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Stock and Inventory Job Description - Retail Career Job Profile, Stockroom


Caucasian man working in shoe store
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Overview of Stocking and Inventory Associates Jobs:

Stock and inventory associates are responsible for the flow of merchandise from the point of delivery to the sales floor or internal destination. When working in this role, you may be responsible for receiving, unpacking, processing, organizing, and storing merchandise. This position is not just about heavy lifting. The company’s merchandising and display standards will be in your hands, so your work will ensure that products are eaasily accessible, visually appealing, and constantly available. Your work will enhance the brand image of both the products and the store, and positively impact the customer experience.

Key Responsibilities in Stock and Inventory Jobs:

As a stock and inventory associate, you will contribute 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.


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 of Stock and Inventory Associates:

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 Stock and Inventory Jobs:

In general, stock and inventory associates are responsible for shipping merchandise and supplies in and out of inventory to internal locations and departments. Specifically, this means that you will pull items from storage, physically move them, stock shelves, fill displays, and use tracking and communication tools to advise appropriate partners about product placement and new inventory levels. You will organize the stock room or warehouse, and ensure that accurate labeling, logical placement, neat arrangement, and cleanliness are maintained. Periodically you may be preparing packages for external shipment.

Qualifications of Stock and Inventory Associates:

Employers will be looking for certain key qualities essential for success in the stock and inventory associate role. Strong organization, multi-tasking, versatility, communication, and attention to detail skills will be required. 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 Inveotry 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 would be helpful and may even be required. Larger retail operations will undoubtedly employ a computer system, so a basic understanding of Microsoft programs such as Excel, Access, and Outlook will be needed. Accuracy with basic math and proficient use of a calculator will be required.

Physical Requirements for Stock and Invetory 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 Requirements to Work In a Stock and Inventory Job:

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 operation of a vehicle is required, a valid driver’s license and clean driving record will also be required. Many retail operations 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 for Stock and Inventory Associates:

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 stock 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.

Why Retail Education is Important or Not >>

Compensation for Entry Level Stock and Invetory 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 benefits.

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