The retail industry employs around a tenth of the entire British workforce. Worth an estimated £265 billion it’s big business and there’s a whole lot more to it than the shop floor staff we see in store.
As shoppers become more and more design literate, the retail industry realises its need to invest in retail designers to meet and exceed customer expectation. A retail designer helps retailers achieve increasing returns on investment, and stay ahead in a competitive market.
What do retail design jobs involve?
Retail design jobs require an understanding of what makes shoppers tick in order to create product ranges that sit well with the latest trends in store.
Working closely with the buying team to translate ideas into actual product ranges, retail designers play a key part in business growth.
It's no secret, the modern shopper expects more from their shopping experience. In short, retail designers are dealing with a more discerning buyer – one that reacts to inspiring and engaging design.
Retail design work involves monitoring the changing face of products through magazines, catwalks, design fairs, films, TV and in other popular culture, as well as keeping a close eye on competitors both at home and abroad.
Retail design jobs range from assistant designer, where you will need at least three years' experience to technical designer where you are responsible for producing patterns and keeping to the right budget.
A step up the ladder to retail design manager means managing a team of designers. For this, you usually need a minimum of five years' design experience, management experience and a persuasive portfolio.
Most retail design jobs come with perks such as a company car. Plus there are often opportunities for exotic travel, if you fancy a spot of globetrotting.
The current climate
The recession hit the UK retail industry hard, affecting the way a consumer spends dramatically. But it is fighting back.
Restructuring to survive the downturn must be accompanied by a focus on gaining and maintaining market share. That's where retail designers come in – helping to position their firms in a key place to thrive in the upturn.
What will employers look for?
If you're interested in a retail design career, you'll need to be vibrant, interested and full of energy. Employers will look for a fashion or textile degree with design content and computer skills are a must.
Design flair complete with a portfolio to demonstrate your work is crucial. Employers will want to see a real passion for their sector and you stand an even better chance of finding work in this field if you have gained some retail or head office experience.
A strong commercial awareness will prove to a recruiter that you have the drive and desire to work in the industry. It will demonstrate that you can transform your ideas into product ranges that will be snapped up by savvy customers.
At RetailChoice.com, we've loads of retail design jobs for you to discover. Search by location or keyword to find the latest retail design jobs, or upload your CV and let them come straight to your inbox.
Video case study