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Retail is not boring.
It is boring for those who stand around passively, waiting for customers to decide to buy—
Instead of selling.
Similarly, most people will just expect a retail job, presenting themselves passively—
Instead of selling.
You, on the other hand, will learn how to write a retail cover letter that sells—
In this guide, you’ll get:
- A retail management cover letter examples, also for those with no experience.
- A walkthrough on all the elements of a cover letter.
- Expert advice on how to sell yourself in a cover letter.
- A sample cover letter for retail you can fill-in-the blanks and send off within minutes.
First, check out our two retail cover letter examples. See the pattern they follow to tick all the boxes of someone looking for a great retail hire.
1. Retail Cover Letter Examples
The first one is a sample retail cover letter for John, a retail worker with a few years of experience.
The company is searching for a retail manager that can exceed sales and productivity goals; learn new product trends and features; managing inventory stock levels; as well as managing retail associates, of course.
This is how to write a retail management cover letter:
Example #1: Retail Manager Cover Letter
Create a cover letter that matches the design of your resume—pick from 18 professional templates and get a powerful resume + cover letter combo now.
Looking for other cover letter examples for positions in sales and customer service? See:
- Customer Service Cover Letter
- Sales Associate Cover Letter
- Bartender Cover Letter
- Pharmacy Technician Cover Letter
- Sales Cover Letter
- Esthetician Cover Letter
- Cover Letter for Internal Position (or Promotion)
Haven't found what you're looking for? Check all our Best Cover Letter Examples.
3662 Godfrey Street, Oregon City, OR 97045
Oregon City, Sept 30, 2019
The Big Store
1 Main Avenue
Oregon City, OR 97045
Being a long-time shopper at The Big Store, I was excited to see a job opening for a Retail Manager in a place that I enjoy coming as a shopper. With my 4+ years of experience in exceeding targets and creating a great experience for the customers at Joe’s, I believe I can manage The Big Store in a successful way.
In the job listing, you mention you are looking for a Retail Manager that can exceed sales goals, follow new products and trends, and effectively manage stock and people. In my current position at Joe’s, where I have been Assistant Manager, we have reached the monthly sales target 17 months in a row, so I am used to finding solutions and driving them home until desired results. I have repeatedly scored above 95% on internal stock and product knowledge assessments that we periodically take. As Assistant Manager, I am often the only manager present, so I know exactly the reality of managing stock and people in a store of this size, and will adapt swiftly to The Big Store.
Every time I have visited The Big Store with my family, I have been impressed by the warm and friendly atmosphere of the staff, and their above-and-beyond ability to help. An atmosphere like that towards the clients signals a good atmosphere behind the scenes—something very important to me personally. If I enjoy coming to work every day, I will also be able to make it enjoyable for the customers.
Can we schedule a call or meeting to discuss how I can help The Big Store meet its targets, and then exceed them?
From this retail management cover letter, it’s clear that John is no clearance item.
Do you need to write a cover letter for retail job with no relevant experience?
Here it is.
This is another candidate, Jessica.
She is trying to get a Retail Associate job that requires effective communication skills, a respectful and friendly manner, as well as the ability to use equipment such as registers and PDTs.
Jessica has not worked in retail before, but her cover letter shows transferable skills that will get her the job.
Example #2: Entry-Level Candidate (Cover Letter For Retail Sales Associate)
532 Lafayette Street, Oregon City, OR 97045
Oregon City, Sept 30, 2019
The Big Store
1 Main Avenue
Oregon City, OR 97045
While in The Big Store to do my regular shopping, I was thrilled to see an opening for Retail Associate in a place that I enjoy coming to as a customer. As an outgoing, energetic person with strong customer service skills and a friendly, communicative manner, I am ready to contribute to the customer experience that The Big Store is loved for in our community.
In the job ad, you have written that you need a person that has strong communication skills and experience with the equipment you use. I have experience in using PDTs in my warehouse job, and as a young person so embroiled in technology, I will have no difficulty in learning how to use the register. I have experience in providing a friendly and helpful service as part of a team from helping to organize parent-teacher conferences at school, as well as from volunteering as a steward at community events such as “The Run To Beat Cancer”.
To me, working in a pleasant environment is paramount—then can I create a friendly, warm atmosphere for the customers. This is why I want to work for The Big Store, as the helpful and welcoming approach of its staff has always made feel at home.
Can we schedule a meeting to discuss how I can channel my skills to help The Big Store uphold its stellar reputation as a community hub?
These are two retail cover letters that won’t go out of date.
Don’t have a resume ready yet? See a dedicated example here:
Now, let’s get to work on stocking your retail cover letter with the good stuff.
2. How to Write a Top-Shelf Retail Cover Letter (Template)
Here’s how to write a job-winning retail cover letter:
1. Use a Professional Retail Cover Letter Format
Especially in retail, perhaps one of the most customer-facing occupations.
Being neat and tidy is the key, and you making this impression can start with the cover letter.
Here are the key pointers to nail the professional cover letter format:
- ‘Align left’ without justification. Not indenting will also save space.
- Set up equal margins on all sides—of at least 1-inch.
- Opt for a professional cover letter font—the classics such as Calibri, Georgia and Arial are presentable, but easily read.
- Use 1.15 line spacing. Enter a space between each section, and between paragraphs.
