The British Retail Consortium (BRC) has launched a new initiative called Rethink Retail, which seeks to educate people about the evolving opportunities to carve out a career in the sector.
The showcases a diverse range of roles split into six areas: experience; research and development; product management; innovation; customer; and community. Under each section are several video interviews with people working in retail.
The initiative is supported by retailers including Marks & Spencer, the John Lewis Partnership and Shop Direct.
“We want to tell the stories that will inspire people to consider a career in retail,” said BRC chief executive Helen Dickinson at the launch event in London today. “Many of these roles are hidden to the outside world – people wouldn’t think about them when shopping.”
“Telling stories is vital to make retail come alive as a career choice,” added Max Benson, CEO of Everywoman, a membership organisation that champions the advancement of women in business to close the gender pay gap.
The BRC is also working with schools, colleges and universities across the UK to raise awareness of the opportunities in retail.
BRC chairman Richard Pennycook said: ”Business has not been close enough to the education system, so to some extent we get the candidates we deserve. We must get involved in the conversation earlier with schools, so kids are interested in a career in retail.
”Retail is infectious. When people get into it they tend to stay – it’s an interesting career. But at a national level we don’t punch our weight. The perception of us as a sector not as good as it could be. Rethink Retail is about being more structured, and having a voice.
“This has never been more important because of the digital revolution. There’s a risk in terms of the number of jobs in retail, but an opportunity when it comes to the quality. New roles are being created. We have to be clear on our narrative: we can help people [understand the opportunities in retail] by bringing these roles to life through stories.”