As the nation's largest private sector employer, the retail industry currently supports more than 42 million American jobs. Chances are, then, that you know someone – whether it be a friend, a parent, or a daughter – that works in retail. It’s an industry that prides itself on providing opportunities to individuals from all walks of life, at any stage in their career.
Whether you’re a 16-year-old looking for that first shot at a paycheck, a senior citizen looking to stay active in life’s third act, or you’re just someone looking for a second chance; flexibility, upward mobility, and the power to choose one’s own path is the hallmark of the industry, and it’s what gives us confidence in saying that retail is for everyone.
First Shot: Retail Means Opportunity
Much like learning to ride a bike or getting your driver’s license, earning your first ever paycheck is a rite of passage, and one to be proud of. As the largest employer of individuals ages 16-24, the retail industry gets to see a lot of proud moments. Whether a young person is looking to jumpstart a career, in need of a fresh start, or just wants a first shot at real-world responsibilities, retail is a great place to start.
From Cashier to C-Suite
I got a part-time job as a cashier at Home Depot in North Miami Beach on April 1, 1985. I didn't expect to be in retail all my life, but retail was ingrained in me from my grandmother. I enjoyed interacting with people, and I got opportunities.
- Executive Vice President - U.S. Stores
- The Home Depot, Inc.
- Atlanta, GA
From Part Time To Profession
The “from cashier to C-suite” storyline may not get told often, but it’s a common one in the retail industry. Because retailers offer employees clear paths for growth, skills development, and on-the-job training, there’s no better industry for climbing the ranks. The ladder of opportunity in retail means anyone has a fair chance to build a career that works for them.
Retail Sets Stage For A Third Act
With 3.5 million workers over the age of 55, including 1 million over 65, the retail industry is proud to serve as the nation’s top employer for seniors. Retailers understand everyone’s story is different. Some seniors are just looking for a way to stay active and social; some want to provide a little more cushion to their retirement savings; some are looking to start a second or third career. Regardless, the retail industry prides itself on offering flexibility and training opportunities to employees of all ages and walks of life.
Retail Supports Veterans
As one of the nation's largest employers, retailers know firsthand the immense value veterans bring to the workplace and to our communities. In addition to supporting our active duty military and veterans in communities across the country, RILA members provide flexible, professional growth opportunities to veterans and military family members as they transition to civilian life. On Veterans' Day and every day, our members take every opportunity to say thank you and give back to those who have given so much for our country.
Retail Leads In Your Community
Whether it’s offering a scholarship to a local student or helping veterans get back on their feet, retailers know they’re not just a building with shelves and checkout counters – they’re part of the community. By embracing their role as community leaders, retailers often serve as first responders in times of crisis, facilitators of volunteer opportunities, and trusted partners for other organizations looking to make a difference.
Retail Invests in People