- 1-page is always enough for a cover letter.
After getting these settings right, it’s time to think about what to include in your cover letter for retail jobs.
2. Present Your Contact Information in the Retail Cover Letter Header
This header should be the same as your resume header, and must contain your full name, job title and contact details.
Leave a space, list the city and date, leave another space and put down the details of the hiring manager.
Follow this template:
Retail Cover Letter Header
[ Your Full Name]
[ Your Job Title ] (Optional)
[ Phone Number ]
[ Email Address ]
[ LinkedIn Profile ]
[ City and Date ]
[ Hiring Manager’s Full Name ]
[ Hiring Manager’s Position, e.g. Retail Team Leader ]
[ Company Name ]
[ Company Street Address ]
[ City and Zip Code ]
Expert Hint: Most retail outlets run their recruitment online. There are some specific issues to keep in mind when sending your retail cover letter electronically, which our email cover letter guide will clue you up on.
Double your impact with a matching resume and cover letter combo. Use our cover letter builder and make your application documents pop out.
Want to try a different look? There’s 18 more. A single click will give your document a total makeover. Pick a cover letter template here.
3. Identify the Job You’re Applying For and Introduce Yourself
Retail positions always have high interest—
Once the manager is reading your retail cover letter, you must let them know this not a waste of their time.
Always address the hiring manager by their name. This shows that you have taken interest and some time to find out what you’re getting into.
This is especially impressive if the name of the manager wasn’t in the job ad. Be creative, and if you must—use a phone!
Additional points for finding this out if it wasn’t given in the job posting. Be creative, use LinkedIn and if you must—a phone.
Begin your cover letter by identifying the position you’re applying for, and straight away show that you’re the perfect candidate.
You can use our retail cover letter template. Fill in the [blanks] with information relevant to you and the position you’re applying for.
Retail Cover Letter Example: Introduction
Dear [Hiring Manager’s Name]:
When I saw the posting for [Position Name] at [Target Company Name], I was overjoyed. As a [retail professional/Previous Position Title] with [number of years]+ years of experience, and with significant [rapport building/conflict resolution/collaboration and teamwork/customer service/problem solving/time management/other relevant skills you have] skills, I’m confident I can contribute to the great customer service at [Target Company Name].
Expert Hint: Is your retail resume up to scratch? The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that even though there over 4.75 million retail jobs in the US, that figure will decline by at least 100,000 in the next decade. As competition tightens, make sure all your documents are ready to make the sale.
4. Show Why You’re The Best Candidate
In a retail cover letter, the middle paragraph should demonstrate why you are the perfect candidate—
With specific references to the requirements of the job listed in the ad.
Go through the job posting and write down the most important requirements and responsibilities of your new job.
Think about which ones you have excelled at in a measurable way and write about your achievements.
Just like this.
Sample Retail Cover Letter: Middle Paragraph
Your job posting calls for a [Position Name] with experience in [refer to the requirements of the job]. As a [Previous Position Title] at [Name of Your Most Recent Company], I have excelled at [responsibilities, duties, or projects you’ve successfully completed, supported by metrics, if possible]. I believe converting those key skills into success for [Target Company Name] would just be a matter of time.
Expert Hint: The National Retail Federation's Foundation runs several credential and training courses for retail workers in their RISE Up program. Adding extra certifications on your cover letter for retail never hurts, and will often give you an unfair advantage over the other applicants.
5. Explain Why You Want To Work There
In the last paragraph of your retail cover letter, it will pay off to show the connection you already have with your prospective employer.
Be it something you found out about them, or simply the fact that you shop there and enjoy it—
Let them know.
They’d rather hire someone who is likely to enjoy coming to work.
See this template:
Retail Cover Letter Example: Your Motivation
I find it exciting that at [Target Company Name], you are all about [values/way of working/something you genuinely admire about the company]. This reflects my personal approach, which is why I believe working at [Target Company Name] would be the ideal opportunity for me to grow while providing world-class customer service.
6. Make The Sale: Include a Call to Action
Getting a job is not a self-service checkout.
You don’t ask—you don’t get.
This is why when you’re finishing your cover letter, you can’t afford to be passive. Those who “hope to hear” from them will have to keep hoping—
Because you’re going to ask for that interview and get it.
Emphasize your best selling point—the thing that will matter to them, and benefit them the most.
This is a retail cover letter example closing you can use for reference:
Sample Cover Letter for Retail: Call to Action & Formal Closing
When can we schedule a call or a meeting to discuss how my [your best, most relevant skill/their most important requirement] experience can help [Target Company Name] achieve [something important to this company]?
[Digital Copy of Your Handwritten Signature]
[Your Full Name]
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When writing your cover letter for retail, make sure to:
- Check all the header information is correct for both you and the manager, and address the hiring manager directly—by name.
- Tell them which position you’re applying for, and give them a short introduction of why you’re the right match in the first paragraph.
- Identify the key requirements and responsibilities of the job, and let them know you can handle them—by writing about your achievements in these things in the second paragraph.
- Display some enthusiasm and interest in this employer in the last paragraph of your retail cover letter.
- Take matters into your own hands—ask explicitly for a meeting, and sign off.
Do you have any more questions about writing a cover letter for retail? Did you find our retail cover letter examples helpful? Leave us a comment, I’ll be more than happy to hear from you!