About the programme

M&S is synonymous with high-quality food. And our stores are famous for being the first to stock the latest, mouth-watering products; products like the runny Scotch egg, red bananas and orange wine – not to mention firm favourites such as Percy Pigs.

So when you join our Food Buyer programme, get ready for the largest shopping list you’ve ever seen. You’ll be part of our first-class team of food fanatics, scouring the land for everything from the choicest cuts of meat to best breads and most decadent desserts.

One of our select shoppers, you’ll help decide what goes on our shelves and sends sales soaring. We’ll teach you everything there is to know about driving market share through strategic buying and cost negotiation – all while helping you develop the skills to grow your career the way you want. In between identifying sales trends and spotting new buying opportunities, you’ll work closely with our Food Technology and Development teams to keep our stores stocked with the finest and most trusted food the high street has to offer, plus get to work closely with both our suppliers and manufacturers.

It’s an exciting role, and one that will see you building our food ranges of the future.

Although some food or retail experience would definitely help, it’s not essential. More important will be your analytical skills, commercial focus and talent for spotting a taste trend.

Applications for this programme have now closed

Download graduate brochure

Key Information

Food Buyer - Graduate Programme

Location

Head Office (London)

Duration

18 - 24 months' training

Salary

£23,500

Career questions?

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Applications for our business placement and graduate programmes are now closed. 

 

Applications will reopen in September 2017 for our 2018 intake. 

Applying to join M&S

  • Online application

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    Stage one: online application and testing

    You'll need to apply online - where you'll take some online screening tests, after which there follows a short period of suspense. This is where your application rises to the top of our review pile. As soon as we can, we'll be in touch to let you know whether you've successfully made it through to the next stage of your journey.

    Be sure to check each programme page for specific closing dates as they may vary. If you miss the deadline, you’ll have to wait another year before you can apply again.

    Here are a few tips. On your application form, be sure you include all your work experience and clearly state how it relates to the role you are applying for – or what skills you learned in that job which you can bring to our programme. In the online testing, everyone completes a personality questionnaire and takes a situational judgement test. Then you’ll be challenged to show your verbal, numerical or inductive skills, depending on the scheme you’re applying for. It’s a good idea to practise online tests before attempting the real ones – you can easily find some online. Make sure you take the tests in a quiet place where you won’t be interrupted.

  • Come to an assessment centre

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    Stage two: come to an assessment centre

    If we like what we see online, we'll ask to see you in person. You'll then be invited to a day of group exercises, presentations and an interview. Not easy, but not as scary as it sounds. In Retail, assessment centres will take place in January, February or March 2017, although some Head Office schemes will hold theirs in December 2016. There are plenty of tips on other pages to help you perform at your best.

  • Receive an offer

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    Stage three: receive an offer

    If all goes well and there's a place for you on one of our schemes, we'll let you know by the end of March. All in all, it's a simple process: just hold on to those 'if only' thoughts and do your best to impress at every stage. M&S has roles waiting for you. Yes, you could make it happen.

  • Start with us

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    Stage four: start with us

    This is the moment you've been waiting for. Your first day! Head Office Business Placements start in July but Retail Management and HR begin in September. For Graduates, all Head Office roles start in September with Retail Management having various intake dates across July and September.

    Applications for our business placement and graduate programmes for 2017 are now open.

Learning and Development

Experience is the best teacher, which is why M&S likes to throw you in at the deep end. Real responsibilities on real projects, from day one (no, really). But the learnings aren't just one way: we're eager to hear your fresh ideas, to have our ways challenged, in order to grow the business. Of course, it all starts with a comprehensive introduction to M&S. You're never on your own with us. During this time, you'll get a basic overview of our business, along with all the information you need about your new role and life with one of the nation's brightest brands.