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Most in-demand retail skills revealed: Hays

The latest jobs report from recruiting specialist Hays has revealed which retail skills will be in highest demand over the next six months.

According to the report, which is updated twice a year to reflect changing market conditions, there is a shortage of store managers with experience implementing change and skilled merchandise planners and merchandise allocators.

Store managers with specific category experience, especially luxury goods, furniture, fine jewellery and timepieces, are also in high demand, as well as store managers for suburban roles.

Hays noted that “most candidates [prefer] to work in CBD flagship stores that are easier to travel to and where there are more career progression opportunities.”

One of the factors driving demand for these roles is the entrance of large global retail businesses, which has increased vacancy activity for senior store managers, store managers and assistant managers.

This has also resulted in retailers increasing their salary packages, with most packages now ranging from $80,000 to $100,000 for senior operational management roles, according to Hays.

“Given the skill shortages that exist in store management, retail employers are investing in the training and development of staff, which is creating opportunities for retail candidates to progress to store assistants and assistant store managers,” the recruitment specialist added.

“This trend ensures that the future is promising for entry-level retail candidates seeking a career in this industry.”

Once workers reach the level of store manager, however, there is a lack of promotional pathways, Hays said, which is leading them to depart to pursue new challenges elsewhere.

Another trend shaping retail hiring practices is the rise of e-commerce, which has fuelled demand for allocators, planners and merchandisers in the second half of 2019.

“With margins continuing to narrow across the retail landscape, there will be an increasing demand for data-driven merchandise planners for optimal inventory management. Specific category experience is important too, such as fashion, apparel versus big box and hard goods,” Hays said in its report.

Merchandise allocators with previous experience are needed too, since most workers tend to remain in this role for just one or two years before progressing to planning functions, creating ongoing demand for skilled merchandise allocators, according to Hays.

Other in-demand skills are retail professionals with Mandarin language skills, as Australian retailers look to promote their brands and products to people visiting from overseas, and operational staff with experience running their own small businesses.

Finally, Hays noted a shortage of concession managers and retail professionals with luxury goods experience.

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