About the programme

If you’re thinking of a career with a retailer, you couldn’t think much bigger than M&S. We’re the largest and most trusted in the UK, with a massive range of merchandise to manage. Someone has to take stock of each department: poring over the latest sales numbers and making sure everything arrives in the right place at the right time. That someone could be you.

From sizing up the Shapewear section in Lingerie, to checking that our Menswear suits demand, you’ll need one eye on sales and the other on trends with the Buyer – some would say a third eye for anticipating both! It’s a vital role for the success of M&S.

You’ll start as a Graduate Trainee Assistant Merchandiser, involved in all aspects of the job from analysing sales to planning new ranges. We are big believers in learning while you’re earning so you’ll be hands-on as soon as possible. You’ll also be assigned a seasoned “buddy” to guide you through the Merchandising maze, plus full training on day-to-day systems.

After approximately one year, you’ll be ready for an Assistant Merchandiser role. Then as you take on more responsibility you’ll move up to be a fully-fledged Merchandiser, in charge of a whole area.

A merchandising, analytical or business-related degree is ideal, although we’ll consider other courses if you have retail experience. For dealing with suppliers, you’ll need to be good at getting along with people and explaining your thoughts. You’ll also need to be confident and organised, as things can get hectic in Merchandising. But the right people love it.

Applications for this programme have now closed

Download graduate brochure

Key Information

Merchandising - Graduate Programme

Location

Head Office (London)

Duration

12-18 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.