While there aren’t many retail stores that hire employees under 18, there are some major chains that hire teenagers. From clothing stores to food service locations, stores like Forever 21, Gap, JCPenney, Kroger, Panera Bread, and more hire teens to work in-store. Related, some clothing stores hire models for their brand, primarily through modeling agencies like Future Faces NYC and Next Model Management.

When looking for a job as a teenager, keep in mind that most states typically require minors to obtain a work permit with the help of a legal parent/guardian. The Department of Labor lists which states require minors to have a work permit and/or an age certificate. Also, most stores only have a few slots open for younger employees, while other stores only hire teens as seasonal or part-time employees.

Note: These types of jobs typically pay minimum wage. The current minimum hourly wage as set by the Department of Labor is $7.25. However, employers may pay employees under age 20 a minimum hourly wage of $4.25 for the first 90 days of employment or until the employee reaches age 20, whichever comes first.

In This Article

Retail Stores That Hire at Age 16 (And Age Requirements for Other Stores)

Clothing and Department Stores

Aeropostale

  • Minimum Age Requirement: 16 (verified by Aeropostale Careers FAQs)
  • Do Individual Stores Hire Models? No, Aeropostale works with a modeling agency to find teen models. According to Aeropostale’s Career FAQs, the company uses modeling agencies to fill its modeling needs and does not individually hire models.
  • Where to Apply: Find available jobs at Aeropostale Careers

American Eagle Outfitters

  • Minimum Age Requirement: 16 (verified by customer service)
  • Do Individual Stores Hire Models? No
  • Where to Apply: Find available jobs at American Eagle Outfitters Jobs

Banana Republic

  • Minimum Age Requirement: 16 (verified by customer service)
  • Do Individual Stores Hire Models? No
  • Where to Apply: Find available jobs at Gap Inc. Careers

Charlotte Russe

  • Minimum Age Requirement: 16 (verified by customer service)
  • Do Individual Stores Hire Models? No
  • Where to Apply: Find available jobs at Charlotte Russe Careers

Forever 21

  • Minimum Age Requirement: 16 (verified by customer service)
  • Do Individual Stores Hire Models? No, Forever 21 uses modeling agencies to hire models of all ages, including kids and teens.
  • Where to Apply: Find available jobs at Forever 21 Careers

Gap

  • Minimum Age Requirement: 16 (verified by customer service)
  • Do Individual Stores Hire Models? No, Gap uses modeling agencies to hire models of all ages, including babies, toddlers, kids, and teens.
  • Where to Apply: Find available jobs at Gap Careers

GUESS

  • Minimum Age Requirement: 16 (verified by customer service)
  • Do Individual Stores Hire Models? No, GUESS uses modeling agencies to hire baby and kid models.
  • Where to Apply: Find available jobs at GUESS Careers

H&M

  • Minimum Age Requirement: 18 (verified by H&M Careers FAQs)
  • Do Individual Stores Hire Models? No, H&M uses international modeling agencies to hire models of all ages, including babies, toddlers, kids, and teens.
  • Where to Apply: Find available jobs at H&M Careers

Hot Topic

  • Minimum Age Requirement: 16 (verified by Hot Topic FAQs)
  • Do Individual Stores Hire Models? No, but you may apply online. Hot Topic models need to be at least 16.
  • Where to Apply: Find available jobs at Hot Topic Careers

JCPenney

  • Minimum Age Requirement: 16 (verified by customer service)
  • Do Individual Stores Hire Models? No
  • Where to Apply: Find available jobs at JCPenney Careers

Justice

  • Minimum Age Requirement: 16 (verified by customer service)
  • Do Individual Stores Hire Models? No. According to Justice FAQs, the company does not currently have its own models and relies on modeling and talent agencies that represent young people.
  • Where to Apply: Find available jobs Justice Careers

Kmart

  • Minimum Age Requirement: 16 (verified by customer service)
  • Do Individual Stores Hire Models? No
  • Where to Apply: Find available jobs at Kmart Jobs

Kohl’s

  • Minimum Age Requirement: 17 (verified by customer service)
  • Do Individual Stores Hire Models? No, but modeling jobs are available for kids 12-16.
  • Where to Apply: Find available jobs at Kohl’s Careers

Levi’s

  • Minimum Age Requirement: 16 (verified by customer service)
  • Do Individual Stores Hire Models? No
  • Where to Apply: Find available jobs at Levi Strauss & Co Careers

Marshalls

  • Minimum Age Requirement: 16 (verified by customer service)
  • Do Individual Stores Hire Models? No
  • Where to Apply: Find available jobs at TJX Careers

Old Navy

  • Minimum Age Requirement: 16 (verified by customer service)
  • Do Individual Stores Hire Models? No, but Old Navy does use modeling agencies to hire models or all ages, including babies, toddlers, kids, and teens.
  • Where to Apply: Find available jobs Gap Inc. Careers

PacSun

  • Minimum Age Requirement: 16 (verified by customer service)
  • Do Individual Stores Hire Models? No
  • Where to Apply: Find available jobs at PacSun Careers

Peek Kids

  • Minimum Age Requirement: 16 (verified by customer service)
  • Do Individual Stores Hire Models? No, Peek Kids uses modeling agencies to hire baby, toddler, and children models.
  • Where to Apply: Find available jobs at Peek Kids Careers

