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Department vision Retail

"The vision for retail is straightforward; it’s about creating a remarkable omnichannel shopping experience every day. However our customers shop with us, whether in store, online, or with click and collect, our customers expect it to be simple and seamless. Our customers expect brilliant standards and service. We look to our store colleagues to embrace the digital experience. Our people are our greatest asset and are the very heart of our business. We want you to reach your potential, with pathways to help you thrive. No matter what your journey looks like, it's our job to help you find your way."

Helen Milford, Stores Director

Buying & Merchandising Apprenticeship Programme 2023

Monday to Friday, 9am – 5pm 

Legends of tomorrow learn from the best

Are you a legend in the making? Want to build your legacy now, straight out of school? Then join our Level 4 Buying and Merchandising Apprenticeship, developed in partnership with the Fashion Retail Academy.  

Become immersed within our Clothing & Home business as you work on real Buying and Merchandising projects from day one. This could mean developing new ranges, speaking to suppliers from across the world, contributing to our market success, learning from experienced colleagues, and utilising your creative and analytical abilities to turn ideas into reality. If you love to shop and know what customers want, you’re already a step ahead. 

On this apprenticeship, you’ll analyse data, pinpoint the trends that drive sales, help to allocate stock, monitor and renew sales and stock levels, and provide general administrative support to the team – depending on your current rotation. It’s a key opportunity within your career to harness your passion for retail and use it to drive results. 

Every six months, you’ll move to a different area within Buying and Merchandising, giving you an in-depth understanding of how each team operates. And at least once a month, you’ll have a training day at the Fashion Retail Academy and you will be working toward an accredited Level 4 Buying & Merchandising Apprenticeship. 

Once qualified, you’ll be all set to take on a merchandise admin assistant or buying admin assistant role. No matter where you want to take your varied career with us, this two-year apprenticeship gives you the experience, mentoring and guidance to succeed. 

Our legends are super-curious about pretty much everything, happy with numbers, great with detail, and have a good, intuitive feel for the commercial world. They’re also excited about fashion, keen to learn and adapt in a fast-paced environment, and resilient if the going gets tough. If that’s you, you could be a future legend, too. 

To join our legendary apprenticeship scheme, you’ll need GCSEs in Maths (4-9/C-A*) and English (4-9/C-A*) and must not have completed a Level 4 qualification or above in Fashion Retail, Buying or Merchandising. You also need to have been resident in the United Kingdom for at least the previous three years before the start of the programme or have pre-settled or settled status under the EU Settlement Scheme.  

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Application Guidance

Legends seize the chance to use their strengths every day. That’s why we’re looking to see what makes you tick through the following assessment stages:

  1. An online assessment taking approximately 45 minutes, focusing on your individual strengths
  2. An on-demand video interview
  3. A final assessment stage; either at an assessment centre attended alongside peers, or a final interview

We’ll support anyone who requires reasonable adjustments to their application process – just let us know before the assessments start.

Some technical programmes may ask you to complete a short numerical reasoning test or a coding assessment. And most of our assessments are untimed, but we’ll make you aware of any timed elements in advance.

As a tip, avoid overly rehearsing your responses, especially for your video interview. We want you to be bold, be different, and be you.

Our Benefits


Our salaries are competitive and reviewed every year

Colleague discount

Receive 20% discount in-store and online for you and a partner or family member


Competitive holiday entitlement

Holiday buy

Reduce your salary to get extra holiday (conditions apply)


We have discretionary bonus schemes depending on your role and our business performance


Save 3% of your pay into our Pension Saving Plan; we’ll add 6% more

Life assurance

Cover for twice your salary up to age 70 (double with our Pension Plan)


Save £5 – £500 monthly for three years with the option to buy discounted shares


Invest £10 - £150 monthly from your gross salary to buy M&S shares

My choices

Save on everyday costs, recognise colleagues' success, and discover your wellbeing support and benefits

Cycle to work

Bike/accessory hire with Cycle to Work, and save on tax and national insurance

SMART tech

Buy the latest technology with interest-free financing directly from your salary

Health & Wellbeing

Save on you and your family's health expenses, gym memberships and active wear

Mental health support

24/7 support from PAM Wellbeing, including free counselling, CBT and support for your family

Giving back

Support favourite charities - donate through your pay or even volunteer for them

Financial wellbeing

Information and support to help you manage your finances, from savings to money worries

Celebration time

An extra day off per year to celebrate something special to you

Virtual GP services

Free, unlimited access to a qualified GP for you and your family (UK colleagues)