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Retail

Shopkeeper

Shopkeepers manage their own stores or run stores on behalf of a retail chain.

Annual Salary

variable

Average UK salary in 2019 was £30,378
(source Office for National Statistics)

Working hours

42 to 44 variable

You could work: in your own business; managing your own hours

Day to day tasks

You could:

  • take card and cash payments, give change and wrap purchases
  • answer customer enquiries and give advice about products
  • connect with customers face-to-face and online, to market your goods and grow your business
  • maintain a website for online sales and advertising your goods
  • recruit, train and supervise shop assistants
  • calculate takings and wages
  • deposit cash at the bank, do accounts and stocktake
  • order stock from wholesalers, manufacturers, agents and importers

Working environment

You could work at a store.

Your working environment may be physically demanding.

You can get into this job through:

  • a college course
  • an apprenticeship
  • setting up your own business
College

You could do a college course, which may help if you're setting up your own business. Courses include:

  • Level 1 Business Start Up
  • Level 2 Certificate in Preparing to Set Up in a New Business
  • Level 2 Retail Skills
  • Level 3 Certificate in Business Essentials
  • Level 3 Retail Skills Sales Professional

For more information
Apprenticeship

Apprenticeships relevant to this role include:

  • Level 2 Retailer
  • Level 3 Retail team leader
  • Level 4 Retail manager
  • Level 6 Retail leadership

You'll do on-the-job training and spend time with a college or training provider.

With experience you may be able to run your own shop, take on a franchise or manage a company store.

Entry requirements

You'll usually need:

  • some GCSEs, usually including English and maths, or equivalent, for an intermediate apprenticeship
  • 4 or 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C) and A levels, or equivalent, for a higher or degree apprenticeship
For more information
Volunteering and work experience

You can get retail experience through volunteering with charities that operate high street shops.

You can find information on opportunities near you from Do It.

Other routes

You can become a shopkeeper by taking over an existing business or opening a franchise. You could also set up your own retail outlet on the high street or online.

It'll help if you've got some experience in retail, sales, administration or business management.

You can find advice about setting up and running your own business from Business is Great.

Organisations like the Prince's Trust may be able to offer training for running a business if you are aged between 18 and 30.

Requirements and restrictions

You'll need to:

  • be over 18 to sell alcohol and other restricted goods

More information

Career tips

If you're looking to run your own store, online selling is a way to start. You could sell goods from your own website or through other established trading sites. This can be a useful way to gain experience and research your market, before opening a shop of your own.

Professional and industry bodies

You may find it useful to join an organisation like the British Independent Retailers Association, for professional development, training opportunities and to make industry contacts.

Further information

You can get advice about starting out in retail from the British Independent Retailers Association.

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You could buy a franchise, or, with experience and an established brand name, you could expand or improve your premises or buy another shop.

Skills required and how your skills match up

What skills are required?

You'll need:

  • customer service skills
  • patience and the ability to remain calm in stressful situations
  • the ability to accept criticism and work well under pressure
  • the ability to work well with others
  • leadership skills
  • to enjoy working with other people
  • the ability to sell products and services
  • business management skills
  • sensitivity and understanding
  • to be able to use a computer and the main software packages competently
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