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job vacancies in sales, retail and buying
The retail sector is becoming increasingly global and as such graduates may find work abroad. Many high street names have head offices outside of the UK. For example, H&M is based in Sweden. Competitive retailers across the world have taken advantage of global supply chains and the economies of scale, which come with high-volume operations. In order to be successful, retailers must be able to deal with issues such as currency fluctuations, sudden political change, oil prices and tax rules.
More recent issues include minimising environmental impact and also ensuring that retailers benefit the communities in which they operate. As with UK retailing, flexibility and efficiency are key to success in the global market. Retailers need to combine a strong brand image with the ability to provide excellent customer management systems and value for money.
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Opportunities with UK companies
Working for a British retailer with overseas interests can provide opportunities if you are looking for the chance to work overseas. Some offer secondments in Europe or further afield. In some companies, for example, Tesco, it has been found that staff promotion prospects are greatly enhanced by a period of work abroad. Some British firms, such as Debenhams and Marks & Spencer, have franchised outlets overseas, rather than ones that are directly run by the parent company, so will not offer postings to these.
The state of retailing is dependent on consumer confidence and key economic factors, so retail practices vary between countries. Countries with the most developed online markets include the UK, the USA, Scandinavian countries, Germany, France and Japan. TV shopping is growing rapidly in the USA, with a large part of it taking place on interactive television. This is still small, however, compared with internet sales.