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A marketing position, for example, is typically very focused and siloed at a large retailer; however, at a smaller retailer, a person in that same position may have more contact with other departments, getting their feet wet in other disciplines, says Weber of Crandall Associates.
“You can really learn a lot at a smaller company,” she says. “If you’re at the beginning of your career and your goal is not maximizing short-term income, then you really will get much more involved in the larger workings of a retail organization and learn more about the business.”
Culture, too, can be a selling point for a smaller retailer that can’t offer a big paycheck or great benefits.
“Companies can make cultural incentives: some play up the fun culture, the sort of ‘We’re Zappos, and we have a great time at this company,’” she says. “So it’s not only about the work responsibilities, because you will enjoy the work/life balance and have the opportunity to learn more than you could learn in a large organization.”