You might be wondering, “where should I start my retail career?” Maybe you’re getting advice about “building your personal brand.” But if you’re looking for a way to build skills to stand out from other candidates on your resume, starting a retail career choice in Space Planning is one of the best ways. We have been working with retailers since before they had computers at their desks. (Back when people still wrote things down!) We’ve seen firsthand how important it is for new employees to understand all aspects of an organization. If you understand how stores, marketing, supply chain and all other functions work together, you will make smarter management decisions. To emphasize, those skills are critical for more senior retail leaders.
Building The Skills You Need
Starting a career in Space Planning is one of the best ways for a young professional to understand how retailers operate and succeed. It is untrue that you must enter the buying organization to get the experience needed to become a retail executive. Or store operations. Or supply chain. Beginning in the Space Planning department builds understanding about how programs are developed, tested and rolled out. It provides a broad understanding of many businesses. It melds together the logical reasoning of data analysis with the psychological insights of customer marketing. Those are critical for a long and successful career in retail. Without a doubt, it balances data-driven decisions with marketing design and strong communication skills across teams.
Getting A Seat at the Table
A point often overlooked is that space planning gets a seat at the table for innovative retail changes. Promotions, new store design, marketing campaigns and new business development initiatives usually require space planning to succeed. As a planogrammer or floor planner, you will be among the first to see new products coming on the market. You will learn how vendors build their products to fill unmet needs. You will be exposed to price lines, consumer decision trees, supply metrics and more. Importantly, you will witness that makes a successful store change and what factors can thwart an expensive change. You will learn how messages must be clear and consistent to customers and store personnel. And those lessons will serve you well as your career progresses.
Making the Smart Retail Career Choice
Occasionally, In retail, we do not make a career choice. We fall into a seasonal or part-time job and that snowballs into a full-time position. Soon we are a key holder. But shortly into a retail career, it is natural to think about making the leap to a headquarters role. Our retail career choice determines how successful we will be and how far we can go in the retail industry.
To summarize, if you are looking to start a career in retail, one of the best ways for young professionals is to work with Space Planning. Beginning in this department will help give you an understanding about how retailers operate and succeed. It provides broad understanding on many businesses and melds together logical reasoning from data analysis with psychological insights from customer marketing. Building those skills are critical for long-term success in retail! Do you agree? What would your suggestion be for people just starting out their careers in retail? Let us know in the comments below.