Ralph Lauren

  • Minimum Age Requirement: 16 (verified by customer service)
  • Do Individual Stores Hire Models? No, Ralph Lauren uses modeling agencies to hire models of all ages, including babies, toddlers, kids, and teens.
  • Where to Apply: Find available jobs at Ralph Lauren Careers

rue21

  • Minimum Age Requirement: 16 (verified by rue21 FAQs)
  • Do Individual Stores Hire Models? No, but rue21 has casting calls for male, female, and plus-size models that are at least 16 years old.
  • Where to Apply: Find available jobs at rue21 Careers

Target

  • Minimum Age Requirement: 16 (verified by job application)
  • Do Individual Stores Hire Models? No
  • Where to Apply: Find available jobs at Target Jobs

T.J. Maxx

  • Minimum Age Requirement: 16 (verified by customer service)
  • Do Individual Stores Hire Models? No, but TJ Maxx has casting calls for people of all ages.
  • Where to Apply: Find available jobs at TJ Maxx Careers

Tommy Hilfiger

  • Minimum Age Requirement: 16 (verified by customer service)
  • Do Individual Stores Hire Models? No, Tommy Hilfiger uses modeling agencies to hire models of all ages, including babies, toddlers, children, and teens.
  • Where to Apply: Find available jobs at Tommy Hilfiger Careers

Topshop

  • Minimum Age Requirement: 16 (verified by customer service)
  • Do Individual Stores Hire Models? No, Topshop uses modeling agencies to hire teen and young adult models.
  • Where to Apply: Find available jobs at Topshop Careers

Walmart

Zumiez

  • Minimum Age Requirement: 16 (verified by customer service)
  • Do Individual Stores Hire Models? No, Zumiez uses modeling agencies to hire kids and teens.
  • Where to Apply: Find available jobs at Zumiez Jobs

Grocery and Convenience Stores

BJ’s Wholesale Club

Food Lion

  • Minimum Age Requirement: 16 (verified by customer service)
  • Where to Apply: Find available jobs at Food Lion Careers

Giant Eagle

Giant Food

Harris Teeter

Hy-Vee

  • Minimum Age Requirement: 16 (verified by customer service)
  • Where to Apply: Find available jobs at Hy-Vee Careers

Kroger

  • Minimum Age Requirement: 16 (verified by customer service)
  • Where to Apply: Find available jobs at Kroger Jobs

Meijer

Publix

  • Minimum Age Requirement: 16 (verified by Publix Careers)
  • Where to Apply: Must apply in person

Safeway

  • Minimum Age Requirement: 16 (verified by Safeway application)
  • Where to Apply: Find available jobs at Safeway Apply

Walgreens

  • Minimum Age Requirement: 16 (verified by customer service)
    Where to Apply: Find available jobs at Walgreens Jobs

Wegmans

Food Service

Burger King

Captain D’s

Domino’s

 KFC

 Papa John’s

Panera Bread

Tips for Landing a Retail Job as a Teen

  1. Put together a resume. Even if the application doesn’t ask for one, it might be a good idea to write one up. A resume will help you make a good impression and you’ll be able to use it as a starting point as you gain more work experience. Consider looking at a tutorial the first time you put together a resume.
  2. Practice filling out a job application. You’ll want to make sure that your job application is filled out completely and accurately. If this your first time applying for a job, it never hurts to practice filling out a few job applications until you feel satisfied with your answers. Before turning your application in, be sure there aren’t any grammatical or spelling errors.
  3. Make sure you have the proper paperwork. Most states require minors to obtain a work permit and/or an age certificate.The Department of Labor lists which states require minors to have a work permit and/or an age certificate.
  4. Gather references. A job will typically ask you to provide three or four references. You’ll want your references to come from people who know you well but aren’t your parents. Teachers, coaches, mentors, or any other adult in your life for whom you’ve done some odd jobs for are the best people to ask.
  5. Practice your interview skills. If you can, get your parents or another adult to help you with a mock interview. Practice answering interview questions until you feel confident enough to go through with the real thing.
  6. Put together a few professional outfits. How you look during an interview is just as important as how well you answer the interviewer’s questions. You don’t have to wear formal attire, but you should look clean and put together. This may be the one time you’ll want to ask your parents for help picking out an outfit.
  7. Be prepared for rejection. Unfortunately, rejections are a normal part of the job-hunting process. Keep in mind that you’re not the only one going after the job and sometimes someone else just fits the bill better.
  8. Follow up on your application. Unless a place explicitly tells you not to ask about your application, you should follow up on the status of your application. Be sure to wait at least a week before doing a follow-up; the last thing you want is to come off as annoying. You’ll also want to wait about a week before following up on an interview, if you manage to land one.
  9. Accept the job offer and work hard. If you stick with it, you should get at least one job offer. After you’ve made sure you actually want the job, accept the offer and make a plan to be the best worker you can be. Do your best to commit to the job after you’ve said yes, as this will now become a part of your resume.

Modeling Agencies That Hire Kids and Teens

Since several of the companies that hire teenagers only use modeling agencies to hire models, you’ll want to contact one of the following top modeling agencies that hire teens, children, and babies if you’re looking for a modeling gig.

In Summary

Several retail stores offer jobs to teens that are at least 16. Some of these companies even hire teens, kids, and babies as models. With our tips, a good attitude, and persistence, you should be able to snag your first retail store job.