Retail Salesperson


A retail salesperson sells goods to customers in a shop or warehouse.

Tasks and Duties:

  • helps customers choose products

  • advises on the use and care of products

  • packs or wraps purchases

  • collects payment or arranges credit

  • keeps the sales area clean and tidy

  • prices stock

  • displays new stock

  • may do stocktakes

  • may order new stock

  • may check ordered stock is in good condition when it arrives

  • may arrange the delivery of purchases

  • may prepare invoices and sales dockets.


Retail salespeople must have good communication and listening skills, good customer service and sales skills, and organisational skills. The ability to memorise stock is useful.


Retail salespeople need to know about the details of the product being sold. They should also know about good sales techniques and basic maths.

Personal Qualities:

Retail salespeople should be friendly and helpful, polite and patient. They should also be self-motivated and honest. They should enjoy dealing with the public and have enthusiasm and interest in their merchandise.

Physical Requirements:

Retail salespeople should have a tidy appearance and a clear speaking voice. They should also have stamina, as they spend a lot of time on their feet, especially during busy periods such as sales and Christmas.

Educational Requirements:

NCEA Level 1 in English, maths and computing is preferred.

Entry Requirements:

A current drivers license is generally required.

Useful Experience

Experience working with money or making calculations is useful for retail salespeople. Work involving contact with people is also helpful.

Training on the job

Retail salespeople gain their skills on the job. They may also attend company training courses or retailing courses.

Work Places

Retail salespeople work in shops such as boutiques, department stores, shopping malls or warehouses.


Pay for retail salespeople varies from employer to employer. Pay rates depend on age, experience and responsibility. It is usually between $25,000 and $35,000 per year but some employers pay commission on goods sold.

Further Information

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