The (Retail) World According to DOL

The U.S. Department of Labor defined the duties of professional retail sales associates in 1994. They include the following:

  • Providing personalized customer service, including initiating customer contact and building customer relations.

  • Selling and promoting products, determining customer needs, building and closing the sale.

  • Monitoring inventory, including taking and transferring inventory.

  • Maintaining the appearance of a department or store, including maintenance of the stock, sales, and customer service areas and maintaining the product presentation and displays.

  • Protecting company assets, including identifying and preventing losses and following safety procedures.

  • Working as part of a department or store team, including supporting co-workers and creating competitive advantages.

  • Detailed explanations of these tasks can be found on the National Skills Standards Board Web site at