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Retail, buying and merchandising
Picture of a waistband of a pair of jeans saying 2.2s accepted

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 or leadership development programmes.
  • Arcadia: Degree requirements are not specified.
  • Asda: Graduates should have at least a 2.2 in any subject, plus 300 UCAS points from across three A levels (or equivalent).
  • Enterprise Rent-A-Car: Degree requirements are not specified.
  • Fenwick Limited: Degree requirements are not specified for its graduate buyers training scheme.
  • House of Fraser: Degree requirements are not specified.
  • Ikea: Degree requirements are not specified.
  • Lidl: Accepts applications from graduates with a 2.2 as long as they meet further requirements. The graduate management development programme, for example, is open to those with a 2.2 as long as they have a higher level qualification such as a masters.
  • Majestic Wine: Degree requirements are not specified.
  • McDonald’s: Degree requirements are not specified.
  • Morrisons: Majority of schemes require a 2.1, but applicants for the retail scheme should have a minimum 2.2 degree.
  • New Look: Degree requirements are not specified.
  • Next: Degree requirements are not specified.
  • TK Maxx: Degree requirements are not specified.
  • Uniqlo: Degree requirements are not specified for its store manager candidate programme.
  • William Jackson Food Group: Degree requirements are not specified.

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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