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Starting salaries for retail graduate schemes in 2018

Retail graduate salaries: which retail employer pays the most?

Which supermarket chain will give you £44,000 and an Audi? Will you get paid more as a buyer or a store manager? TARGETjobs Retail investigates graduate starting salaries.

The retail sector is more willing than many other graduate recruitment sectors to share details of its salaries. This gives you the chance to compare graduate schemes. Scroll down for our list of the pay packets given by top retailers; it's organised by retail career (salaries are for the 2017–18 round of recruitment).

Graduate starting salaries in retail management

  • Aldi: area manager graduate training programme – £44,000 plus an Audi A4, rising to £73,450 after four years.
  • Halfords: retail scheme – £24,000.
  • Lidl: graduate trainee area manager – £40,000 plus a car, with the potential to earn up to £70,000.
  • Majestic Wine: trainee manager – £20,248–£23,290 depending on location plus bonuses.
  • Marks & Spencer: retail management graduate programme – £24,000. Location allowance is also available where applicable.
  • McDonald’s: trainee manager scheme – £20,000–£25,000 depending on location.
  • Mitchells & Butlers: retail graduate scheme – £20,000+ (dependent on experience) plus a bonus of up to £1,500 a year.
  • Ocado: retail programme – £26,000.
  • Pendragon: retail management programme – £21,000 plus a company car and a bonus of up to £3,000. After completing all three phases, graduates can earn around £50,000.
  • Tesco: stores programme: £26,000, plus a bonus.

Graduate starting salaries in buying and merchandising

  • Boots: commercial programme (buying, marketing and pharmacy services) – £25,000 plus a £1,000 welcome bonus.
  • Halfords: commercial scheme (buying, marketing and digital) – £24,000.
  • Lidl: junior buying manager programme – £36,000 plus a car.
  • Marks & Spencer: buying graduate programme, food buying graduate programme and merchandising graduate programme – £23,500.
  • Next: trainee merchandiser and trainee buyer scheme – £21,228.
  • Tesco: food programme and general merchandising programme – £28,000.
  • TJX Europe (TK Maxx): merchandising and buying programme – a minimum of £25,000; exact salary details discussed at the point of offer.

Graduate starting salaries in e-commerce and technology

  • Argos: software engineering programme – £30,000 plus a bonus.
  • Boots: digital programme and software engineering programme – both £25,000 plus a £1,000 welcome bonus.
  • Halfords: commercial scheme (buying, marketing and digital) – £24,000.
  • Marks & Spencer: digital (commercial) graduate programme – £28,000.
  • Ocado: engineering and engineering operations programme – £26,000.
  • Tesco: technology software engineering programme and technology product and programme manager scheme – £32,000. Online programme – £28,000.
  • TJX Europe (TK Maxx): information technology – a minimum of £25,000; exact salary details discussed at the point of offer.

Graduate starting salaries in supply chain/logistics

  • Boots: supply chain programme – £25,000 plus a £1,000 welcome bonus.
  • Lidl: graduate management development programme (includes a logistics route) – £36,000 plus a car.
  • Marks & Spencer: supply chain and logistics programme – £25,500.
  • Tesco: distribution programme – £26,000. Supply chain programme – £28,000.
  • TJX Europe (TK Maxx): logistics programme – a minimum of £25,000; exact salary details discussed at the point of offer.

Graduate starting salaries in product technology

Graduate starting salaries in design

  • Marks & Spencer: design programme – £23,500
  • TJX Europe (TK Maxx): product development programme – a minimum of £25,000; exact salary details will be discussed at the offer stage.

Graduate starting salaries in retailers’ general business (commercial) schemes

  • Boots: global brands programme, commercial programme and HR programme – all £25,000 plus a £1,000 welcome bonus.
  • Halfords: commercial scheme – £24,000.
  • Lidl: graduate management development programme – £36,000 plus a car.
  • Marks & Spencer: digital (commercial) programme – £28,000. Marketing programme – £23,500. Retail operations (head office) programme – competitive.
  • Ocado: operations management programme – £26,000.
  • TJX Europe (TK Maxx): loss prevention programme and marketing programme – a minimum of £25,000; exact salary details will be provided at offer stage.
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