I seem to always have a trouble with this one; what do you call a person that works in a store? A clerk? A sales person? Neither of these sound right. Saying "person that works in the store" doesn't work that well either.

Is there a general single word that I can use that represents "a person that works in a store".

  • What kind of store do you mean? Dept store? Grocery store? The answer may vary. Also, many larger stores have cashiers, stockers, and salespersons.
    – J.R.
    Commented Apr 7, 2012 at 0:38
  • Just sayin', it should be a person who works in a store.
    – JLG
    Commented Apr 7, 2012 at 4:11
  • I remember hearing "floorwalker" as a fairly general term for this, but it may be a dated term. Commented Apr 7, 2012 at 9:35

5 Answers 5


When you can't apply any of the fine terms provided here so far:

employee will always work.

  • Yes! Or store employee, if you need to be more specific.
    – J.R.
    Commented Apr 7, 2012 at 10:35
  • 1
    I like employee too, but "checkout girl" doesn't sound too bad either. Most of the time we encounter the checkout girl/guy when shopping.
    – TheOne
    Commented Apr 7, 2012 at 21:43

In the UK we have shop assistant but there are more specific terms like checkout girl and the possibly pejorative shelf-stacker, as well as the general shopworker, retail worker and so on. The best word to use probably depends on what your person actually does.


In Canada we have:

  • salespersons who sell you items (we used to have salesmen too),
  • cashiers who just work at the cash register and don't assist you in choosing items,
  • managers, and
  • specialty workers such as butchers, bakers, etc.

So there isn't a single word that would cover all persons working in a store. I suppose salesperson might be the most common position.


I think clerk is fairly general.


I'm pretty sure you are looking for the word "associate."

According to Merriam-Webster's 3rd entry for 'associate" (noun):

2.b. employee, worker

This is often used in conjunction with a modifier to make it more specific, such as:

Sales Associate, Retail Associate, etc.

but is frequently used by itself as well.

"I'm waiting for an associate to check the storeroom for my size."

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