As we enter the final countdown to Black Friday, sales on November 23 are expected to reach £1.54 billion in the UK. 

The e-commerce trade body IMRG estimates British shoppers will spend 13% more than last year. 

Aside from traditional high street shopping, it also predicts an online spend of more than £8 billion from today until November 26 – the peak shopping period known as ‘Blackvember’. 

However, the bargain bagging will not stop there. 

Following Black Friday, which has become famous for images of frenzied shoppers trying to secure everything from flat screen TVs to games consoles, there is Cyber Monday and a growing list of online sales events. 

Leading up to Christmas this means a spike in the demand for seasonal retail staff, with vacancies available for frontline roles such as sales assistants and stock controllers. 

There are also opportunities for permanent roles, where successful applicants have the chance to forge a brand new career. 

Customer Service Assistant 

This is a rewarding role but not without its challenges. Technology has moved on but retail companies still stand by the customer always being right – so it often takes diplomacy, patience and tact to deal with the public. 

There are many customer service roles available but in retail the numbers of calls, visits to the service desk and online enquiries all climb around Black Friday and continue to rise as we move towards Christmas. 

Listening skills are important, as is multi-tasking – such as paying attention to a customer and checking for stock or more information at the same time. 

There are no specific qualifications required but basic IT skills can help, as does a willingness to work outside normal office hours. 

Network Engineer 

Retail involves many different departments, all of whom need to be connected to serve the customer. This includes online sales. 

A network engineer does everything from installing and configuring new software and hardware to riding in as the cavalry when a system crashes. 

If you already have a background in IT areas, such as support or repair, the move will be easier. 

Telephone Banking Adviser 

Shopping means one thing: splashing the cash. Online payments can still make people nervous, so any suspicious account activity needs to be handled by telephone advisers sensitively and efficiently. 

This is the online equivalent of someone walking into their bank’s local branch and seeking financial advice, so a background in banking obviously helps. 

Training can be given in the basics and all the financial products the bank offers. 

Working in a bank branch means more regular hours (and bank holidays) but the online world never stops. Customers require support 24-7 and 365 days a year, so be ready to work shifts and holidays, if you land this role in a call or contact centre. 

Retail Buyer 

This is the perfect job for the keen shopper. It’s also a highly skilled career that can add to the fortunes of a small company or a global empire. 

A qualification in retail or business can help but some businesses have training schemes for those hoping to work their way up from the checkout or shop floor. 

It will be your responsibility to keep an eye on the market and trends – whether that’s in fashion, electronics, food or a specialist area.  

Every shop needs someone to decide what ends up on the shelves in the real world or on their website. 

There’s a vast range of roles across the retail industry and, for most, you’ll need enthusiasm and a get-up-and-go attitude. You can find of all the latest vacancies online now.