail as a Supervisor and, eventually, a Store Manager. The following resource list was composed with those people in mind.
National Retail Federation – The National Retail Federation is the top organization in the retail industry, representing all of its branches. Their website contains an advocacy section that outlines the issues they care about and their proposed plans of action. It also contains a career center with a dedicated job board and several webinars designed to help members progress in their retail careers.
The Retail Doctor – This is a blog written by Bob Phibbs, a retail sales consultant with over 30 years of experience helping retailers train their sales staff. Although geared towards decision makers, the blog portion of this website has excellent advice for Store Assistants.
Shep Hyken’s Customer Service Blog – Shep Hyken is a customer service expert who has graced the best seller’s list of both the New York Times and The Wall Street Journal. He founded his customer service consulting business back in 1983 and has since helped several Fortune 100 companies improve their customer service strategies.
The Service Culture Handbook: A-Step-by-Step Guide to Getting Your Employees Obsessed With Customer Service by Jeff Toister – The Service Culture Handbook is a step-by-step guide for building a culture of customer service from the ground up. The strategies in this book are geared towards trainers and managers, so Store Assistants can learn a lot of things to prepare them for an eventual management role.
The Customer Rules: The 39 Essential Rules for Delivering Sensational Service by Lee Cockerell – Lee Cockerell spent years as the Executive Vice President of Walt Disney World – a company known for unparalleled customer service. The 39 rules outlined in this book should be taken as gospel by Store Assistants looking to move up the ladder in the world of customer service.
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