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13_2_30: Experiences, perceptions and expectations of retail employment for Generation Y

Adelina M. Broadbridge (Department of Marketing, University of Stirling, Stirling, UK)
Gillian A. Maxwell (Glasgow Caledonian University, Glasgow, UK)
Susan M. Ogden (Glasgow Caledonian University, Glasgow, UK)

Career Development International

ISSN: 1362-0436

Article publication date: 2 October 2007




The purpose of this paper is to examine Generation Y, potential graduate entrants to UK retailing, in respect of their job experiences, career perceptions and initial employment expectations.


Utilising qualitative research methods, an exploratory study was undertaken with 33 students (all of whom fell into the category of Generation Y) from two UK universities.


The study found that many of the propositions contained within the Generation Y literature were reflected among participants in relation to their future career and lifestyle aspirations. This points to the need for retailers to carefully manage graduate expectations and experiences to ensure commitment to the sector.

Research limitations/implications

Being an exploratory study, the results are not genralisable to the wider population. The findings frame a future longitudinal study on the retail careers of Generation Y graduates as they move from the anticipation to the encounter stage of their career development. This will seek to further explore the implications of Generation Y values, including those relating to diversity and equality which were not raised as an issue in this preliminary study.


The findings of this research contribute to our knowledge of the career aspirations of Generation Y. It indicates to retailers some of the future recruitment and HR practices they might adopt to meet the needs of this generation of employees.



Broadbridge, A.M., Maxwell, G.A. and Ogden, S.M. (2007), "13_2_30: Experiences, perceptions and expectations of retail employment for Generation Y", Career Development International, Vol. 12 No. 6, pp. 523-544.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2007, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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