What are the different types of retail stores?

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Retail stores can be small, boutique operations that sell niche products or large, high-turnover emporiums that sell everything from tires to garden hoses. These stores are good places to look for seasonal, summer and full-time employment.

There are a number of levels of employment, from temporary stock clerk to career management, to consider.

Speciality Stores

Speciality stores sell just one category of merchandise, although that category may be further divided into particular departments. For example, a pet store may sell exotic fish and tanks in one area, and birds, cages and birdseed in another. A bookstore typically has sections for types of literature such as mysteries, classics, cookbooks and children, among others. To get a job at a speciality store, extensive knowledge of the product sold will give you an edge.

Department Stores

Department stores vary from discount (Kmart) to high-end (Bloomingdale's) and everything in between. They are organised by divisions that include several clothing categories, cosmetics and accessories, jewellery, household goods, furniture, kitchenware. Each department has a manager, and there are store designers and decorators, plant maintenance and cleaning divisions, store security and more.

Warehouse Stores

Known as "big box" stores, these giants carry products in bulk. Products include clothing, automotive parts, sports equipment, nursery plants, toys, bedding, electronics--and even groceries. Some stores require annual memberships that offer discounts. Others are just huge discount operations. Warehouse stores may train employees for multiple departments and shift you from one area to another as needed.

Grocery Stores

Mom 'n' pop groceries, national chains, organic specialists, corner delis--grocery stores come in all flavours. Departments may include a bakery, deli, produce, meat and floral. Grocery stores jobs vary, from bagging and stocking to working behind the deli counter, in customer service or at the cash register. Some grocers offer delivery services, and others have offices that prepare display signs, weekly newsletters with specials and recipes and handle other administrative duties.

Resale Stores

Resale or second-hand stores might be considered charity shops, antique stores or consignment. Items found in these stores vary from donated clothing to valuable antiques. Resale store employees accept and sort donations, stock racks and shelves, assist customers and answer questions about the items on display.

Online Stores

Online stores sell a large variety of products, some of which are specialised. They sometimes have real stores as well as virtual ones. But, even if they exist only online, the stores need a fulfilment division to take orders, find and pack purchased items from the warehouse, manage billing and shipping and deal with customer service questions and complaints.