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 impact customer experience through display and visual appeal.
- Ensure that products are accessible, constantly available, and properly distributed.
- Ensure that products are safely packaged.
- Contribute to the profitability of the retail operation by receiving, handling, and managing the inventory of merchandise and supplies in a timely and organized manner.
- Check merchandise and supply deliveries for accuracy, and verify that the quantity received matches bills of lading, purchase orders, and other documents.
- Participate in formal periodic inventory audits.
- Decrease store shrinkage by researching inventory discrepancies and reporting suspicious activities to loss-prevention specialists.
- Ship merchandise and supplies in and out of inventory to internal locations, departments, and mailing or shipping providers.
- Advise appropriate partners about product placement and new inventory levels.
- Organize the stockroom or warehouse, and ensure 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)
Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2018
As with most retail jobs, merchandise discounts will probably be part of the employment benefits.
Education, Training, & Certification
Requirements can vary somewhat depending on the size of the company.
- Education: Most employers want a high school diploma or GED equivalent.
- Background checks: This position has access to large quantities of new merchandise, so most employers will require some combination of criminal, background, drug, credit, and driving record screenings. A valid driver’s license and a clean driving record will also be required if driving is required for the 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 specifications to co-workers, orally and in writing.
- Manual skills: You might use 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.
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics projects that employment for this occupation is projected to increase from 5% to 9% during the 2016 to 2026 period, with almost 270,000 more job openings nationwide.
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.
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 includes 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
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Do stock associates work the cash register?
While stockroom associates typically perform some of the same duties as sales associates, they usually aren't required to work the register. It will depend more on the specific job you are applying for and with its company.
What is the difference between stock associates and sales associates?
Stockroom associates and sales associates will both help customers and know about the products in their store. However, stock associates typically work different schedules and work predominately in the stockroom handling products and shipments.