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Graduate Retail Jobs

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        Helping you find a career in the retail industry

        Retail is a huge industry that contributes billions of pounds every year to the economy. There are a range of roles available, from store managers to buying roles in the head office.

        Many think that retail is a monotonous job and the same every day, but this couldn't be further from the truth! Every day will be different. You'll meet new people, encounter new challenges and have different tasks to do throughout the day.

        The roles in retail can be divided into store and head office. In a store you will have assistants, assistant managers and managers whereas a head office will have multiple departments including finance, HR, marketing and buying.

        Each job in retail is dedicated to making the customer's experience positive whilst maximising sales and profitability for a company.

        The industry is going through big changes with the growth of online shopping. Many shops are now paying close attention to what the experience of their physical shop is like and have a bigger focus on customer service than ever before. For the workforce, this means much more interacting with customers and is great for those who would enjoy speaking with others as part of their working day!

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        FAQs
        Skills & interests required for a career in Retail

        It would be helpful in retail if you were passionate about the products that you are selling - whether it is fashion, food, or even plants.

        You must thrive from a busy schedule and be able to form relationships quickly with customers. In an age where there are so many products to choose from, a person's experience with a brand through their staff will go a long way.

        Working in retail means you must be able to multitask and not get flustered easily. A busy store will mean that you have to work quickly and often re-prioritise your task list. Being able to do this easily, and without stressing, is key to succeeding in retail.

        Graduate schemes & other typical career progression routes in Retail

        The progression route for graduates in retail depends upon the career you choose to pursue. Working in a store, you would likely begin as a customer or sales assistant, then an executive, then a manager and eventually perhaps the head of a store.

        A graduate in retail can progress quickly if they are good at their role. Some companies have specific graduate schemes designed to attract the best talent and prepare them for management positions in the space of two years.

        Tips for getting into the field

        Do your research - before going to an interview with a company, make sure that you've done your research on their products, their ethos and even visited a store if they have one. This will also help you visualise how you would fit in and decide whether you like the idea of working there.

        Proactivity is key - the working day in retail can be very busy and you'll find yourself rushing around a lot! You'll be a real asset if you are able notice and respond to problems within the shop - for example, seeing that a display is untidy and fixing it without being asked to.

        How much can graduates earn in Retail?

        The earning potentials in retail depend widely on what role you choose. Here are some typical salaries for roles in retail, according to PayScale:

        • Assistant buyer: £21,046
        • Shop assistant: £6.89 per hour
        • Assistant merchandiser: £23,531
        • Area manager: £34,364

        Of course, these salaries can vary depending on the employer.

        What qualifications do I need for a career in Retail?

        Some companies may require a degree to work in the head office and you will have to prove your competencies depending on the department you will be going to work in. In finance, for example, you will need to show that you are good with numbers.

        For the most part, it does not matter what subject you study in retail. A lot of the industry is learned through training.

        Read more about the Retail industry

        Retail Economics
        Retail Gazette
        Centre for Retail Research
        The Retail Appointment
        Retail Week

        Retail industry bodies

        British Retail Consortium (BRC)
        Skillsmart - Retail Management Skills
        Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD)