Retail sales jobs are disappearing, according to Wells Fargo analysts.
“While we do not expect to see ‘the death of the salesman,’ there are clear signs that these positions are becoming much scarcer,” analysts wrote in a recent note.
Department stores, where 58% of the employees work in sales, are struggling. They cut their workforce by 300,000 positions between 2002 and 2013, according to the note. 63% of the fired employees were in sales.
Meanwhile, employment within the “electronic shopping sector,” which includes online retailers, rose more than 30% over the same time period.
With the rise of e-commerce, demand will grow for a new kind of retail worker.
“The increasing importance of e-commerce implies that a much different skill set will be required for the retail employees of tomorrow,” analysts wrote. “Positions such as data analysis and consumer insight specialists that study e-commerce transactions across product types will continue to become more commonplace.”
These new positions will require a “higher degree of training and technical competency than in the past, which will also contribute to the changing face of retail.”
The chart below illustrates the composition of the workforce for online retailers versus department stores.
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