Highest Paying Retail Jobs UK (With Salaries and Duties)

By Indeed Editorial Team

Published 30 November 2021

The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.

The retail sector makes up a significant portion of the economy and provides a wide variety of job opportunities for professionals of all levels of education and ability. Many jobs in this sector have low education and work experience requirements, making them attractive starter jobs. While some work in retail temporarily before moving on to other careers, others build successful and lucrative careers in this field. In this article, we explore the duties and qualifications needed for some of the most lucrative retail jobs.

What are the highest paying retail jobs in the UK?

When considering a career in retail, it can be beneficial to learn about the highest paying retail jobs in the UK. The pay range for retail jobs often varies significantly among the specific locations and retailer brands, with luxury brands often paying more than high street retailers. Many exclusive and well-positioned retail shops can offer lucrative salary terms to entry-level and inexperienced workers, but these shops are usually located in larger cities and towns. However, various retail positions offer attractive earning potential in a variety of locations throughout the country.

Many of these positions also help build skills that are easily transferable to careers outside the retail sector. These jobs enable you to develop an operational understanding of business. They also provide the opportunity to practise the kinds of soft skills that are important across most industries. Whether you decide to build a career in retail or see retail work as a temporary employment option, the following retail jobs offer a way to earn a comfortable salary.

Related: 10 Essential Retail Skills

6 high paying retail jobs

Here are six of the highest-paying retail jobs:

1. Replenishment assistant

National average salary: £33,661 per year

Primary duties: Stock management in large grocery shops and retail chains is an important task that affects the shop's profitability and the overall shopping experience. A replenishment assistant or associate is a stock clerk who tracks inventory and ensures that items arrive in time to accommodate shopping patterns. This job earns a premium over other stocking and sales associates in large retail shops because it requires experience and skill.

The replenishment assistant's job requires a forward-thinking ability to project demand for products based on seasonal changes. Sudden changes in shopping trends driven by fashion, for example, can also complicate the work of a replenishment assistant. To succeed in this job, you're likely to need familiarity with the purchase patterns specific to the area your shop serves. A strong understanding of retail logistics can also help you succeed in this position.

2. Store detective

National average salary: £32,002 per year

Primary duties: Retail outlets use a variety of security measures to prevent shoplifting. Store detectives use and manage these systems and their skills to detect signs of theft in the shop. They can also often be seen in retail outlets observing the behaviour of the shoppers directly. These security professionals work to prevent theft not only by customers but also by the staff. In most cases, store detectives dress like regular people. By remaining incognito, they make avoiding getting caught while stealing more difficult.

When store detectives notice suspicious behaviour, they usually do not interact with the suspected thief and report their suspicions to the police. While many store detectives are experienced and trained security professionals, they are not active law enforcement. To minimise the risk to themselves and others, store detectives rely on their observation and the shop's security system to present evidence of theft to the police. While occasional confrontation with shoplifters does occur, generally, store detectives observe and report suspicious activity.

3. Buyer

National average salary: £31,542 per year

Primary duties: A retail buyer takes care of the logistics of supplying a shop with the right stock of goods while minimising waste and spoilage. Buyers are often part of the decision process in selecting which goods the shop may keep in stock. They work closely with managers and merchandisers to ensure that the shop offers the right mix of goods for the season or in response to consumer behaviour shifts. Buyers also have deep knowledge of the brands and specific goods they buy on behalf of the company, including sourcing and manufacturing details.

Buyers have a significant impact on a shop's ability to compete and make a profit. By considering patterns of demand, broad shopping trends and specific properties of the goods and manufacturing brands, buyers help a shop offer the selection of goods that drives repeat customers. Through planning and logistics, buyers ensure that shoppers fulfil their needs and expectations and deliver significant value to a retail shop. The job can be complex and requires experience and thoughtful attention to achieve success.

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4. Supply chain specialist

National average salary: £29,450 per year

Primary duties: Supply chain specialists help coordinate and plan the entire journey of retail goods from the manufacturer to the customer to ensure that a shop can meet the needs of shoppers, continue to turn a profit and attract customers. They source products, ensuring timely delivery and appropriate supply while maintaining ethical standards and vetting the manufacturers and suppliers. They also keep track of the inventory, seasonal and other variations in demand on particular goods and products. Supply chain specialists also handle demand response, planning and finding ways to ensure that the shop doesn't run out of in-demand items.

Supply chain specialists report to supply chain and sourcing managers and rely on analytical and mathematical skills to succeed in their position. An ability to handle complex computer systems and proactively look for solutions to a problem can also give you a significant advantage in this field. Because of the large number of interactions with vendors and partners across the supply chain, supply chain specialists benefit significantly from developing soft skills and building relationships. By bringing these talents together, they support the company's profitability while enjoying building a set of in-demand skills.

5. Retail manager

National average salary: £25,119 per year

Primary duties: A retail manager oversees and manages the day-to-day running of a shop. They supervise the work of the rest of the retail staff, setting the rotas, assigning tasks and shifts, and implementing training. They're often responsible for hiring and firing staff. Besides personnel, retail managers make decisions about purchasing stock, setting up product displays and ensuring a positive customer experience.

Managers of large chain retail outlets often answer to a complex chain of command and implement set procedures to a corporate standard. The managers of smaller retail locations may be the decision-makers for merchandise selection and pricing. The range of skills necessary to be an effective retail manager can change significantly depending on the type of shop. In most cases, however, the ability to deliver positive customer experiences, build employee relationships, follow set procedures and maintain budgets and schedules can contribute significantly to a retail manager's success.

Related: 35 Retail Interview Questions (With Example Answers and Tips)

6. Merchandising assistant

National average salary: £21,364 per year

Primary duties: Merchandising assistants help shop merchandisers ensure that the right mix of products is being sold at the right price to generate profit. They also assist in merchandise selection, coordination with other departments and the visual display of goods. Many shops have a dedicated merchandising assistant responsible for the way items are displayed throughout the shop. They ensure that items are organised and displayed appealingly with the correct pricing and availability information on display.

Being organised and attentive to detail can help merchandising assistants achieve success in this role. Because the work often involves interacting with customers and shop staff from various departments, soft skills are essential in this role. An awareness of fashion and consumer trends are also helpful to those working in merchandising. The ability to see which brands or types of products are likely to be in demand also help to ensure a positive customer experience.

What are retail sector jobs like?

A wide variety of professionals work together to keep the nation's shops and retail chains running smoothly and delivering value to their customers. The sales clerks and cashiers are the most visible members of retail establishments. However, the success of a retail location often depends on the professionals working in less visible positions. A variety of supply chain, security and business roles are available in this sector. Many of these roles require a level of expertise that justifies higher salaries.

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  • Highest Paying Jobs in the UK

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