Retail graduate schemes & jobs

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Jobs in retail FAQs

  • Retail is a vast industry encompassing many companies, but all largely involve the selling of consumer goods and services. Whether in-store or online, retail offers a wide variety of job opportunities at a range of salary points. In the retail industry, salary tends to rise with seniority – graduate retail management jobs will inevitably pay more than entry level retail roles.

    For example, working for a luxury brand as a Personal Shopping Assistant would likely offer a salary of around £23-25k, due to the limited industry experience required for the role. In contrast, a Personal Shopping Lead could be paid upwards of £35k, due to the expertise and experience that is necessary for the role.

    However, there are junior jobs in retail that pay better than others, such as retail graduate training schemes. A retail graduate programme is designed to support the quick advancement of top graduates into leadership roles within a company. In order to attract the best graduate applicants, a retail management graduate scheme would likely offer a highly salary package of around £25k-35k+.

    So, if you’re willing to work in a fast-paced retail environment and be given responsibility from day one, applying for a graduate scheme is a great option in terms of salary.

    If you would rather enter the world of retail through a more traditional route, there are plenty of entry retail jobs that pay competitive salaries. For instance, sales jobs are always in high demand in the retail industry and tend to provide great monetary benefits for graduates.

    With most sales retail roles offering great commission structures on top of a competitive base salary, jobs like Sales Associate or Account Executive are great options for aspiring graduates.

    So, whether you’re interested in retail business management graduate jobs, retail grad schemes, or sales assistant roles, our graduate jobs board is the place to look!

  • Not sure whether your skills are the right fit for retail roles? Let’s take a look at what kind of industry skills junior retail jobs require, so you can decide if careers in retail are a viable option for you.

    One of the key skills required for graduate retail jobs is the ability to be an effective communicator. Working in retail, you’ll be communicating with customers, buyers, other employees, and employers.

    Product demand and stock will constantly change and it is essential that you can quickly and confidently communicate changes to a variety of people.

    With entry level retail jobs that are focused on interacting directly with customers, it’s central to have great customer service and interpersonal skills. In retail, the customer is your client, and it’s important to maintain a positive and customer-first mindset when working in a variety of situations.

    To be a good retail graduate, you will also need to possess the sales-oriented ability to clearly explain your company’s products and market them to customers.

    Working as a graduate retail manager, for example, you’ll often have team sales goals to achieve – you’ll need to be able to maintain great relationships with customers, have great knowledge of the products, and have the drive and persistence to achieve these goals.

    Retail opportunities exist in many functional areas, from finance to human resources, to in-store retail sales and customer service roles. One of the reasons entry level retail is a great option for graduates is that working in retail provides a variety of different skills.

    Problem-solving, sales, and customer service – retail is a great way to develop your professional skillset and build a great foundation for future positions.

    So, if you’re a driven and positive graduate with a can-do attitude, you should definitely consider applying to retail grad jobs on our website!

  • As an industry, retail graduate schemes have some of the most competitive starting salaries on the graduate jobs market, alongside excellent career progression opportunities. Retail graduate schemes tend to be offered by larger, well-established retail firms that are looking to invest in future leadership talent.

    Most retail graduate schemes are fixed-term roles that consist of rotational training placements in different departments. For example, retail marketing graduate schemes often involve graduate placements in affiliate marketing, PPC advertising, SEO and content marketing as well as traditional marketing.

    And joining one of these schemes can provide a great start to a career in the sector. On a more generalist retail graduate scheme, graduates are exposed to a wide range of divisions, like human resources, finance, and sales. In this way, graduate schemes are great at providing a broad understanding of all aspects of the retail industry.

    Gaining hands-on experience in a number of departments enables graduates to choose what retail career path to follow later down the line.

    Graduates participating in these graduate schemes gain a solid foundation of the industry, and are equipped with vast knowledge of different departments, which is highly appealing to employers.

    As such, retail grad schemes are often highly competitive and can sometimes close before the original deadline due to the high volume of applications received.

    Whether you want to apply to specialist grad schemes like visual merchandising graduate schemes and retail finance graduate schemes, or are interested in more generalist programmes, our team of expert recruiters will be on hand to help you succeed.

  • UK retail jobs can vary widely, from customer-facing roles to behind-the-scenes positions. The skills you need will depend on the specific job you’re interested in, but here are some general skills that are often valuable across different retail careers:

    • Customer service: Excellent customer service skills are essential for most retail positions. This includes being friendly, approachable, and attentive to customer needs and concerns.
    • Communication: Effective communication skills are crucial for interacting with customers, colleagues, and managers. Clear communication helps prevent misunderstandings and ensures a positive shopping experience.
    • Attention to detail: Accurate inventory management, pricing, and processing transactions are vital for the smooth functioning of a retail operation. Attention to detail helps prevent errors and maintain the integrity of processes.
    • Merchandising: If you’re interested in visual merchandising or store layout, creativity and an eye for aesthetics are key.
    • Language skills: In diverse retail environments, multilingual skills can be a valuable asset for communicating with customers from different backgrounds.


    Different graduate jobs in retail will emphasise different skills. For example, a cashier will require a strong attention to detail and math skills, while a visual merchandiser will need creativity and an eye for design. When applying for a specific retail job, carefully review the retail job description to tailor your application and highlight the skills most relevant to that position.


  • Yes, retail careers can offer significant opportunities for progression and growth, especially for individuals who are dedicated, motivated, and proactive in their approach to their work. While the retail industry is often associated with entry-level positions, there are numerous paths for advancement and career development.

    Here are some ways in which retail careers can offer progression:

    1. Management: Many retail organisations have hierarchical structures that include supervisory, assistant manager, and store manager positions. Advancing into graduate retail manager roles allows you to take on more responsibilities, lead teams, and make strategic decisions.
    2. Specialist: As you gain experience, you may have the chance to move into specialized roles within the retail sector. This could include positions such as visual merchandisers, inventory managers, training coordinators, or customer experience managers.
    3. Corporate: The retail industry often has corporate offices that handle various functions such as marketing, human resources, finance, and supply chain management. With experience gained in-store, you might transition to roles within the corporate structure, contributing to higher-level strategy and decision-making.
    4. E-Commerce: As online shopping continues to grow, there are opportunities to move into roles focused on e-commerce operations, online marketing, and digital customer experience.


    Demonstrating a strong work ethic, leadership abilities, excellent customer service skills, and a willingness to take on new challenges can set you on a path toward career advancement in the retail sector.

    Networking within the industry, seeking out mentorship, and actively pursuing opportunities for growth can also significantly impact your ability to progress in your retail career.