A Career In Retail

Arcadia Group came to the UEA London centre at the end of 2013 and gave an excellent presentation.  Here are some of the highlights.  Retail is the UK’s largest private sector employer and Arcadia Group are the UK’s largest privately owned retailer, with 41,844 employees in total and five sites in central London

If you are thinking of applying to Arcadia Group remember you are applying to a collection of brands, including BHS, Burton, Wallis, Dorothy Perkins etc  You need to consider whether their values fit with you.  Are you commercial and success driven, passionate and customer focused?  Are you happy to be in a working environment that is fast-paced and informal.

Streams you can apply to: 


Making sure the right stock is in the right place at the right time.  Looking for graduates that like analysing sales trends, fashion trends and deciding what stock to allocate to which place.

Merchandising Admin Assistant (MAA)

Arcadia take about 100 graduates a year into this role.  Any degree subject is fine.  They look for retail experience of at least 3 months (this could be broken up over a period of time.)  They are looking for someone with an analytical mind and questioning attitude and a mix between love of numbers (statistics) and the fashion world!


They will sponsor you through your CIMA and ACCA qualifications.  You will have the opportunity to progress to become a finance manager.  Any degree subject is fine.  Retail or finance experience is preferable.  You need to be highly numerate and analytical with a love of finance and an interest in retail.  This stream is open to sponsoring Tier 2 visas for International applicants.


Sometimes they look for a language speaker in this stream.  You will be analysing the performance of the website.  You will have a love of the online world and all things digital and be apt at spotting trends.  A degree with some relevance or at least some relevant work experience and a love of retail.


You will be sourcing and developing the products, forecasting trends and working with suppliers.

Buyers Admin Assistant (BAA)

Need to have a fashion degree or buying work experience.  Keen eye for future fashion trends and the ability to juggle a busy workload.  If you don’t have a fashion degree you may want to consider some of the short courses available at the fashion retail academy.  

Application Hints:

  • Keep your CV clear and in an easy to understand format.
  • Apply for one role at a time.
  • Think particularly about why you want to work for Arcadia
  • Let your personality show through your application
  • Highlight key skills that you have that are relevant to the role

You will be required to apply online, if successful you will have a video interview and then be asked to attend an assessment centre.

Assessment Centre Tips:

  • Research the company and yourself in advance
  • Be yourself – remember to smile!
  • During the video interview, the more conversational it is, the better
  • Don’t worry about the production of the video just focus on speaking clearly
  • Keep eye contact
  • Ask questions to show interest in the organisation.  You could ask about their background and what’s it like in the first six months.

See the Arcadia Graduate Careers homepage for more info


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