Case Studies

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Job Photographs

  • A woman is loading boxes on to a trolley in a warehouse.

    Loading goods in the warehouse.

  • A woman is standing in a supermarket aisle by a metal trolley.  She is writing on a paper document on the trolley shelf.  There are bags of sweets and some barbecue equipment hanging up behind her.

    Checking to see where the items should go.

  • A woman is arranging a long display of bags of sweets in a supermarket.

    Displaying the items neatly.

  • A man is carefully arranging a display of wine bottles.

    Shelf fillers must take extra care when handling breakable items such as glass bottles.

  • A woman is placing flattened cardboard boxes into a recycling machine.

    Putting the empty cardboard boxes into the crusher for recycling.

  • A man and a woman are standing in a shop, in front of a wine display.  They are talking.  The woman is holding an open folder and the man is writing on a small notepad.  They are both wearing supermarket uniforms.

    Getting some instructions from another member of staff.

  • Shelf Filler

Shelf Filler


Shelf fillers stock shelves with goods in a supermarket or shop. They display and price goods, record stock levels and keep the shop neat and tidy. Some might be expected to work on a till or provide customer service when required.

Also known as

  • Supermarket Shelf Filler
  • Replenishment Assistant
  • Shelf Stacker

Work Activities

As a Shelf Filler, you will stock shelves with fresh supplies. You might check shelves yourself to see where there are gaps, or you might be told what to re-stock. You collect goods from the warehouse, stockroom or cold store. You usually have to load and push a trolley or cage full of goods.

You unpack the goods and check for any damaged items, setting those to one side. You arrange items neatly and safely on a shelf, rack or display counter, or in a chiller cabinet or freezer, for example. You might have to clean or re-arrange the shelves before setting out the stock. You might have to follow a chart (called a planogram) that shows you where to display the items.

You have to rotate stock depending on the 'sell-by' and 'best before' dates on goods; the newer stock is placed at the back or underneath, to allow the older goods to be sold more quickly.

Then you clear away the wrappings and boxes, often flattening out and crushing boxes ready for recycling. The floor area must be kept clear and tidy. Any new stock that cannot be fitted on to the shelf or display must be taken back to the right storage area and put where it can be easily found again when needed.

Some Shelf Fillers might have to price the goods, but bar-coding is usually used instead (a code is printed on the item and a machine at the till reads the price from it). If price tickets are used, Shelf Fillers must remove the old ticket before a new price is put on, to avoid mistakes.

You might also put reduced price stickers on goods that are damaged, on special promotion or at their sell-by date, sometimes moving them to a special area in the store.

A record of all goods displayed must be kept on stock sheets. A Shelf Filler also has to make sure that the goods and the shelves are clean, and might have to clear up after goods have been spilt or broken.

Unless you are working during the night when the shop is closed, the job can also involve advising customers about the goods, and directing or taking customers to the right area of the store. Some Shelf Fillers could sometimes be asked to do checkout or warehouse work.

Shelf Fillers usually work in clean, well-lit shops or supermarkets, and some wear a uniform.

Being able to read, write and speak Welsh may be an advantage when you’re looking for work in Wales.

Personal Qualities and Skills

To become a Shelf Filler, you will need:

  • to be physically fit, as the work involves standing and walking, as well as lifting and bending
  • to be methodical and careful
  • written communication and number skills, for counting and recording stock levels
  • a neat appearance
  • a pleasant, helpful manner; the work usually involves some customer service
  • teamwork skills
  • a positive approach
  • to be reliable and punctual
  • an eye for visual effect
  • the ability to work unsupervised

Pay and Opportunities


The pay rates given below are approximate.

  • Starting: £14,500 - £15,000
  • With experience: £15,500 - £17,000
  • Senior Shelf Fillers earn £19,000 - £20,500

Shelf Fillers usually get paid around the national minimum wage - £10 an hour.

Hours of work

Shelf Fillers usually work 40 hours a week, and might be required to work evenings and weekends and split shifts. Many work on a part-time basis.

Where could I work?

Employers include small shops, supermarkets, stores and warehouses.

Opportunities for Shelf Fillers occur in every town and city throughout the UK.

Where are vacancies advertised?

Vacancies are advertised in local newspapers, in stores, on Find a Job and at Jobcentre Plus.

Entry Routes and Training

Entry routes

You can enter this career by applying directly to individual shops and stores.


Stores generally provide on-the-job training for Shelf Fillers. This covers things like stock rotation and health and safety procedures (for example, lifting). It could also include training in other areas, such as checkout operating and customer service.

If you would like some training, BTEC offer a level 2 and 3 qualifications in retail knowledge. This course has a number of units, which include understanding:

  • customer service in the retail sector
  • the retail selling process
  • retail consumer law
  • the handling of consumer payments in a retail business
  • the storage, monitoring and replenishment of fresh produce in a retail outlet
  • the storage, monitoring and replenishment of chilled food items in a retail outlet
  • customer service in the retail sector

Other courses could be available in your area.

Work Experience

Previous experience in a retail position will be really helpful for this career. Maybe you had or could get a part-time job in a local store?

Employers will value this sort of previous experience when recruiting.


Shelf Fillers could progress to Team Leader and Supervisor posts.


No formal minimum academic requirements are usually needed for entry to this job. However, some employers might prefer applicants to have basic English and maths.

The following vocational qualification could help you to stand out from the crowd:

  • City & Guilds entry level 3 - retail

Adult Opportunities

Age limits

It is illegal for any organisation to set age limits for entry to employment, education or training, unless they can show there is a real need to have these limits.


Relevant skills, developed through warehouse or stores work, are an advantage.


  • 60% of shelf fillers work part-time.
  • 4% have flexible hours.

Further Information

National Skills Academy for Food & Drink

Sector Skills Council for the food and drinks industry



Tasty Careers

Food and drink careers



A Career in Retail




Retail recruitment


People 1st

Address: 4th Floor, 93 Newman Street, London W1T 3EZ

Tel: 020 7462 5060



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