What Does a Retail Stockroom Associate Do?

Learn About the Salary, Required Skills, & More

stocking associate in shoe store restocking shelves

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Retail stockroom associates are responsible for the flow of merchandise from a central point of delivery to the retail sales floor, to an internal destination, or into a shipping or delivery process. These employees can be responsible for receiving, unpacking, processing, organizing, storing, packaging, and labeling merchandise. 

Retail Stockroom Associate Duties & Responsibilities

Duties and responsibilities include the following:

  • Positively impacting customer experience through display and visual appeal
  • Ensuring that products are easily accessible, constantly available, and properly distributed
  • Ensuring that products are safely packaged
  • Contributing to the profitability of the retail operation by receiving, handling, and helping to manage the inventory of merchandise and supplies in a timely and organized manner
  • Checking merchandise and supply deliveries for accuracy, verifying that quantities received match bills of lading, purchase orders, and other documents
  • Participating in formal periodic inventory audits
  • Decreasing store shrinkage by researching inventory discrepancies and reporting suspicious activities to loss-prevention specialists
  • Shipping merchandise and supplies in and out of inventory to internal locations, departments, and mailing/shipping providers
  • Advising appropriate partners about product placement and new inventory levels
  • Organizing the stockroom or warehouse, ensuring accurate labeling, logical placement, neat arrangement, and cleanliness

    A stockroom job isn't just about heavy lifting. Often the company’s merchandising and visual display standards are these associates' responsibility, as is the accurate and efficient fulfillment of customer orders through internet e-commerce and mobile retailing channels. 

    Retail Stockroom Associate Salary

    The pay of stock and inventory associates can vary depending on the size of the operation and its geographic location.

    • Median Annual Salary: $25,700 ($12.36/hour)
    • Top 10% Annual Salary: More than $41,150 ($19.79/hour)
    • Bottom 10% Annual Salary: Less than $19,580 ($9.41/hour)

    As with most retail jobs, merchandise discounts will probably be part of your employment benefits.

    Education, Training, & Certification

    Requirements can vary somewhat depending on the size of the company.

    • Education: Most employers want you to have a high school diploma or GED equivalent.
    • Background checks: You'll have access to large quantities of new merchandise, so most employers will require some combination of criminal, background, drug, credit, and/or driving record screenings. A valid driver’s license and a clean driving record will also be required if driving is required for your job.
    • Experience: This can be an entry-level position in large retail operations that employ stock supervisors. Previous warehouse, logistics, stock, receiving, inventory, or retail experience might be required in smaller operations with less supervision.

      Retail Stockroom Associate Skills & Competencies

      Employers look for certain key qualities in a retail stockroom associate role:

      • Organization and multitasking skills: High levels of efficiency and engagement are required while performing repetitive tasks. 
      • Communication skills: You should be able to clearly communicate your specifications to co-workers, orally and in writing.
      • Manual skills: You might be using a wide range of equipment and machines, including power jacks, pricing guns, cardboard bailers, trash compactors, cranes, hoists, and forklifts. Training, experience, or appropriate certification with this type of equipment would be helpful and may even be required.
      • Computer skills: A basic understanding of Microsoft programs such as Excel, Access, and Outlook would be helpful, along with experience with other inventory-specific software programs. Proficient use of a calculator will most likely be required.

      Job Outlook

      The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics projects that employment for this occupation is projected to increase from 5 percent to 9 percent during the 2016 to 2026 period, with almost 270,000 more job openings nationwide.

      Work Environment

      This isn't a career for those who prefer to avoid physical exertion. The job usually requires standing or walking for up to eight hours at a time and requires the handling of merchandise, supplies, and materials, which can be physically demanding. The work can also include ladder climbing, lifting up to 50 pounds without assistance, bending, twisting, reaching, pushing, pulling, and performing repetitive motions.

      Work Schedule

      Many of the largest retail companies prefer that stocking duties be performed before or after regular hours of operation. You might have to be flexible and willing to work late nights, early mornings, weekends, and holidays.

      How to Get the Job

      Write a Resume

      Learn how to write a resume that will include everything you need to help get you an interview.

      Write Cover Letters

      Write a cover letter for each job you apply to. Take a look at examples of different types of cover letters to determine which type is right for each job.

      Prepare for Interviews

      A little preparation can go a long way in helping you ace an interview and get a job offer. Prepare by reviewing some interview tips and tricks.

      Comparing Similar Jobs

      Some jobs are similar to those involving retail stocking but don't require the same level of physical exertion or off hours. People who are interested in becoming retail stockroom associates may also consider other careers with these median salaries: 

      Source: O-Net Online, 2019