(I posted the advice below on a different forum, but after how helpful I've found it, I want everybodty to know about NARMS!)
I've found that there is really no substitute for experience. I was just telling fellow-user William from Florida about how I my foot in the door by doing short term merch and mystery shopping jobs that I found on NARMS.com, which is a great retail marketing site that helps both employers AND job applicants, so they know all about both sides of hiring. They have a super job site that has short term jobs (for that quick cash or foot-in-the-door experience) and longer term jobs for those of us who built the qualifications.
Best of luck!!!! ;)