When I was a kid, I used to love going to Ross. Not because of the aisles and aisles of clothing, but because they always had knick-knacks, toys, and games. The prices were always cheap too, which made it feel like a potential treasure trove every time I went there with my mom. Usually we left with clothes, but a few times I found a hidden gem or a computer game, which made it all worthwhile.
You’re here dear reader, because you have an interest, a desire, or a fiery passion to fill out a Ross application, and set yourself on the path to a successful career. I love it, and I’m here to help you succeed. All the information, all the tips, and all the knowledge you need is locked within these pages.
We’ll start with a history of the company, because knowing their roots shows you’ve done your research. Or rather, it shows I’ve done the research, and you’ve read the best job article this side of a Ross career seminar. Let’s get started, shall we?
A Brief History & Overview of the Company
The name that rolls right off the tongue. When I told my girlfriend I was writing an article about careers at Ross, she thought I was writing an article about “rocks” because apparently I can’t enunciate. Was there a point to that story? No, but I have your attention now, don’t I? So, this company is an American chain of off-price department stores headquartered in Pleasanton, California.
Ross is the third largest off-price retailer in the United States behind the likes of T.J Maxx and Marshalls, both of which are owned by TJX Companies. As of this year, the company has 1,173 locations in 33 U.S States, the District of Columbia, and Guam. There are no locations in New England, New York, New Jersey, Alaska, and various areas of the Midwest…yet.
The first Ross Department Store was opened in Pacifica, California in 1950 by an extremely dedicated man named Morris “Morrie” Ross. I say dedicated because this guy worked 85 hours a week doing all of the buying and bookkeeping for the store.
Seriously, either he was a control freak, or he couldn’t find anyone to hire. In 1958 he sold the store to a real estate developer. It wasn’t until 1982 that a group of investors including the founder of the Mervyns chain of stores, purchased the six Ross Department Stores in San Francisco. The investors changed the format to an off-price retail structure and within three years the company expanded to 107 locations. In 1995, the company reached annual sales of $1.4 billion with 292 stores in 18 states. As of 2012, the company reached $9.7 billion in annual sales.
It amazes me that they make this much money with how cheap everything is. That’s the appeal of Ross though: the unique selection and low prices across the store. We’re talking everything from furniture, to bedding, jewelry, footwear, and clothing for men, women, and children. The stores are, on average, quite large, so the need for good people never subsides.
Ross Application Online
You have ultimate knowledge of Ross and its history, which is a great start. Now, you need to know how to apply, and what you can expect from the company. Not a problem, I am an endless font of infinite knowledge, at least when it comes to this company. Let’s start with the basics before we get down to the nitty-gritty aspects of the employment forms.
For starters, there are four categories of jobs available on the Ross careers page of the website. These include the following:
- Retail Store Jobs
- Buying & Planning Jobs
- Supply Chain Jobs
- Corporate Jobs
Many people will begin in the retail aspect of the company, and that’s where most of the jobs are. When you select the retail category, you’ll be faced with the choice of where you want to work. Shouldn’t be too hard to figure out, so long as you know where you live. There is a nice introduction on the page, with a blurb that I found to be a great way of describing Ross’ culture:
“You know that feeling of discovering a great fashion find, from a designer or brand you love and at a great price? We know that feeling, too. And we built a business around it.”
Once you’ve tracked down an ideal job for yourself in a location that is close to you, the online process is quite simple. Each position offers a detailed description of the job, and responsibilities required. Keep in mind, you’ll need to be at least eighteen to apply.
Given that, selecting the job and clicking the “apply now” button will pull up a separate window where you can login or create a new account with which to fill out the Ross online application. The process is fairly simple and standard, which means you have plenty of opportunity to stand out, especially if you have prior retail experience. This kind of prerequisite isn’t a deal breaker though, especially in an entry-level position.
Ross isn’t the only off-price retailer in existence. Keep in mind that you can always apply to other jobs as well to increase your chances of hearing back. You’re a free agent after all, so let your talents spread to other companies who may want to hire you. T.J Maxx is one of the main competitors, so that would be a good second stop. Keep going though, you’re here to win after all. Apply to Sears for a more traditional department store atmosphere, and if you like crazy deals, JCPenney should be your next stop.
Positions and Benefits with the Company
Ross offers both full-time and part-time employment for those who are over eighteen years of age and ready to work in an intense environment where business is always booming. When it comes to the various positions the company offers, these are just a few of the most common ones you’ll see:
1. Retail Associate
This is the entry-level position with the company. No prior experience is needed to apply for this position, you just need to have a great personality and a strong work ethic. Responsibilities here include maintaining high levels of customer service, controlling losses, and efficiently providing cashier services to customers purchasing items from the store. Retail associates at Ross start out making around $8.00 an hour.
2. Store Protection Specialist
This is the position of loss prevention, making you the sole officer on duty for the location. You will utilize best practices around shrink prevention, and ensuring that product isn’t stolen or shoplifted by keeping a pair of eyes on the activities going on in the store. If you have a background in security or law enforcement, such experience is a major plus. Being built like a freight train helps too, but it’s not required. Ross Store Protection Specialists start out making around $10.00 an hour.
A leadership role like this has you involved in all aspects of the business. This includes store operations, implementing marketing and corporate business plans, recruiting and training new employees, and solving customer issues. There are multiple levels of management but the starting salary for an assistant manage can earn up to $45,000 with store managers earning as much as $60,000 a year.
Ross also provides employees with benefits like flexible scheduling, paid training, and competitive pay. There are also health care benefits available to eligible associates including medical, dental, and vision coverage. Qualified employees can also receive paid time off, holiday pay, and sick time.
This is a great place to work, and one that welcomes people with all levels of experience. Head over to the careers page and fill out your Ross application today!