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Careers in Retail! Career fairs and clients that shared our passion and vision

By the end of 2001 Mandy had decided to move on to her next challenge and Mike Millar came on board as a new business partner, followed by our next hire a Marketing Graduate Jacqui (Check out the photo above of them at the 2002 AUT Career Fair!)

Early on the Retailworld journey, it became clear to Trish that she was going to have to break down walls and remove the stigma around working in retail. She found that many people viewed it as an ‘in-between job’ while they were studying and career advisors certainly weren’t promoting the industry, it was often considered low paying with no room for progression. Boy were they wrong!

The demand for quality candidates was (and still is) a pain point for many retailers, so in 2002 Trish started the concept of Retail as a Career of Choice, educating the market on all the possible career paths that existed within the industry. The Retail Positioning Programme took to the streets. Trish, Mike and the team spoke at high schools and university career fairs, Retailworld drove an annual advertising and editorial feature in the New Zealand Herald called Retail Rush which promoted employers, the diverse range of careers options and all the great opportunities offered to people working in retail. 

Just as advertising has evolved (print was still the main source of candidates, job boards were just gaining momentum around 2001), so did Retail Rush and today we have a digital version of the Retail Career Map and Hospitality Career Map that are used to show the diversity of jobs and career progression potential for the Retail and Hospitality industries.  Fast forward 20 years and today we also have our own dedicated Retail and Hospitality specialist job boards. 









Retail is often a gateway into the workforce while people are studying and working part-time, there are so many success stories of people who have stayed on and have become phenomenal, inspirational leaders and successful business people or business owners! The partnerships Trish and the team established with their clients throughout this key phase of growth are still going strong today. 

We’d like to thank and shout out to our first clients McDonald’s (Gráinne and Evelyn), Woolworths (now Countdown) (Aston) and Telecom (now Spark) (Ben and Craig).  The message to position our industry resonated with them and they got on board as industry champions and co-sponsored Trish’s vision to promote retail careers. Trish built and valued strong relationships across the industry including the NZ Retail Association with John and Russell who ran the annual Top Shop Awards programme where Trish was a judge for many years. 

Mike and Trish were a dynamic NZ team with big plans for the future, Australia was on the horizon, the team was growing, sales were growing and this is the year business really took off - it was time to expand!