Merchandising

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 analyse market trends and act on your instincts to advise our buyers on the products that will become best-sellers. It’s a vital role for the success of M&S, so picking apart data has to be of genuine interest to you.

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 close on Friday 7th December.

Key Information

  • Location

    Head Office (London)

  • Duration

    12 - 18 months' training

  • Salary

    £25,000

Career questions?

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Learning and Development

A complex operation like ours works best when we all work well together. This means understanding how all the pieces fit and what each of them does; and how you could support this. This year, we’re going to give you those cross-functional insights. There’ll be more opportunities to move around the business. You’ll see how other departments function. You’ll get to network with your peers. There will be a greater emphasis on commerciality and entrepreneurial thinking.

We’ll also be taking a more robust approach to your career management. This will be done via talent profiles. To make sure you meet and exceed yours, we’ll assign you a mentor who will invest their time and experience in you. Our current intake will also be on hand as your buddy. They’ve just been where you’re about to go, so who better to be your guide and answer all your questions.

We are looking to you to be the future leaders of our business. To take us forward successfully, you’ll need to understand how we got to where are to today. Our current subject matter experts will take you on this journey. They will arm you with invaluable insight into what works and what doesn’t.

By the end of your programme, the experience you will have gained will make you a retail force to be reckoned with.

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 practice 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.

    If you’re applying for the Enterprise Programme, the process is a little less orthodox - so to find out more click here

  • 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 2018, although some Head Office schemes will hold theirs in December 2017. 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. All graduate roles start in September.

    Applications for our business placement and graduate programmes for 2018 are now open.