You may not have heard the term FMCG (fast moving consumer goods) in retail before, but you’ve seen them on shop floors before, and probably even sold them too.
FMCG’s always sell quickly, and are often cheap for shoppers to buy. Often everyday house-hold products, it can range from toiletries and basic groceries to medicines and stationary. And it offers a world of retail job titles to choose from…
So, what will I actually be doing?
FMCG covers a range of sectors and job titles within retail. You could work as a sales assistant on the shop floor, boss people around in management or work behind the scenes as a buyer or merchandiser. Each of these has very difficult responsibilities, but can all sell FMCG.
Although daily duties are different for every role you’re likely to start out as a sales assistant on the shop floor. Spending a lot of time on your feet, the job involves:
- Serving customers
- Displaying products
- Overseeing deliveries
- Handling payments
- Helping with special promotions
Once you get to management, you’re given a lot more responsibilities which include:
- Managing and motivating staff
- Dealing with any customer queries or complaints
- Ordering and managing stock
- Making sure sales targets are hit
- Budgeting for the store
Recruiting and training staff
- Forecasting future sales
- Responding to customer demand
Although you’ll have your own office, don’t think you can hide away from the shop floor, as you’ll still be needed there on a frequent basis.
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The nitty gritty
There are lots of working environments to choose from in FMCG. From local shops to large chain supermarkets, from a general shop that sells anything and everything, to specialist retailers, they all sell FMCG.
No matter what your role, it’s likely that you’ll be working around 40 hours a week. If you’re on the shop floor, prepare to work on both weekdays and weekends as your shifts can vary on a weekly basis.
Money, money, money
Your salary will change depending on your role, your location and the size of your company.
When you first start out as a sales assistant, you can expect to earn between £12,000 and £15,000.
Assistant management positions are the next step on the ladder, which can see you take home around £17,000-£25,000.
As you grow in experience and become a store manager, your salary would increase to around £40,000-£45,000.
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The good points...
You’ll never be bored in this fast-paced industry. With a high turnover of products and plenty of customer demand, expect to be rushed off your feet, especially around seasonal occasions.
...and the bad
The lazy need not apply for FMCG jobs, as you’ll be on your feet for most of the day, so don’t forget your comfortable shoes.
Plus working on the shop floor means one thing…customers. Sadly not all of them will be polite and friendly to you.
Is there study involved?
Whether you’ve spent years on a degree or left school with no qualifications, you can work in FMCG. While a GCSE in maths and IT can be helpful, employers tend to want a passion for retail over grades.
Previous retail experience is particularly important though, especially if you want a job in management. So if you’re interested in the sector but have never worked in retail before, it’s time to start looking for sales assistant jobs.
When it comes to working in senior roles, in-house training is often available and trainee management schemes are common, particularly in larger chain stores. To be considered for these schemes most employers will want you to be qualified to at least Level 3 (A Levels or equivalent such as a BTEC national diploma).
If you want to get some extra qualifications to help your CV stand out, then make sure you study relevant ones to the job (subjects like chemistry and drama won’t help you in retail). Foundation degrees in subjects such as retail management, business or marketing will teach you useful transferable skills that look great to employers, particularly if the course involved a work placement.
If you can’t afford to give up your job to take on extra studying, then retail is the perfect sector for you. Constantly training you throughout your career, many retailers will offer you the chance to earn work-based qualifications to enhance your existing retail skills.
OK, I'm interested... But is it really the job for me?
Fancy working with FMCG? Then it’s helpful if you’ve got some of the following skills:
- Good customer service skills
- Team player
- Ability to remain calm under pressure
- Ability to make decisions
- Interest and passion for retail