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 www.bls.gov/emp/ep_table_207.htm. 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  http://www.bls.gov/iag/tgs/iag441.htm

2.  Furniture and Home Furnishings Stores  http://www.bls.gov/iag/tgs/iag442.htm

3.  Electronics and Appliance Stores  http://www.bls.gov/iag/tgs/iag443.htm

4.  Building Material and Garden Equipment and Supplies Dealers  http://www.bls.gov/iag/tgs/iag444.htm

5.  Food and Beverage Stores  http://www.bls.gov/iag/tgs/iag445.htm

6.  Health and Personal Care Stores  http://www.bls.gov/iag/tgs/iag446.htm

7.  Gasoline Stations  http://www.bls.gov/iag/tgs/iag447.htm

8.  Clothing and Clothing Accessories Stores  http://www.bls.gov/iag/tgs/iag448.htm

9.  Sporting Goods, Hobby, Book, and Music Stores  http://www.bls.gov/iag/tgs/iag451.htm

10.  General Merchandise Stores  http://www.bls.gov/iag/tgs/iag452.htm

11.  Miscellaneous Store Retailers  http://www.bls.gov/iag/tgs/iag453.htm

12.  Nonstore Retailers  http://www.bls.gov/iag/tgs/iag454.htm

Another BLS publication, the Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2012-2013 Edition, has a chapter on Retail Sales Workers at http://www.bls.gov/ooh/sales/retail-sales-workers.htm. 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 http://www.bls.gov/ooh/sales/cashiers.htm.

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  www.autodealermonthly.com

Beverage World  www.beverageworld.com

Bicycle Retailer  www.bicycleretailer.com

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

Chain Store Age  www.chainstoreage.com

Drug Store News  www.drugstorenews.com

Furniture World Magazine  www.furninfo.com  

Grocery Headquarters  www.groceryheadquarters.com

Home Channel News, for hardware stores, home centers, and lumber/building materials dealers  www.homechannelnews.com

Internet Retailer  www.internetretailer.com  

LBM Journal, for lumber/building material distributors  www.lbmjournal.com

Retailing Today, for high-volume retailers  www.retailingtoday.com

SportsOneSource  www.sportsonesource.com

Supermarket News  http://supermarketnews.com

Paint Dealer  www.paintdealer.com

Retail Wire  www.retailwire.com  

Wireless Dealer Magazine   www.wirelessdealermag.com

Yard & Garden Magazine  www.greenindustrypros.com/magazine/yg/issue/2012/jun

Another news site is Retail’s BIG Blog, posted by the National Retail Federation, at http://blog.nrf.com.

About the Author

This article was written by Jay Myers