Retail sales workers held about 4.9 million jobs in 2014. The industries that employed the most retail sales workers were as follows:
Clothing and clothing accessories stores
General merchandise stores
Motor vehicle and parts dealers
Building material and garden equipment and supplies dealers
Sporting goods, hobby, book, and music stores
Most retail sales work is performed in clean well-lit stores. Workers often stand for long periods and may need permission from a supervisor to leave the sales floor. If they sell items such as cars, plants, or lumberyard materials, they may work outdoors.
Many sales workers work evenings and weekends, particularly during holidays and other peak sales periods. Because the end-of-year holiday season is often the busiest time, many employers limit retail sales workers' use of vacation time between November and the beginning of January.
About 1 in 3 retail salespersons worked part time in 2014.