Fashion sales assistants work on the floor of a clothes shop. They help customers find what they are looking for, generate sales and act as the face of the shop. The number of sales assistants a shop has depends on its size and the number of customers it receives.
Fashion sales assistants not only sell clothes to customers, but are involved in taking different forms of payment including, cash, credit card and cheques. In addition they may also be responsible for opening and closing the shop, which involves opening and closing the cash register as well. Some may restock the racks, take inventories, prepare the displays and arrange for the delivery of new stock.
Fashion sales assistants work in well-lit, comfortable shops, often in central locations. Stamina is required for this job as sales assistants have to stand for the majority of the day, which lasts as long as the shop is open. Most assistants work more hours than the traditional 40 per week and have to work evenings and weekends. Part-time work is common within this sector.
A job as a fashion sales assistant has no minimum educational requirements, but employers do prefer to hire staff who have GCSEs. Those wanting to continue their career within the industry will find they might need a bachelor's degree if they want to move into management. Most training occurs on the job and can last from a few days in smaller shops up to a few months in larger ones. Training may also be given throughout a sales assistant's career to keep them up to date on company policies and procedures.
In 2008 the National Careers Service noted that 2.9 million people worked in the retail sector in the UK. Employment in the sector is expected to grow with a further 214,000 jobs being created by 2017 and a further 1.2 million people needed to replace existing staff in the sector. Job opportunities for fashion sales assistants are always good because of the high turnover of staff in this sector.
In 2008 the average full time salary in the retail sector lay between £15,000 and £11,000. Some fashion sales assistants also receive a commission on the amount of items they sell, which increases their hourly wage. They may also receive benefits such as discounted clothing and being able to have first pick of clothes during sales.