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How far can you go in retail?

A retail apprenticeship will develop your industry knowledge and give you a fantastic set of skills – like a better understanding of branding and marketing, or the confidence and judgement to lead a successful team. However much (or little) experience you bring, we’ve developed a range of programmes to help you build a successful retail career.

Career path

Every Co-op store has a dedicated team that you'll be part of from day one, with clear opportunities to progress as your skills and experience grow.

  • Customer team member
  • As a customer team member you’ll be part of a business that’s truly different. There’s lots to do this role and the pace is always fast, with different duties to take on through your shift. From giving great customer service and keeping the store well stocked, to preparing bakery products and promoting our membership offer. It’s a varied role and a great place to start your career in retail.

  • Customer team leader
  • As a customer team leader, you’ll help the store manager with the day to day running of your store. Leading the store team, you’ll be responsible for maintaining high standards, supporting your colleagues to provide great service, and making sure the store is always well stocked and presentable. You’ll also be a key holder, and we’ll look to you to help ensure your store is always safe and secure. Being a team leader will give you the foundations you need to become a Co-op leader and grow your career in retail.

  • Store manager
  • Store manager is one of the most important roles in our business. As a store manager you’ll need to combine your community spirit with commercial awareness and leadership skills to deliver great sales results. We’ll also look to you to grow and lead the store team and show every customer you’re here to help them and their community. Being a store manager isn’t easy, but with opportunities to get involved in projects and plenty of development on offer, it’s one of the most rewarding jobs in retail.

  • Area manager
  • As an area manager you’ll lead a large team of store managers across circa 20 stores. We’ll look to you to inspire your team to deliver an amazing customer experience, and coach them to drive sales and community contributions. Being an area manager is about more than simply managing a group of stores – you’ll also drive change and bring to life Co-op strategies through exciting projects and programmes. And with a wide range of development and support on offer, you’ll find plenty of opportunities to grow your career in retail.


Our programmes

  • Level 2 Retail
  • This 12-15 month programme will provide you with the basics skills you need to succeed in retail; helping you become a great customer team member, and putting you on course to progress towards your first management role.

  • Level 3 Retail Leadership
  • This 15-18 months programme will develop you into a future leader of one of our stores. It’s a great way to learn and progress whilst gaining an industry recognised qualification.

  • Level 4 Retail Management
  • This 18-21 month programme will develop you as a Co-op leader. You’ll gain a wide range of different experiences and grow your internal networks. You’ll also experience new ways of learning which will help to build your skill-set.

  • Degree programme
  • Our 2-3 years degree apprenticeship gives you intensive but rewarding learning experiences to help you develop into a well-rounded Co-op leader. At the end you’ll get a BA (Hons) Business Management degree, fully funded by Co-op.


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