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Retail, buying and merchandising
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Retail graduate salaries: which retail employer pays the most?

Which supermarket chain will give you £42,000 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 2016–17 round of recruitment).

Graduate starting salaries in retail management

  • Aldi: area manager graduate training programme – £42,000 plus an Audi A4, rising to £72,000 after four years.
  • Boots: retail management programme – £25,000 plus a £1,000 welcome payment.
  • Halfords: retail management scheme – £24,000+.
  • John Lewis Partnership: graduate leadership scheme – £29,000.
  • Lidl: graduate trainee area manager – £40,000 plus a car, with the potential to earn up to £70,000.
  • Majestic Wine: trainee manager – £19,305–£21,996 plus bonuses.
  • Marks & Spencer: retail management graduate programme – £24,000. Location allowance is also available where applicable.
  • McDonald’s: management development programme – £21,500–£24,500 depending on location.
  • Mitchells & Butlers: area management graduate scheme – £25,500. Retail graduate scheme – £20,000+ (dependent on experience).
  • Ocado: general management programme and retail programme – £26,000.
  • Tesco: stores programme: £26,000 (plus London allowance).
  • William Jackson Food Group: graduate management scheme – £23,000 plus relocation allowance.

Graduate starting salaries in buying and merchandising

  • Halfords: commercial scheme (buying, marketing and digital) – £24,000+.
  • Lidl: graduate scheme in buying – £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 – £21,017.
  • Tesco: procurement programme, food programme and general merchandising programme – £26,000.
  • 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: digital trading programme – £26,000.
  • Boots: technology programme – £25,000 plus a £1,000 welcome payment.
  • Halfords: commercial scheme (buying, marketing and digital) – £24,000+.
  • John Lewis Partnership: technology graduate scheme – £29,000.
  • Marks & Spencer: digital graduate programme – £28,000. Software engineering graduate programme – £28,000. IT business analyst programme – £25,500.
  • Ocado: engineering and engineering operations programme – £26,000.
  • Tesco: technology programme – £32,000. Online programme – £27,500.
  • TK Maxx: business technology (European programme) – a minimum of £25,000; exact salary details discussed at the point of offer.

Graduate starting salaries in supply chain/logistics

  • Boots: supply chain graduate programme – £25,000 plus a £1,000 welcome payment.
  • Lidl: graduate supply chain trainee scheme – £32,000.
  • Marks & Spencer: logistics and supply chain graduate programme – £25,500.
  • Ocado: logistics development programme – £26,000.
  • Tesco: distribution programme – £26,000. Supply chain programme – £27,000.
  • T K Maxx: logistics programme – a minimum of £25,000; exact salary details discussed at the point of offer.

Graduate starting salaries in food technology and product technology

  • Marks & Spencer: product (fabric) technology graduate programme – £23,500. Food product development graduate programme – competitive.

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

  • Boots: global commercial programme and operations programme – both £25,000 plus a £1,000 welcome payment.
  • Lidl: graduate management development programme – £36,000 plus a car.
  • Ocado: operations management programme – £24,000.
  • Tesco: customer analysis graduate scheme – £27,500. Business support programme – £27,000. Commercial strategy and operations programme – £27,000.
  • TK Maxx: loss prevention programme – a minimum of £25,000; exact salary details will be provided at offer stage.
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