Occasionally an opinion is voiced that the retail sector is in decline. In terms of traditional bricks and mortar selling there is undoubtedly a downward trajectory, although some fascinating and creative work is being done to revitalise that aspect.
However (super multi-purpose leisure complexes aside) within the sector as a whole nothing could be further from the truth.
Retail is being remade in the most dramatic sense since Vincent Astor invented the supermarket in 1915, and some of the brightest minds in business are at the front line.
The internet and hence the birth of "multichannel retail" have opened up whole new avenues of challenge and entrepreneurialism.
Head office positions within major retailers are packed out with top tier strategy consultants, minds from some of the most illustrious banks and the brightest graduates who have risen through the companies from the very best universities.
The type of work they are doing is focused around new types of business strategy, supply chain, logistics, customer analysis and entirely rethinking the relationships between supplier, retailer and customer. For someone with an analytical mind and an entrepreneurial spirit, in recent years it has proved one of the best places to work, and one of the fastest growing.
The vast growth in online spending seen in the last decade is predicted to increase over the next 5 years. However, it's not just straight e-commerce platforms on offer. As well as online versions of the same store you might find on your high street, there is the curated virtual mall. This acts as a single portal for a variety of small and exclusive sellers and has allowed smaller SMEs to build their brands - both embedded within larger organisations like Tesco and Amazon, and independently via their own online stores, without the prohibitive bricks and mortar start up costs.
The other side of the coin is that those larger outlets have been able to diversify their store offerings well beyond the scope that bricks and mortar ever allowed, taking chances on niche products and specialists items.
The future of retail looks very bright, and there are some great companies out there. Once upon a time, a graduate scheme in a retailer involved working as a store manager. Now the experience is rich with finance, strategy, management consulting, supplier interaction and branding. If you're looking for a fast paced, fast evolving field in which to begin your career, it's a fantastic place to start.
Fancy joining the UK's number 1 retailer?
We're currently looking for the best talent for a variety of Analyst opportunities within several fast paced, growing teams in the online department of the Tesco group. This is an opportunity to work in some of the most successful and entrepreneurial teams in a multi-billion pound household name to continue their global growth plans with a vision to become the world's best multi-channel retailer. Find out more / apply