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Chicago Sales Jobs in Retail Growing

Posted on June 2, 2008

Recently compiled data from last year shows that the Chicago retail industry might as well have been at a standstill in 2007. Overall, this sector saw profits increase by only 1.09 percent, to $106.9 billion, according to a recent industry report that utilized sales tax data from the Illinois Department of Revenue. This is drastically lower than the 6.5 percent growth rate experienced in 2006 and the smallest rise since 2003.

“You can see the recession starting to occur,” John Melaniphy, Melaniphy and Associates Inc. and publisher of the report said. “There’s still a lot of weakness in the market. I think its more serious than a lot of people realize.”

These statistics will likely have an effect on the number of Chicago sales jobs available this year. Employers are noticing that the current economic situation has caused consumers to spend less money. Since fewer customers means that a smaller number of employees are needed, Chicago sales jobs maybe harder to find that in previous years.

Nevertheless certain parts of the retail industry will continue to supply new sales jobs in Chicago. Last year there was significant sales gains in restaurants, supermarkets, apparel and accessories stores. Businesses that fall into these categories are the best bet for those searching for employment. The stores that seemed to be hit the hardest by consumers tightening their belts included furniture, appliance, home improvement and department stores.

The news that department stores are not flourishing in the area is to be expected. Throughout the nation, the popularity of businesses like Wal-Mart and Target have almost crippled department stores.

Another group of retailers that did last year were those that are classified as selling drugs and other miscellaneous items. This category contains businesses that sell drugs, liquor, sporting goods, book, jewelry, luggage, toys and flowers. Melaniphy says that the variety of retailers that fall into this group make it difficult to draw a definite conclusion about the segments performance aside from the fact that large-scale chain drugstores did well in 2007. With sales in this category increasing by 4.2 percent, it is more likely to create new job opportunities for sales professionals than other segments of the industry.