Industry Research Guide – Retail

By Rick Jones  |  vice president of sales at RecruitMilitary and a former mastery gunnery sergeant in the United States Marine Corps  |

Published in the September/October 2012 issue of print Search & Employ®  |

RecruitMilitary encourages job seekers to use this guide to learn about the Retail Trade sector of the economy and the job opportunities in that sector.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), a part of the United States Department of Labor, has published projections on employment in the Retail Trade sector for the years 2010 through 2020; visit That sector includes four subsectors; and, on an “Industries at a Glance” page for each subsector, the BLS describes the subsector, and provides various statistics – employment and layoffs; extended mass layoffs; employment by occupation; earnings; earnings by occupation; work-related fatalities, injuries, and illnesses; prices; numbers of establishments; and productivity.

The subsectors and the URL’s of their pages are:

1.  Motor Vehicle and Parts Dealers

2.  Furniture and Home Furnishings Stores

3.  Electronics and Appliance Stores

4.  Building Material and Garden Equipment and Supplies Dealers

5.  Food and Beverage Stores

6.  Health and Personal Care Stores

7.  Gasoline Stations

8.  Clothing and Clothing Accessories Stores

9.  Sporting Goods, Hobby, Book, and Music Stores

10.  General Merchandise Stores

11.  Miscellaneous Store Retailers

12.  Nonstore Retailers

Another BLS publication, the Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2012-2013 Edition, has a chapter on Retail Sales Workers at The chapter has sections on what retail sales worker do on the job, the work environment, how to become a retail sales worker, pay, job outlook, similar occupations, and contacts for more information. The Handbook also has a chapter on Cashiers at

To learn about the issues, the players, and the general buzz in various categories of retailing, I suggest that you read trade magazines in those categories. Many such magazines have online versions that are available to the public. Here is a sampling that also includes digital-only publications:

Auto Dealer Monthly

Beverage World

Bicycle Retailer

CE Pro magazine, for professional to specify and sell technology-related products to homeowners, homebuilders, and owners of small and medium-sized businesses

Chain Store Age

Drug Store News

Furniture World Magazine  

Grocery Headquarters

Home Channel News, for hardware stores, home centers, and lumber/building materials dealers

Internet Retailer  

LBM Journal, for lumber/building material distributors

Retailing Today, for high-volume retailers


Supermarket News

Paint Dealer

Retail Wire  

Wireless Dealer Magazine

Yard & Garden Magazine

Another news site is Retail’s BIG Blog, posted by the National Retail Federation, at

About the Author

This article was written by Jay Myers