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Retail industry

Careers in the retail industry can be rewarding, diverse, and eventually very lucrative. Many retail jobs do not require any previous experience, and full and part-time openings are plentiful. The retail profession is so much more than just cashiers and sales clerk positions; it has become a major career choice for millions of Americans, with that number steadily growing.

The retail industry is one that offers the largest selection of opportunities for dedicated workers. Motivation and commitment can promote a mere sales associate into such elite areas as merchandising, regional and corporate management, finance, marketing, public relations, or human resources. Just a little hard work can go a long way in this rewarding profession.

Some employees do get promotions based primarily on their prior retail experience. However, a majority of career-level positions, such as coporate executive, are much easier to achieve with a college degree. There are over 150 colleges and universities (www.nrf.com) which offer associate to master's degrees in a wide variety of retail programs. A few of these programs include: retail marketing, retail management, retail merchandising, and retail sales.

The retail industry can prepare today's youth for the careers of tomorrow. Most of the expertise needed to excel in the retail profession can be used in any job, and life in general. To work in the retail industry, an employee must possess these skills: excellent verbal and written communication, good work ethic, teamwork, the ability to interact with others, customer service, and reliability.

Retail continues to steadily grow, and the prospects for growth and prosperity in the future are outstanding. There are more than 1.5 million retail stores in the United States, and the industry accounts for about $3 trillion in sales. The United States Department of Labor reports that the retail industry presently employs 1 in 5 Americans.

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