Careers in retail management are not going anywhere. As the economy continues to recover and consumer spending continues to increase, more businesses and storefronts are opening and with them, more careers in retail sales and retail management.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates that careers in retail sales are increasing by 17% by 2020 and careers in customer service are increasing by 15%. Careers in retail management are estimated to grow by 8%.
Retail managers oversee teams of sales employees and will often be assistant managers or general managers of stand-alone stores or stores in malls or strip centers. They will manage employee schedules, behavior, and performance, and will analyze sales goals and costs. Depending on the size of the retailer for whom they work, they may report to district and regional managers.
Students who would like to pursue a career in fashion retailing or merchandising could study retail management in order to work for a fashion magazine, boutique, or retailer as a buyer or consumer advisor.
In order to become a retail manager, it is ideal to begin working in retail as a cashier, sales person, or customer services representative while pursuing an associate or bachelor’s degree in retail, business, management, or sales. Retail-focused degrees will likely require coursework in general business, merchandising, promotions, store management, economics, accounting, consumer behavior, pricing, branding, supply chain management, and human resources.
Retail degrees at colleges and universities will likely fall under the umbrella of business programs or human sciences programs. It is important to pursue degrees and credentials only from programs that are accredited at the university level and business school level as applicable. Accreditation ensures students they are pursuing a degree from a school and program that meets basic financial and quality standards.