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Retail and Buying

The retail industry is the largest private sector employer with approximately three million people employed across the UK.  The sector offers a number of graduate entry points from store management to purchasing and allocation. Many of these jobs, at least in the early stages, require you to be mobile throughout the UK and can also offer very early management responsibility.

Supply chain management is a growing sector with increasing numbers of graduate opportunities both in supplying stores and also movement of goods in the manufacturing industry (see also Transport and logistics).

Information relating to retail banking can be found on the Financial services page.

Internships and work experience in this sector will enhance your chances and you can also gain excellent work experience through part-time and casual work.

For placements, internships or vacation schemes you should apply early in your first and/or penultimate year at Exeter.

You can also download a list of Employers of Exeter graduates in retail and buying.


Information Resources

  • Sector Skills Insights: Retail - outlines the performance challenges faced in the retail sector, the ‘real-life’ skills solutions implemented by leading and successful businesses to overcome them, and the benefits from doing so
  • People 1st Training - skills and workforce development charity for employers in the retail industry
  • Supply Management - useful information about buying and purchasing 

Places where you can find retail and buying job vacancies

Most national newspapers have advertisements for graduate vacancies.  You can look at the newspapers’ websites and sign up to get alerts about new vacancies. Some will require you to subscribe in order to access the full websites.

Professional Institutions

 Places for lists of employers or companies in this sector

 Post Graduate Study and Professional Development

  • Find a - searchable database of PhD opportunities and post doc jobs throughout the UK in science, engineering, maths and social science
  • Innovate UK - innovation, funding, and advice to encourage economic growth and collaboration between companies and universities
  • Prospects - search Postgraduate courses and research opportunities