Closed Shops May Mean A New Career

Many  retail workers in South West London are facing redundancy this Summer and will need a new career.

Why? Can YOU beat Retail Redundancy?

High street shops in SW19 are closing down and boarding up. Jobs are getting lost.They seem to be tumbling like ninepins, not just in the local area but all over. Now the cashing-up carnage has extended to Retail Parks  – where customers can park for free – as well as town centre stores. (Restricted parking has been squeezing smaller branches of fashion chains like M&S, Next and Toys R Us for many years.) Even Mothercare has disappeared. Maplins – where tecchie stuff was a tad more expensive but the staff were worth their weight in gold – has gone.

redundant retail workers in sw19

The TESCO that never even opened (courtesy of The Fenland Citizen.)

We knew the risk of staff redundancy was  coming. Internet shopping tends to be cheaper, and suits those who prefer to take doorstep deliveries. Browsing the shelves and rails is getting to be old school.

Travellers Still Need Proper Shops!

Retail posts ARE still available, for example at Heathrow Airport. Check out the Indeed jon board. Knowledge of a foreign language is an advantage for shop staff there: it’s always worth highlighting on your resume or CV.

Still, the supply of posts is dwindling.

Says the BBC:  “Nearly 650 shops and restaurants, run by a handful of major chains, have shut since the start of 2018 or are at risk of closure.”

So a lot of personable, hard-working people with customer service/retail sales skills are on a quest for a new career path.

Who Needs Redundancy? Think Again …

Here are three routes back to a workplace where their talents are required.

Number One   

Coffee shops. While chain restaurants providing menu meals may fail, Expressos, Lattes and cakes are still the city’s must-have. A smiling Barista is seldom out of work. While other retail is firing, Pret A Manger is hiring. You are still in retail sales. But the product is food and drink. Check the doors on your local Prets and Costas in case they are recruiting. You have a headstart.

retail worksers face redundancy

Happiness is a cup of coffee Photo by Chloe Leis on Unsplash

Number Two

   If you can’t beat the online sales boom, join it. You may be in a call centre, and you will certainly need MS Office skills. You will typically be earning £15 – 20,000 pa. The job description will be along these lines.

Answering all customer inquiries via email & phone, Amending and processing orders. Preparing and sending out sample packs. Following up customer inquiries.

Responding to Online Chat. Any other tasks and duties that are required.

Or  you could think about a warehouse job. Every online sale  means an item waiting in a warehouse to be picked, packed and dispatched. It sounds tough, perhaps, but it doesn’t require physical strength, and warehouses employ admin staff as well.

Number Three

Turning from Retail to Admin. It may be hard, but if that is where you want to be, be persistent. Look for vacancies where coping with customers really matters. Polish your phone techniques with role play, and acquire some online certificates of IT and similar skills. Social media proficiency is also useful. Demonstrate your attention to detail, and write the employer a stonking good letter. If you have specialist product knowledge, seek an admin job in the sector where it is relevant.

Many sales organisations will use a ‘CRM’ system – a software platform to manage customers and prospects – that everyone in the organisation uses to manage the sales and customer process. Research CRM systems. Let the employer know you cared! For help writing a new CV, in finding opportunities and for interview skills contact Judy E.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *