Discount and Variety

Shoe rack clothing racks Retail store discount and variety shopping trolley Discount and variety stores sell goods such as stationery; clothing; health and beauty products; confectionery; some food products; gifts; hardware; household goods; pet accessories; holiday decorations; smaller electrical appliances; novelty toys - and much more. Over 220 businesses employ nearly 3,500 people in South Australia.

These stores are usually self-service through a checkout system similar to supermarkets, with the focus on offering un-branded products at a lower price than similar products sold in department stores.

Variety stores will often provide a consistent product range at each store location that is organised into product areas for the convenience of the shopper. Discount stores specialise in providing customers with bargain products with a 'no-frills' service approach. These businesses usually buy products in bulk, often discontinued or imported and this allows the retailer to pass the savings onto the customer.

Wal-Mart (USA) has 8,416 stores under 53 different banners in 15 countries and employs more than 2 million people worldwide. Australian discount companies are much smaller, but a chain can still employ 2,500 permanent and 7,500 casual staff over 350 stores with three or four different names.

Three of the largest variety retail businesses averaged a total revenue of $3.5 billion in 2006-07.

 Sector Leaflet Discount & Variety

Download the Discount and Variety Sector Leaflet (1.94MB)


Jenna Bruno


Name: Jenna Bruno
Age: 20
Place of Work: Target
Role: Sales Assistant Sound Department
Qualifications: Studying Human Resources at University
Estimated salary range for this job role: $21-40K

I have been in the retail industry for six years, after working in retail in high school as an after school job to get pocket money. Now I work full time while on a break from university.

I like dealing with people and there is always something new to learn and do. The industry is growing and expanding, especially working in the sound department there is always some sort of new technology I have to learn.

My role as a sales assistant includes customer service, telecommunications, liaising with reps, stock control duties, merchandise display and dealing with customer queries. There is also a lot of planning involved with merchandise displays and organising how to get the most out of the products. I work on a roster rotation during the week and some weekends.

The best advice I have had is that you should get to know the people you are marketing to and be willing to learn and try new things. Always work to your full potential - you need to be prepared to work hard, learn your products, understand customers needs and wants and stay focused.

I love the diversity in working with people on a day to day basis. It's not just a cash register; you get to expand on your knowledge and you can take this into not just work but also your personal life.