Retail Stockroom, Fulfillment, Inventory Associates

Salary, Responsibilities, Education, and Experience Needed

stocking associate in shoe store restocking shelves

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Stockroom, fulfillment, and inventory Associates are responsible for the flow of merchandise from a central point of delivery to the retail sales floor, an internal destination, or into a shipping or delivery process. When working in this role, you may be responsible for receiving, unpacking, processing, organizing, storing, packaging and labeling merchandise.  

A stockroom, fulfillment, and inventory job is not just about heavy lifting. Often the company’s merchandising and visual display standards are the responsibility of Stockroom, Fulfillment, and Inventory Associates, as well as the accurate and efficient fulfillment of customer orders through Internet e-commerce and mobile retailing channels. 

Your work will ensure that products are easily accessible, visually appealing, constantly available, properly distributed, and safely packaged. Even though much of your work will be off the sales floor and not in direct contact with customers, as a Stockroom, Fulfillment, and Inventory Associate you will enhance the brand image of both the products and the store, and positively impact the customer experience.

Key Job Responsibilities

As a Retail Stockroom, Fulfillment, and Inventory Associate, you will contribute to the profitability of the retail operation by receiving, handling, and help to manage the inventory of merchandise and supplies in a timely and organized manner.

Receiving Responsibilities

Supply and inventory associates check merchandise and supply deliveries for accuracy, verifying that quantities received match bills of lading, purchase orders, and other documents. After safely staging incoming shipments, you will maintain ongoing and proactive communication with key partners about new arrivals, order overages, and shortages, and delivery delays.

Inventory Responsibilities

Accurate tracking and documentation are key responsibilities of stock and inventory associates. By accounting for merchandise and supplies, you will enable compliance with designated inventory levels and help prevent run-outs. You will provide daily accounting and documentation, but you will likely also participate in formal periodic inventory audits.

External transfers, damaged merchandise, and manufacturer returns will likely be included in your responsibilities. You will help decrease store shrinkage by researching inventory discrepancies and reporting suspicious activities to loss-prevention specialists.

Merchandise Handling

In general, Stockroom, Fulfillment, and Inventory Associate are responsible for shipping merchandise and supplies in and out of inventory to internal locations, departments, and mailing/shipping providers. Specifically, this means that you will pull items from storage, physically move them, stock shelves, fill displays, use tracking and communication tools, pick, and package products.

Your merchandising responsibilities may also be to advise appropriate partners about product placement and new inventory levels. You will organize the stockroom or warehouse, and ensure that accurate labeling, logical placement, neat arrangement, and cleanliness are maintained. 

Qualifications for Stock and Inventory Jobs

Employers will be looking for certain key qualities essential for success in the Stockroom, Fulfillment, and Inventory Associate role. Strong organization, multi-tasking, versatility, communication, and attention to detail skills will be required. High levels of both efficiency and engagement will be required while performing repetitive tasks. Your success and happiness in this position will require a positive attitude, a cooperative nature, and self-motivation.

Prior Experience

This can be an entry-level position in large retail operations which have a stock supervisor. In smaller operations with minimal supervision, previous warehouse, logistics, stock, receiving, inventory, or retail experience may be required.

Skill Requirements for Stock and Inventory Jobs

You may 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.

No matter how large the retail company is, use of a computer system will most likely be necessary for all Stockroom, Fulfillment, and Inventory Associates. A basic understanding of Microsoft programs such as Excel, Access, and Outlook would probably be helpful, along with experience with other inventory-specific software programs. Accuracy with basic math and proficient use of a calculator will be required.

Physical Requirements for Stock and Inventory Associates

Since this position requires the handling of merchandise, supplies, and materials, it will be physically demanding. Your physical functions will include:

  • Ladder climbing
  • Lifting up to 50 pounds without assistance
  • Bending, twisting, reaching, pushing, pulling, and performing repetitive motions
  • Standing and walking for up to 8 hours in a row
  • Moving large quantities of merchandise with carts, dollies, hand trucks, and other moving equipment

Additional Job Requirements

Because you will have access to large quantities of new merchandise, employers will probably require some combination of criminal, background, drug, credit, and driving record screenings. If operating of a vehicle is required, a valid driver’s license and a clean driving record will also be required. Many of the largest retail companies prefer the stocking duties to be performed before or after the regular hours of operation, so you will need the flexibility and willingness to work late nights, early mornings, weekends, and holidays.

Education Requirements

The education requirements for this position are not stringent, but most employers will want you to have a high school diploma or GED equivalent. A Stockroom, Fulfillment, and Inventory associate position would be a good job for someone seeking a retail or business degree because it will set you up with retail experience that may be required for higher level post-graduation position.

Compensation for Entry-Level Stock and Inventory Employees

Stock and inventory associates are usually paid between $7.00 and $12.00 per hour, depending on the size of the operation and its geographic location. As with most retail jobs, merchandise discounts will probably be part of your employment benefits.