Everything to Know About a Career in Retail Management

Want to get into a career in retail management, but aren’t sure if it’s right for you? To help you decide, here are some important things to consider before you start your journey to becoming a retail manager.

What is retail management?

Retail managementis a process that helps bring customers into a retail store and obtain the items they wish to use. This not only saves customers time, but it also ensures they can easily find their desired products and return home satisfied. Retail management works by focusing on customer relationship management, brand management, and sales management. Overall, retail management makes shopping an enjoyable experience for customers.

Skills needed for retail management

To be successful as a retail manager, you’ll need retail experience and a thorough understanding of retail business operations. You’ll also need the following skills:

  • Strong communication.
  • Good listening.
  • Problem-solving abilities.
  • Professionalism.
  • Leadership, strategic and operational abilities.
  • Strong math and analytical skills.
  • Negotiation.
  • Organisation.
  • Strong customer service.
  • Ability to motivate, train and develop others.
  • Ability to be patient and cheerful.

Each of these skills and an understanding of retail management can be gained through completing a retail management course.

Day-to-day activities in retail management

As a retail manager, you’ll be responsible for the daily operations of a retail store, including managing inventory, merchandising, sales, and customer service. Your main job is to make sure sales goals are met, the staff is well-managed, the store operates successfully, and customer needs are met.

Here’s a closer look at the day-to-day activities of a retail manager:

  • Open and close the store.
  • Hire, manage, train, and motivate staff members.
  • Manage employee schedules.
  • Develop business plans and strategy for the short and long-term.
  • Set sales goals for the store, forecast future sales volumes, and meet sales quotas.
  • Develop and execute promotions.
  • Create and maintain store budgets, and maximise revenue and profits.
  • Buy products from vendors and suppliers, and negotiate terms.
  • Analyse and coordinate inventory.
  • Create and maintain attractive and accurate store displays.
  • Organise and oversee product line reviews.
  • Reprice merchandise and recommend markdowns when necessary.
  • Work with and report to senior management in the company (for example the head office or store owner).
  • Control receipts and prepare daily or weekly sales and inventory reports.
  • Communicate financial information such as sales trends.
  • Attend to customers by greeting them with a smile and assisting them.
  • Manage questions, complaints, and comments from customers.
  • Analyse market trends and research competitors.

Retail stores are usually open past 5 pm and seven days a week, so you can also expect to work in the evenings and on the weekends.

Career options for retail management

There are different types of jobs you can do if you’re considering a career in retail management, including:

  • Retail manager.
  • Store manager or director.
  • Team leader or supervisor.
  • Store general manager.
  • Retail buyer.
  • Merchandiser.
  • Merchandise manager or planner.
  • Analyst.
  • Supply chain distributor.
  • Marketing executive.
  • Warehouse manager.
  • Brand manager.
  • Customer care executive.
  • Image promoter.
  • Department manager.
  • District manager.
  • Pricing and signing coordinator.

What’s more, once you gain a certain level of management experience and skills, you can choose to specialise in a particular area, such as:

  • Buying.
  • Pricing.
  • Merchandising.
  • Sales.
  • Marketing.
  • Personnel management.
  • Supervisory.
  • Customer service.
  • Administrative services.
  • Client communication.
  • Training.
  • Operations.
  • Warehousing.

You can set yourself up to specialise in one of these areas with training in retail management.

Why you might choose a career in retail management

Retail isn’t going anywhere as companies will always sell goods and services, and they’ll always need people who can help them do that in an inefficient and profitable way. This means retail management will continue to be an in-demand career path.

A career in retail management can also give you the chance to be in charge of operating your own store, from behind the scenes functions (such as buying and merchandising) to interactions on the sales floor (such as sales and customer service). As a retail manager, you’ll oversee everything that makes a retail store successful – the products, visual presentation, sales team, and customer service.

Moreover, a career in retail management may be a good fit for you if you have the qualities and skills required to be a successful retail manager, such as a strong customer focus, the ability to manage people, and leadership skills. It can also be a rewarding career if you enjoy interacting with your community and staying up-to-date with product trends.

Start your career in retail management today

You can start your career in retail management by enrolling in the ICI Diploma of Retail Management, which is a retail management course that’s designed in conjunction with major retailers. As mentioned, there are certain skills you need to manage a retail outlet and our course can help you learn those skills quickly and easily. You’ll also learn how to run a profitable, efficient, and well-managed store. Start reaping the benefits by enrolling today!

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Gladys Mae


Gladys Mae serves as the General Manager and Head of Student Services at the International Career Institute. Gladys holds a degree in Mass Communication - Broadcast Media from the University of San Jose-Recoletos. She joined ICI in 2010 and has over the past 12 years been instrumental in providing leadership and guidance to staff and students alike. Prior to joining ICI Gladys led a multifaceted career with key roles in the banking and business process outsourcing industries.