Things You Should Know About Career in Retail Management

Written by a Guest Contributor

Retail industry is one of the most rapidly changing industries of the world, contributing to the economic growth of one and many. Retailing is an important part of the business industry which has selling products and services to consumers at its core. If you are on your path to become a retail store manager, here are some things you ought to know.

The origin of the word retail is French, derived from retailer that means “to cut a piece off” or “to break bulk”. In simple words, retailing refers to the process of timely delivery of goods as and when demanded by the consumers at affordable prices. It is a people-oriented industry which is buzzing with opening of sprawling shopping malls across the different parts of the country.

The first wave of retail revolution came in the late 80s after which the Indian retail sector grew to become the fifth most attractive emerging retail market in the world. Currently, the sector contributes to more than 10 percent of the total gross domestic product and provides employment to eight percent population. In the next five years it is expected that the industry will grow at a rate of 30 percent.

With such a tremendous growth, retail management has become a very lucrative career option. Many students are now opting for specialized retail management courses.

Retail industry is one of the most rapidly changing industries of the world, contributing to the economic growth of one and many. Retailing is an important part of the business industry which has selling products and services to consumers at its core. If you are on your path to become a retail store manager, here are some things you ought to know. Published on
Image credit: University of Kent

The fast pace of expansion has thrown open a wide gap between the demand and supply of skilled professionals in this sector. The resulting effect is that retail management and store management jobs are now one of the most highly paid in the industry. Besides, even if you are not an expert, there are plenty of entry level opportunities.

Retail is an industry looking for people at all levels, from the school pass out with basic skills to the highly qualified professionals backed with years of experience. The top popular jobs in retail sector include:
  • Store manager/Floor Manager: A store manager is involved in the tasks of maintaining the store’s stock, and ensuring its efficient functioning. He is the person to whom all the other employees of the store report.
  • Retail buyer & Merchandisers: These individuals are responsible for selection and buying of goods for the retail shop. It is upon their selection that the success and failure of the retail store rests. Therefore, they should have an intuitive power along with good analytical skills which helps in determining the needs and wants of customers, and should be aware of the trends in the consumer goods category.
In addition to these two professions, the retail sector has many other jobs such as logistics and warehouse manager, retail communication manager, retail marketing executive and back-end operation manager.

Education and eligibility

Owing to the YoY augmentation of the retail industry, a number of colleges and higher educational institutions have started specialized courses in store management and retail management amongst others.

Candidates have the option to take up either a degree course or a diploma course in retail management. Degree course include MBA, while the post graduate diploma in retail management is also an equivalent course.

These courses train students on various aspects of retailing such as marketing strategies, accounting, ethics and laws, customer relation, merchandising, retail communication and retail buying. Students pursuing these courses also get information on subordinate fields such as supply chain management and merchandising, which go hand in hand with retailing.

There are a number of good institutes in the country that offer these courses. While some of these institutions are solely dedicated to this cause, there are others that offer it as a specialization along with other courses.

The Retail Association of India, RAI, is an independent body, comprising all the major retailers as its members. RAI, in association with the Indira Gandhi National Open University, IGNOU, offers a certificate and diploma program in retailing.

However, there are some important things that one should be careful about while thinking about a career in retail management.
  • Right personality: Being a retail manager is not everyone’s cup of tea. Being able to motivate your team members to give in their hundred percent every day even when the economics turn adverse is not an easy task. One has to be patient, cheerful, a good communicator, good listener, strong negotiator and a thorough professional.
  • Pick your specialty: Retail management as a whole is a vast field. As you move in your career, there will be many opportunities for you to specialize in such as buying, merchandising, personnel, customer service, operations and training. Find what excites you most and get on with it.
  • Requires travelling: To move up the ladders of career in retail, more often than not you will be asked to move from one store to another. Besides, a promotion most probably means moving from a smaller store at a smaller city to a larger store in a bigger city. Thus, moving from a place to other is a necessity.
About the author
Saurabh Tyagi is an expert author who has been writing for various online blogs and publishing sites over the last two years. His areas of interest includes education and career. The above article provides useful information about Career in retail sector.

READ MORE: Management Scholarships for International Students


  1. Hello @manohar, thanks for your comment and also your helpful reference to the YouTube tutorial video on 'Retail Management and Retail Selling Skills'. I have here provided an active link to it for readers who want to see it:

  2. Am Sunday from Nigeria. I want to know if there is any undergraduate tuition free for international students in Norway

    1. Of course yes, Sunday, but you will need to do some little searching to get them. In addition to taking a look at all our published student scholarships in Norway, I will also advise you search the web for more. Goodluck!

  3. Good post, Saurabh. The popular jobs, education and eligibility are nicely explained. For diploma in retail management then you can go for ITM Institute. It offers two year full time course. The course offers intensive exposure to the retail operations.

  4. Great Article. Thanks for sharing. I actually did a program of retail management diploma from ITM and it really helped me enhance my career. I not only got a good job but I got a higher post which I desired.