Store Associate Job Description: Top Duties and Qualifications

A Store Associate, or Retail Store Associate, is responsible for engaging with customers and maintaining a well-organized retail store. Their duties include greeting customers and providing them with recommendations on particular products, unpacking product orders while maintaining accurate inventory records and performing routine cleaning procedures before and after business hours.

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Store Associate duties and responsibilities

Store Associates complete tasks that support the Store Manager and overall customer base. They often have the following responsibilities::

  • Clean the store and ensure products are properly displayed before the store opens.
  • Organize merchandise on shelves and restock them when they become empty.
  • Find and retrieve store merchandise.
  • Advise customers concerning particular products or services.
  • Perform routine inventory counts and submit reports to the Store Manager.
  • Carry out other store administrative tasks as directed by the Store Manager.
  • Upsell to customers through recommendations.

What does a Store Associate do?

Store Associates can work in various retail environments, including locally-owned small businesses, boutiques, department stores or shopping malls. They work closely with other Store Associates to carry out daily procedures like restocking shelves, organizing supply rooms or managing the cash register. Their job is to assist customers in finding specific products, and they also have a responsibility to administer refunds or handle customer complaints. They may also be responsible for coming up with unique product displays to spark interest and drive sales.

Store Associate skills and qualifications

A Store Associate needs a variety of practical skills for this position. The main skills and qualifications of a Store Associate include:

  • Excellent critical and problem-solving skills
  • Customer service skills
  • Written and verbal communication skills
  • Ability to perform simple calculations
  • Integrity
  • Professional image
  • Ability to work in a fast-paced and busy environment

Store Associate salary expectations

A Store Associate makes an average of $12.62 per hour. The exact amount may depend on the level of experience, education and geographical location of the applicant. Depending on the type of store, some Store Associates can make an average of $10,000 per year in commissions. Some common benefits include an employee assistance program and an employee discount at the company they work for.

Store Associate education and training

The person applying for this job should have a minimum of a high school diploma. Because this is an entry-level position, candidates are not required to have a bachelor’s degree or professional training and certification. New graduates with sales or marketing experience and a passion for serving customers in a fast-paced retail space are encouraged to apply. Other credentials are a plus if you’re looking for career growth.

Store Associate experience requirements

The right candidate should have at least 1 year of experience working in a retail store. The person should have basic sales training and excellent customer service skills. On-the-job training is often provided before a new employee is sent to their work station. A qualified candidate should be able to resolve customer complaints quickly or be able to defer to the Store Manager so that the appropriate action can be taken.

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Frequently asked questions about Store Associates

 

What is the difference between a Store Associate and a Cashier?

The difference between a Store Associate and a Cashier is the scope of their job duties. For example, Store Associates are responsible for promoting sales, taking inventory and managing the cash register depending on their job requirements. They remain active throughout the day by walking around the store and going to and from the storeroom. In contrast, Cashiers remain behind the counter in a stationary role to check out customers and process payment by cash or card.

Store Associates typically also earn more than Cashiers, as they’re involved in driving sales and have the opportunity to receive commissions.

 

What are the daily duties of a Store Associate?

On a typical day, a Store Associate arrives at their work location prior to business hours. They help other Store Associates unpack product orders, compare invoices and store away excessive inventory in labeled containers. They also use this time to do a walkthrough of the store and restock items as needed. Throughout the day, they greet customers, show them new or relevant products and process payments. They go to and from the storeroom to restock shelves and check to see if they still have a particular product for a customer. 

Store Associates sweep, vacuum or mop the floors and count the drawer after closing.

 

What qualities make a good Store Associate?

A good Store Associate has a personable nature and an outgoing personality, allowing them to engage with customers in a positive way. Further, a good Store Associate has an excellent understanding of social cues and adjusts how they interact with a customer based on how they act to help them feel comfortable. They’re calm under pressure, enabling them to continue providing excellent service to customers, even during peak business hours. They also have a flexible schedule, allowing them to work nights or weekends to achieve business goals. 

A good Store Associate also has a commitment to cleanliness and organization. These qualities motivate them to vacuum, mop or dust surfaces and maintain organized product displays or storage shelves.

 

Who does a Store Associate report to?

A Store Associate typically reports to the Store Manager. This individual delegates tasks among Store Associates and acts as a point of communication for Store Associates when they experience complex customer situations. In locally-owned or small retail stores, the Store Associate may report directly to the Store Owner to receive daily tasks.

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