Shoe Sales Associate Job Description

Shoe sales associates work in retail environments to assist customers in selecting shoes and finding a perfect fit. They also ring up customer shoe orders on cash registers and collect payments. Department stores and shoe stores hire shoe sales associates to work full- and part-time hours during all shifts, including evenings, weekends, and holidays. Store managers, assistant managers, and shift managerssupervise shoe sales associates. Travel is not required for this job, but retail professionals often work extended holiday hours and may be required to work overnight shifts during holidays.


Shoe Sales Associate Duties and Responsibilities

Shoe sales associates perform various daily duties based on the hiring company and the types of footwear being sold. These core job tasks, however, are common in all retail environments:

Greet Customers

Shoe sales associates greet customers when they enter the store and monitor them in case they need assistance finding items they want.

Assist Customers

Shoe sales associates retrieve shoes from shelves and inventory areas for customers, measure customers’ feet, and advise them on the type of shoes they should buy. They also operate the cash register to collect payment from customers.

Manage Inventory

Shoe sales associates unload, unpack, and store inventory items. They also learn about merchandise in order to answer customer questions and speak knowledgeably about products.

Prepare the Store

Shoe sales associates assist in closing the store and preparing the sales floor for customers, which can include designing and setting up sales displays. They also sweep, straighten shelves, and wipe down displays and work areas to keep the inventory and sales floor areas clean and organized.


Shoe Sales Associate Skills and Qualifications

Shoe sales associates use customer service and sales skills to connect with customers and persuade them to buy products. Employers prefer shoe sales associates with the following skills:

  • Customer service – shoe sales associates use customer service skills to greet customers, show them various products for sale, help them find what they want, answer their questions, and address their concerns and problems professionally
  • Salesmanship – selling skills are essential for a shoe sales associate, whose job depends on their ability to move products out of the store and into customer hands
  • Measuring – shoe sales associates use a Brannock foot-measuring device or a similar item to determine customer shoe sizes, which requires an understanding of measurements and measuring tools
  • Multitasking – because shoe sales associates may wait on many customers at once, multitasking abilities are highly desired by employers
  • Attention to detail – shoe sales associates maintain inventory and sales displays, and also keep all areas of the store clean and presentable, which requires strong attention to detail
  • Math skills – shoe sales associates collect payment for items, so they need some math skills to perform this task
  • Problem-solving skills – shoe sales associates use problem-solving abilities to appease dissatisfied customers and find suitable alternatives when items customers want are unavailable
  • Computer skills – many retail stores use point of sale systems and digital cash registers, which requires shoe sales associates to have at least basic computer skills


Shoe Sales Associate Education and Training

No special education or training is necessary to get hired as a shoe sales associate. However, potential employees with previous retail experience are attractive to hiring companies. This is an entry-level job, so employers provide training to new shoe sales associates. This training period varies by company but is usually no more than two weeks. During this time, shoe sales associates work closely with a more experienced associate or an assistant manager. The new shoe sales associate primarily observes day-to-day job tasks and customer interactions until the trainer allows them to perform hands-on tasks while under supervision.


Shoe Sales Associate Salary and Outlook

Information from the Bureau of Labor Statistics shows that retail sales workers of all types earn a median income of $22,900 annually and $11.01 hourly. The retail sales workers group includes shoe sales associates. There were almost 5 million jobs for retail sales workers in 2016, a number projected to rise 2 percent through 2026. This is slower than the national average job growth rate.

In addition to a regular hourly salary, some employers provide shoe sales associates with sales commissions. Monetary bonuses may also be rewarded to shoe sales associates who meet or exceed sales goals. Commonly, retail stores will provide employees with discounts on in-store merchandise. Other benefits, such as health insurance, are not typically provided. Full-time shoe sales associates may receive basic healthcare packages from some employers, but many employers do not offer this.


Helpful Resources

Learn strategies for successful selling, find events and job opportunities, and discover tips for shoe sales associates with these resources:

National Shoe Retailers Association – this website has an events calendar full of upcoming footwear industry events. Webinars, product and service guides, and regular conferences provide shoe sales associates and other footwear professionals with tips, tricks, and helpful information

No Thanks, I’m Just Looking: Sales Techniques for Turning Shoppers into Buyers – find practical tips and strategies for successful selling in this book, which offers proven sales techniques for all professionals in the retail industry

URSA: The Association for the Footwear Industry – this website is designed for all professionals who work with footwear in any capacity. This site has news updates, trade show information, and dates for upcoming networking events

Sell Something: Principles and Perspectives for Engaged Retail Salespeople – multiple selling techniques and strategies are covered in this book, which provides tips for greeting customers, using body language, selling with humor, and other methods

The Sales Association – this website has a job board, information about certification programs, frequent news updates, and a calendar of webinar events featuring tips and tricks for sales professionals in all industries


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