Posted April 22, 2020

Warehouse Opportunities See Growth in Retail

By Grace Tino

The last couple of months have undoubtedly been times of tumultuous change. COVID-19 has challenged all industries but has considerably changed things for the retail space. As a result of higher demand for groceries, medical supplies, and other essentials by consumers, the work volume has skyrocketed for retailers. Retail, both online and in-store, has become essential for the economy and society, along with all its employees. Plus, safety precautions have drastically changed how essential stores can operate. One of the most in-demand positions that has seen growth in the last several months is warehousing. Warehouses and their employees are key for the movement and processing of goods from companies to consumers; they play an integral role in retail, from grocery inventory to online order fulfillment.

Warehouse opportunities have continued to surge over the last several years, largely due to the boom in online shopping and delivery. In fact, in 2019, the United States saw a surge in online shopping by 14%. The current situation has acted as a catalyst to increase demand for online fulfillment of grocery items and medical supplies. This high demand is reflected in the rapid growth of warehouse opportunities in the retail industry. The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS)'s recent April report on the warehousing space was promising: the warehouse industry sector added about 8,000 jobs within the month of March. In total up until April, warehousing and storage has added 23,000 jobs this year- a staggering comparison to the 25,000 jobs that were added to the sector in total in 2019.

If you've never investigated the warehouse side of retail before, there's plenty of entry-level options! Warehouse positions can be quite different from the typical sales or customer service roles often held in retail. Some common (and in-demand!) entry-level positions include:

  • Warehouse Associates: These positions tend to do an array of duties throughout the warehouse as needed. They may be assisting in things such as packing orders, assisting with loading and unloading stock, keeping the facility clean and orderly, and maintaining inventory. Essentially, the warehouse associate has a more general job and is often known to be the "jack of all trades," which is excellent for exposure to all functions and specialties one can advance into.
  • Pickers: Also known as selectors or packers, pickers assist in preparing orders for shipping. Using order sheets, they comb through inventory to find the matching products and select them for packaging, eventually assembling the customer orders. They typically physically move products to different pallets and stations for packing and loading. Attention to detail is key as the selector is ensuring orders are accurate and on time to keep customer service in top shape.
  • Material Handlers: Handlers do a lot like what it sounds - they are responsible for the movement of the different materials in the production line and throughout the warehouse. Material handlers need a lot of organizational skills as they move finished products from production to shipment. Often, material handlers are required to have certain machinery skills as well, such as operating forklifts, cherry pickers, and packaging machines.

What else makes a warehouse a great place to work? On top of stable work from an essential position, there is steady weekly pay, as well as fantastic benefits packages! Warehouses' wide variety of positions and specialties means there are also multiple paths an employee can seek for career advancement. Employees have the chance to try out different areas of work and gain a wide variety of transferrable skills that will easily boost a resume. Plus, the work is often fast-paced, and you'll rarely have a dull moment working with the variety of different people on a warehouse team.

While the pandemic has created new challenges to the job search process, we at AllRetailJobs understand that there are always job seekers in need. For some, the pandemic has created a shift in their ongoing search, while others may need new employment options if they're recently out of work. AllRetailJobs continues to deliver a wide variety of positions in the retail space to seekers of all skill levels and specialties. Currently, our board has over 4,000 opportunities in the warehouse sector of the retail space nationwide with companies that are actively seeking to hire.

Whether you have never considered a retail warehouse job before, or you're looking to find a different type of position in retail, there's no better time than now to start looking. Your next warehouse job is only a few clicks away: Click here to start your search with us!