Retail graduate salaries: which retail employer pays the most?

Which supermarket chain will give you £44,000 and a BMW 3 series? Will you get paid more as a buyer or a store manager? TARGETjobs Retail investigates graduate starting salaries.

Hero image for Retail graduate salaries: which retail employer pays the most?

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 2019–20 round of recruitment).

According to the Cibyl Graduate Survey 2020, the majority of students interested in working in retail expected their first salary to be within the range of £22,000 to £25,000, and the second most popular expected first salary range was £19,000 to £22,000. Cibyl is a research business owned by the same parent company as TARGETjobs. As you'll see below, there are plenty of employers that meet the mark when it comes to expectations.

Graduate starting salaries in retail management

  • Aldi: area manager graduate training programme – £44,000 plus an BMW 3 series.
  • Halfords: retail scheme – £24,000.
  • Farmfoods: management development programme – £22,000.
  • Lidl: graduate management programmes – £37,000 plus a car.
  • Marks & Spencer: retail management programme – £24,000 plus location allowance where applicable.
  • McDonald’s: trainee manager scheme – £22,000–£25,000 depending on location.
  • Tesco: stores programme: £28,000.

Graduate starting salaries in buying and merchandising

  • Boots: commercial programme (buying and marketing) – £26,000.
  • Lidl: buying graduate management programme – £37,000 plus a car.
  • Tesco: food programme and procurement programme – £28,000.

Graduate starting salaries in e-commerce and technology

  • Boots: digital programme – £26,000. Software engineering programme – £29,000.
  • Tesco: technology programme, technology cyber security programme, technology software engineering programme and technology product programme – £32,000.

Graduate starting salaries in supply chain/logistics

  • Boots: supply chain programme – £26,000.
  • Lidl: logistics graduate management programme – £37,000 plus a car.

Spotlight organisations

Get inspired

Cherry picked for you

Cherry picked for you

and delivered directly to your feed.