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The retail employers that hire graduates with a 2.2 degree

Which retail graduate employers accept graduates with a 2.2?

While some retail graduate schemes look for applicants with a 2.1, many employers accept graduates with a 2.2 degree on to their graduate schemes – or entry-level jobs. There are more employers in the retail sector willing to accept a 2.2 than in other sectors, such as law or IT.
If your 2.2 is due to genuine mitigating circumstances, retailers who normally seek 2.1s may still consider you.

Which retail employers may accept a 2.2?

  • Abercrombie & Fitch: the website doesn't specify a minimum requirement for its manager in training programme.
  • Arcadia: accepts applications from graduates with a 2.2 or above.
  • Asda: accepts applications from graduates with any degree classification.
  • Enterprise Rent-A-Car: does not specify any degree requirements.
  • Fenwick Limited: degree requirements are not specified for its graduate training scheme.
  • House of Fraser: degree requirements are not specified.
  • John Lewis Partnership: is currently reviewing its graduate programme but has previously accepted applications from graduates with a 2.2 or above.
  • Lidl: accepts applications from graduates with a 2.2 for the graduate management development programme as long as they have a higher level qualification such as a masters.
  • Majestic Wine: degree requirements are not specified.
  • Marks & Spencer: degree requirements are not specified.
  • McDonald’s: does not state any degree requirements.
  • Morrisons: majority of schemes require a 2.1, but applicants for the retail scheme or manufacturing scheme should have a minimum 2.2 degree.
  • Next: asks for a degree-level qualification but grade requirements are not specified.
  • Pendagron: accepts graduates with a 2.2 or above for its retail management programme.
  • TJX Europe (TK Maxx): degree requirements are not specified.
  • UNIQLO: degree requirements are not specified for its UNIQLO manager candidate (UMC) programme.

What if I have mitigating circumstances? Will recruiters still accept me?

If your 2.2 is the result of genuine mitigating circumstances, there is a possibility that your application may still be considered by the graduate employers who do not ordinarily accept 2.2s.

Retail graduate recruiters do not tend to provide advice for applicants with mitigating circumstances on their websites. It is best to contact recruitment teams directly (via email, phone, social media, or face-to-face at a careers fair), explaining your situation to them personally. This will help you to focus your applications where they will be most welcome, and make sure that recruiters are aware of you personally so that your application is not automatically filtered out of the application process.

How could I further strengthen my application?

If you’re looking to further bolster your application, work experience in a relevant field – particularly in the company you are hoping to work for – will help. If you can’t find work placements with the retailer you are particularly interested in, bear in mind that many different retailers provide formal summer and year-long placements for recent graduates. Any experience you can gain of working in a retail environment is beneficial, as it gives you an understanding of how the retail machine operates.

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