If you’re from New England or the tristate area, you may not have heard of Ross Stores. But for millions of people around the country, Ross is a place for incredible deals on clothing, shoes, home goods, accessories, and more.
They’re also the employer of hundreds of new grads from a wide array of retail, business, and economics-related majors in roles that have the ability to drive the off-price retail industry forward. Thanks to their incredible culture of growth, development, and work-life balance, those same new grads love working there.
Here’s a look at how Ross Stores operates—and why it’s the perfect place for interns and new grads.
‘Dress For Less,’ But Expect More
“Ross is an off-price retailer, so that means we’re all about opportunistic buying,” Carolyn, a Recruiting Manager at the Company, tells us.
And “opportunistic buying” means the team at Ross goes to bat for their customers every day by hunting down the best opportunities to buy high-quality brands at below-market prices. That’s why when you see a brand available at a Ross or dd’s DISCOUNTS (another chain in the Ross Stores family), it costs far less than it would at a competing department store.
“When a department store cancels an order, the vendor is left with merchandise. Ross buyers go in and we negotiate for that merchandise, which is why you’ll see the same product on the floor of a Ross that you will at a department store—at almost the same time—but for drastically different prices,” Carolyn explains. Ross drives exceptional value for the customer.
However, that buying process is not so simple, and it takes careful planning to know which goods to look for and when. And that’s where two of Ross’ key entry-level roles come into play.
Buyers And Planners
In the Ross buying offices, there are two primary roles filled by new grads and current college students in internship positions: Assistant Planner and Assistant Buyer. While these terms might seem familiar to anyone versed in the retail industry, Planners and Buyers operate differently at Ross.
“What we do here is special because they can have a large impact, helping to drive our business,” Carolyn says. “The Assistant Planner role is looking at the regions in which we have our stores and strategically deciding which products should go to which regions at what time.”
This means looking at data, trends, and availability to answer questions like, “When should we start selling bathing suits in South Florida?” and “When should we stop selling winter coats in the Midwest?”
Once the Planning team determines the need and strategy, it’s up to the Buying team to fulfill those demands. That means maintaining and managing relationships with vendors, searching for buying opportunities, and ultimately negotiating those deals.
These energetic buying offices are placed strategically throughout the country, but the primary office is in New York, which is where all the Company’s planners work. There are offices in Los Angeles and Boston for buyers, too.
Working At Ross Means Becoming A Part Of A Humble, Compassionate Family (With Serious Perks)
Despite being industry leaders in the fast-paced, competitive world of retail, the company culture of Ross Stores is one of respect, humility, and compassion. They’re genuinely interested in providing value to everyone involved in their business: vendors, the communities they serve, and their own team.
“We strive to be a humble company,” Carolyn says. “We value our vendors as much as they value us. It’s really a mutually beneficial relationship.”
Ross applies the same compassionate philosophy to their employees. The offices are communal environments with plenty of teammates in adjacent roles who are able to help each other out with projects. Their approach to work-life balance is particularly popular. In addition to their generous paid time off package, company Buying offices shut down entirely during the last week of December. Additionally, their Summer Fridays program shuts down offices at 1 o’clock on Fridays between Memorial Day and Labor Day.
“And,” Carolyn says, “they’re truly Summer Fridays. Everybody leaves at 1 o’clock.”
If their Fridays weren’t sweet enough, they also have Bagel Fridays, during which the company buys New York’s signature breakfast item for everyone on the team. (Folks in the Los Angeles office get Bagel Mondays.)
The Company is also known for their financial perks. Qualified employees are given the option to purchase Ross stock at a discounted price, as well as participate in a 401k program with a generous company match. On top of all of this, many early career roles are eligible for annual bonuses.
Finally, they give back to the community. Through involvement with organizations like the Boys & Girls Clubs of America, Good Plus Foundation, and the Educational Alliance, the team at Ross donates significant resources to causes that help children and new parents. All associates, regardless of level, can get involved in philanthropic activities.
From breakfast to their financial futures, Ross has their employees covered.
Find your future at a company that cares. Check out open opportunities at Ross Stores on WayUp!