Next Graduate Opportunities 2024

Company Company Profile

You know Next, but did you know we’re a FTSE-100 retail company employing over 44,000 people across the UK and Ireland? We’re the UK’s 2nd largest fashion retailer and for Kidswear we’re the market leader. At the last count we have over 500 stores, plus the Next Online and it’s now possible to buy on-line from over 70 countries around the world! So we’ve gone global!

Take on your future career, an industry, your development, your new life in Leicester. Come and take on Next. Explore our Trainee roles and be part of a forward-thinking business that will help you shape your future. Take on 2024.

Check out what life as a Trainee Merchandiser at Next looks like...

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Case Studies

  • Name: Charlotte
  • University: Sheffield Hallam University
  • Degree: International Business


I went to Sheffield Hallam University and studied International Business. I graduated with a first in my degree in 2020. I also went on a placement year whilst at university, this was at Mattel near to Reading. This provided me with business insights and how to work well within a team at work and take on work responsibilities. I would highly recommend taking a placement year if this is available as it helped within my interview process and allowed me to provide real life experience examples in my answers. My course did help with part of my application as we looked at business from an international perspective, and within the products team you work with suppliers from around the world.

In my day to day job role I start my morning with looking at our best selling items from the previous day, analysing why they have sold well and thinking ahead if we need to respond to sales in any way such as buying more stock. I also handle the deliveries for the blouses team and make sure they are being handed over on time, this also means I have to look at delays from suppliers and work out the best methods such as airing a contract to make sure it is in for our launch day. I work with samples, taking them to the studio to be photographed for the website but also taking items to our mockshop where they are displayed and photographed by our visual merchandisers for our stores. I also take time each day to approve items that go onto our website, working with our buying team to ensure the price, attributes and filters are correct. We also have meetings throughout the day, this can be as a merch team, with suppliers or with managers. Each day is very varied and allows you to challenge yourself but also enjoy your time in the office.

When attending a careers fair at my university in my second year, I spoke to a member of their HR team regarding a placement year. However, my course option wasn't specific enough to have a placement at that time. I returned to the careers fair in my final year and went back to the Next stand and spoke to a current trainee buyer. I had not specifically heard about merchandising in great detail however, after meeting with a trainee at the careers fair I felt I wanted to look into this further. I was also lucky enough to receive a 'star card' which was handed out to any potential candidates which the trainees felt may suit the role. Once I heard more about merchandising I knew I would suit this role over a buying position and continued in the interview process. Next sounded like a busy, fast paced environment which I enjoy working in, I also wanted to combine my skills from my degree with fashion as I found this an exciting opportunity.

I most enjoy working with my team and having group discussions. Everyone at Next is very friendly and welcoming, making your first few months much easier to settle in and enjoy your new job role. I also love the variety that our job role gives us, especially as a trainee, being able to learn about merchandising alongside working with buyers, fabric technicians and garment technicians.

My top tips would be to make sure you have read the differences between a buyer and a merchandiser, I wasn't as clear on the job differences before applying and can now see a big difference between the two job roles, however, I am much more suited to being a merchandiser and the HR team helped me decide between the two. Be yourself on the assessment centre day and make sure you apply real life examples to support what you are saying about yourself. Look on the 'life at next' instagram page as there are lots of videos of people in job roles which show their everyday tasks and provide more insight into the job, I found this really helpful before I started!

  • Name: Ben
  • University: Sheffield Hallam University
  • Degree: Sport Business Management


I grew up wanting to be a professional rugby player. I was part of a professional academy but was released at 18. From here, I studied Sport Business Management at Sheffield Hallam University. I found parts of my degree really helped in my application. For example, knowing how to analyse annual reports that enabled me understand the financial position of the company. My degree also helped me recognise the interest I had in data analysis and spotting trends.

After a few weeks of being at Next, your team will slowly build your workload and assign you tasks to do throughout the week. But take Monday for example, first thing to do is check the sales for the previous week, see which brands/areas performed the best and highlight individual bestsellers.

As a team we would then catch up and discuss which lines/brands performed poorly and which performed well. If an item has sold stronger than we had planned, we may need to reforecast future sales too or equally plan sales down if its performed badly.

A big responsibility of a trainee merchandiser is to manage deliveries and ensure the stock arrives when we need it to. So, I’d manage which deliveries are coming in this week and contact brands if any stock was late.

From my experience, other jobs include

• Making price changes

• Making items live on our system

• Liaising with the warehouse

• Contracting stock

• Inputting items onto our system

• Managing budgets

Next is a global fashion retailer that has a reputation of looking after their staff. Next is on trend, the company recognises the need to act sustainably and has forged fantastic relationships with suppliers, partners and staff. The business is continuing to grow and this provides a good level of job security which was appealing to me as a graduate. Furthermore, the size of the organisation also represents fantastic career opportunities. As a trainee merchandiser, management have laid out a clear progression path which is inspiring. I know if I work hard there is potential to progress and that my efforts will be rewarded. What interested me in the job specifically was that it suited my strengths. I love being part of a team and I love analysing data and spotting trends. I also liked that the job wasn’t just looking at numbers but more understanding what the numbers mean and the implications them.

My favourite thing about working for next is the people. Everyone is super friendly and more than happy to help wherever they can. I love learning new things everyday and I love the variety of work that this job brings. The prospect of visiting suppliers and brands in London and abroad (when covid allows) is also very exciting!

Be yourself - the application process enables you to show your personality! Think about what you would bring to the role, what experiences do you have that are relevant to the role? Try your best to emphasise your organisational and analytical skills, find examples where you have had to use these skills. Also, research the company, no research is bad research! It will all come in handy – check out competitors, how next are currently performing, what are strengths of the business and what challenges are next currently facing?