18 September, 2023

Careers: Retail Assistant



Position title: Retail Assistant
Category of employment: Permanent, part-time
Renumeration: $26.18/hour weekdays; $32.73/hour Saturdays.
Hours: 4 weekdays 9:30 am – 5:00 pm (with 30 min break) + Saturday 8:45 am – 1:15 pm
Number of ordinary hours per week (average): 32.5 hours (including 4.5 hours on Saturdays)
Locations: NorthSite Contemporary Arts (96 Abbott Street, Cairns City, 4870)
Closing date: 5PM, Tuesday October 3, 2023



NorthSite puts artists at the centre of everything we do.

  • We cultivate and champion art production, practice and culture in Tropical North Queensland.
  • We create opportunities for artists to realise and present exciting ideas.
  • We bring artists and audiences together, stimulate conversation, and provide transformative experiences.
  • We adhere to best-practice standards of arts governance and operations, which we continually review and improve.
  • We are committed to growing social wellbeing, economic empowerment and environmental sustainability for the organisation, the arts sector / communities more broadly.


Reporting to the CEO/ Executive Director and Gallery Store Manager, the Retail Assistant supports retail activities, both in-gallery and online, as well as the daily operations of the NorthSite Store, situated at Bulmba-ja Arts Centre, Cairns.

The role is primarily tasked with the stocking, display and promotion of retail products at NorthSite Contemporary Arts.

Key tasks involve maintaining the NorthSite online and retail channels prudently and efficiently with knowledge and respect for artistic conventions.

The role contributes to achieving revenue targets and attracting repeat visitation and sales, while providing excellent customer and artist services. We aim to deliver memorable visitor experiences synonymous with the NorthSite Contemporary Arts vision.

The NorthSite Retail Assistant works with other staff to deliver associated marketing and promotions, while overseeing store maintenance, stock consignments, procurement, visual merchandising, and sales reporting.

The NorthSite Store operates on a social enterprise model, with all income going to artists and invested back, offsetting the cost of gallery operations and programs.

This is a 4 day per week position requiring a highly organized person to balance customer service demands, meet financial targets, and maintain shop administration and visitation reporting responsibilities align with the strategic objectives of the organisation and support the NorthSite vision, purpose, and values.


The Retail Assistant is responsible for:

  • Assisting operation of the NorthSite Store at its physical location and NorthSite Online Store.
  • Undertaking sales, packing orders, arranging freight and distributing goods in a timely manner.
  • Organising the weekly postal drop for online orders and following up on client correspondence.
  • Working towards sales targets.
  • Visual merchandising, displays and promotions.
  • Documentation and photography of artworks and retail items and upload/maintenance of online channels.
  • Keeping inventory lists and PoS systems (Vend & Shopify) correctly updated and monitoring stock levels.
  • Assisting in updating consignment contracts for an ever-evolving, high-quality, curated range of art, craft, design relevant to the local, national and tourist market.
  • Growing the NorthSite membership base.
  • Supporting new licensing initiatives and wholesale of unique merchandise ranges.
  • Collaboration with artists and staff for effective operation of special events such as CIAF (Cairns Indigenous Art Fair) and pop-up retail for artistic and tourism events.
  • Shop activities that promote a strong public face and advocacy for NorthSite’s vision, purposes and values.
  • Capturing of visitor data and feedback.
  • Maintaining co-operative working relationships with NorthSite staff, Board, volunteers, project partners, members, building tenants and other stakeholders.
  • Ensuring the delivery of a high standard of customer service to all visitors and members.
  • Supporting the Gallery Store Manager to set and achieve shared goals as a team.
  • Assisting customers with all purchase enquiries.
  • Promoting current and upcoming exhibitions and artists.


Essential criteria

Applicants must be able to demonstrate commitment and experience in related roles, with:

  • Minimum 3 years’ experience in a relevant retail role.
  • Exceptional customer service and interpersonal skills.
  • Demonstrated experience with driving sales and operations to meet targets.
  • Experience in maintaining stock control and inventories, cash handling and daily transaction reconciliations.
  • High level written and verbal communication skills and computer (iMac) literacy.
  • Precise attention to detail and commitment to accuracy.
  • A ‘good eye’ for composition, visual merchandising and design, and appreciation for artistic production and techniques.
  • Ability to work autonomously, as part of a team and under pressure to meet deadlines and manage weekly priorities.
  • Exceptional time management skills and ability to manage workflow and provide updates to Gallery Retail Manager and CEO/Executive Director.


Experience with and interest in:

  • C Class driver’s license.
  • An understanding of the arts sector and demonstratable knowledge and passion for art, craft and design.
  • Experience working in a small business.
  • Experience with photography, strategic marketing, communications and social media.
  • Experience with software systems and integrations (Lightspeed, Shopify, Trello, Filemaker Pro, Mac and Microsoft Office suite).


  • Reports to the NorthSite Artistic Director.
  • Internal liaisons – NorthSite Board of Directors and NorthSite staff (including: Executive Administrator, Curator, Communications Officer, Retail Manager, Gallery Officer, Events and Content Producer), volunteers, studio technicians, facilitators, and other Bulmba-ja tenants.
  • External liaisons – artists, workshop participants, patrons to the galleries, program participants, community, government, and industry stakeholders.


Download the Position Description document to ensure you meet the key selection criteria. Provide the information outlined in the Position Description document (CV and cover letter) and click the “Apply Now” button to submit your application.

Closing date: 5PM, Tuesday October 3, 2023