FMCG and Retail Industry Guide

Are you passionate about all things retail? Do you love shopping but perhaps want a bit more involvement in what goes on behind the scenes? Then maybe you should look into a career or apprenticeship working in the FMCG and retail industry.

FMCG and retail companies all part of the huge consumer goods sector. You’ll probably know a bit about retail – think of any shop on the high street such as Marks & Spencer, The Body Shop or JD Sports, or any online store such as and, and that’s an example of a retail company.

However, you may not be quite so aware of what FMCG involves? “Fast-Moving Consumer Goods” involves working with products that are sold quickly and at a relatively low cost, such as products by Unilever, Mars or L’Oreal.

Imagine the number of Coca-Cola cans that are sold every day across the world? That’s a perfect example of an extremely fast-moving, and successful, consumer good.

Did you know that there are 1.7 billion servings of Coca-Cola made every day?

Careers in FMCG and retail cover a vast array of job roles from sales assistants and store management to head office roles such as merchandisers and buyers. The working hours are often more flexible than other industries and employees usually receive a discount on goods.

Did you know that one million young people under 25 work in retail?

People who work in retail are generally great at customer service and working within a team, but the ability to work under pressure and solve complex problems is also required – particularly for key roles like buyers and merchandisers.

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Examples of FMCG and retail opportunities within the industry

John Lewis Partnership – level 2 apprenticeship in retail, level 3 apprenticeship in retail, level 3 apprenticeship in technology

George – sponsored degree programme with a retail foundation degree from Manchester Metropolitan University

Marks and Spencer – trainee management scheme