Graduate Fog has caught high street fashion retailer Urban Outfitters recruiting for a NINE MONTH internship in the planning and allocation department at their London head office, paying travel expenses-only.

The ad appeared on the chain’s own website, alongside an ad for another unpaid internship – this time in their ‘Women’s shoes buying department’, again at their London head office. That placement is for six months and also only pays travel expenses.

And Urban Outfitters isn’t the only big fashion store to do this – swanky department store Selfridges has also posted an ad for an unpaid intern on their website.

Their ‘three month contract’ is for an ‘On-line Editorial / Content Intern’ – and pays travel expenses only.

All three roles are clearly proper jobs. The Urban Outfitters ads include long lists of ‘duties’ and ‘skills required’, while the Selfridges ad specifies that ‘Experience on a website is a must.’

Here is the nine month Urban Outfitters job spec:

Internship – Planning and Allocation Department

Are you looking for an opportunity to enter into a career in Allocation and Merchandising? Are you analytical, enthusiastic and hard working? If so this is an exciting opportunity to join our Planning department.

Candidate Skills:

* Hard working
* Organised
* Good time management>/li>
* Able to multitask
* Strong attention to detail
* Good communication skills

What you will Gain from the placement?

* There is nowhere faster paced than a retail head office environment and you will gain insight into and work alongside all functions of the business from Operations and Store Managers to Buying teams
* You will gain experience in a key Allocation role as part of a busy Planning team
* We will give you training and development on all key skills needed to support a future entry level career within Allocation or Merchandising

Duties Include

* Collating and circulating important weekly analysis
* Allocating stock to stores and reviewing performance by style
* Analysing and controlling replenishment
* Identifying opportunities and risks and helping to maximise sales
* Liaising with the DC re intake and with the stores re deliveries and stock issues
* Communicating regularly with the buying teams to ensure the right product is in the right stores at the right time

Desired Skills

* Strong knowledge of Excel

This is an unpaid placement.

Duration – 9 months.

Travel – Expenses paid for zones 1 and 2.

Location – Head Office, Oxford Street, London.

Please specify the position for which you are applying in the subject line and attach your CV.

We look forward to hearing from you.

And here is the Selfridges ad:

On-line Editorial / Content Intern – three month – contract – Unpaid

Travel expenses only


Selfridges new website has been one of the most exciting developments in the business this year. This is a great opportunity for you to get involved with the on-line team in one of world’s best stores.

About the role

Providing our style editor and content assistant with support, you will help us with a wide range of activities from collecting information from the business, creating copy for the website, cropping images, and innovating new ways to talk to our customers online.

About you

We’re looking for someone who’s upbeat, energetic and highly articulate. Full of initiative, you’ll be happy to work independently and your excellent organisational and admin skills mean you’ll rise to the challenges of this deadline driven role. Attention to detail and good written skills are important. Experience on a website is a must, experience in the fashion industry is beneficial.

About us

We’re a world-famous retailer and the definitive shopping destination – one that’s all about entertainment, inspiration and above all, fun. From designer fashion to luxurious homewares and everything in between, we offer our customers only the very best.

About the rewards

We’ll cover your travel expenses and offer you the chance to work with some of the best talent in retail. And if you make and impression, who knows where this could take you?

Graduate Fog contacted Urban Outfitters and Selfridges last night, to ask them how they feel these internships fit with the National Minimum Wage law.

I will let you know as soon as I receive a response.

At the time of publishing this post, the Selfridges ad and the six-month Urban Outfitters ad had been removed.

But the nine-month urban outfitters ad was still up.

No matter, here are screen shots I took of all three ; )

*Will you still shop at these stores?
Are you disappointed to find that ‘young’ brands like these should treat their junior employees so poorly?

*Spotted other companies doing something dodgy?
The Urban Outfitters and Selfridges ads were brought to my attention by hawk-eyed Fogger Lynsey Barber – thanks Lynsey! If you’ve seen anything similar – particularly by a big-name company who should know better – just email me and I’ll look into it.

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