A retail clerk may also be referred to as a sales associate or sales clerk.
Retail clerks are effectively service staff working on the shop floor of a retail store. Their tasks may include answering questions from customers, operating a checkout to complete customer purchases and keeping displays in order. In some stores, retail clerks will also keep shelves restocked, though in larger stores there may be separate teams for this.
The required knowledge of a retail clerk may vary depending on the type of store and goods sold. Customers in a hardware store will require different information to those in a clothing store. Customers will rely on a retail clerk to have a good knowledge of products within the store and be able to assist with queries such as availability of stock, sizing, specifications or suitability.
Although electronic systems mean that a retail clerk does not need to calculate the value of purchases manually, they should be numerate so they can efficiently process transactions and provide change. A good level of computer literacy may assist in learning more complex point of sale (POS) systems. Retail clerks may also process returned goods.
A retail clerk will often work in shifts, especially in stores with long opening hours. Pay is typically entry-level, although it may be higher for luxury stores or members of staff with additional responsibilities. Retail clerks will usually be overseen by a store manager.