Career as a Retail Manager- A complete guide!


When you walk into a retail store- say, Big Bazaar- have you noticed that the items are placed at different sections of the store to create a mind map? So the next time you visit the store, you know exactly where you should go to buy grocery or crockery items. 

Do you think this eases the convenience for the customer to navigate? Yes! 

Now, do you think it affects their buying behaviour? Yes? No? Maybe? 

According to consumer research, it definitely affects the buying decision because when customers have to try so hard to find the product they need, they get frustrated. This emotion of anger then affects their thoughts, leading them to walk out of the store without buying. Thus, the layout of the store helps in making the consumer experience more smooth. But who is responsible for creating such designs and layouts? 

Here is where the role of the retail manager of the store comes into play. Want to know more about what they do? Read the blog further to know about a career as a retail manager- the education and the skills required, various job roles, growth prospects, top recruiters, and much more! 

What does a Retail Manager do? 

A retail manager is the one with all the decision-making power regarding the placement of products, making sure there is enough supply for the retail, sales strategy, helping the customer find what they are looking for, and ensuring a smooth customer experience. There are certain tasks that form the core responsibilities of the retail manager: 

  1. Quality checks: 
    Their first-morning task is to predict “How busy they are going to be in the day?” and check if the product that they are selling is in great condition and ready to be sold. Thus, a quality check is the first important task of their day.
  2. Onboarding and Training:
    They are also the ones to train the new recruits as well as plan a training session for the existing employees on areas of improvement. Additionally, anticipating the need to hire new employees is also one task that they need to plan for.
  3. Prevent being “ Out of Stock”:
    Have you ever gone to a supermarket or clothing retailer and found your favourite product was out of stock? Happened to me!! I was looking for a formal piece of clothing and found that most of the items available were not per my size. And how was this possible for every damn aisle? Then I asked the salesmen there and he said that the size that I was looking for usually gets picked up early and was therefore out of stock. 
    Now, do you think I will visit these stores again in the future? Probably not. Why? Because as a customer, I did not have a good experience finding what I wanted.
You don’t want your customers to have this reaction when you are the retail manager
You don’t want your customers to have this reaction.

4. Delegation of the tasks and scheduling of the shifts: 
The next part of their job is to delegate the work among other employees working in retail. Usually, retail runs throughout the week, and therefore the employees are hired on rotational shifts. Therefore, the retail manager has to ensure that they allot tasks according to the schedule they have prepared.

5. Ensure enough Inventory: 
Preventing being out of stock is in line with having enough inventory. A good retail manager should ensure keeping sufficient products on the floor. Examining how much inventory (which is basically the record of the number of products available and the prediction of the quantity that will be required) is available, helps determine the refilling decisions. 

  1. Budgeting: 
    A retail manager also spends a considerable amount of time in their office charting out the budget, deciding on the targets to be achieved, ensuring that there is enough staff to achieve those targets, settling on the pricing for each product, determining the display of the products, etc. 
  1. Sales: 
    Another most significant part of the retail manager is to actively engage in sales. They need to figure out what their customers want and show them what you have to offer. Here a tip would be to not be pushy with the sale but be directive and ease the process of finding the right product for their customer.
DO NOT be like this sloth bear and frustrate your customers as a retail manager.
DO NOT be like this sloth bear and frustrate your customers. Source
  1. Customer service: 
    After selling the product, it is Customer service will determine whether that customer will come back and be a repeat customer. Thus, the retail manager must ensure a good rapport with their client. 

Job roles for a  Retail Manager

Other than being a Retail manager, there are also other job roles in the retail industry that you might want to consider: 

  • Assistant Store Manager: An assistant store manager is in charge of assisting the shop manager with the day-to-day management of a retail store. General duties include managing staff, interacting with and assisting customers, and carrying out instructions from the manager and store owner.
  • Retail Buyer: A retail buyer is in charge of creating, locating, and presenting product chains in accordance with its retail locations and clientele.
  • Supply chain Distributor: A distribution manager’s responsibility is to organize and oversee the flow of commodities in a supply chain.
  • Retail Merchandiser: The function of a retail merchandiser is to guarantee that the proper amount of goods are available in the store and sold at the right price.
  • Customer Service Manager: Their main responsibilities include responding to inquiries from clients and resolving issues, defining goals to satisfy the requirements of each team member, and keeping track of the status of client cases in their organization’s tracking system.
  • Department Manager: A department manager is in charge of all sales department responsibilities, oversees the workforce, and develops productivity-boosting plans.
  • Warehouse Manager: Warehouse managers are in charge of keeping warehouses safe and productive, managing staff, and transferring warehouses.

Career Paths to becoming a Retail Manager 

PATH 1: 

A bachelor’s degree in Commerce ( is enough for you to begin your career in retail management. Your initial job won’t be as a “retail manager”, but might be as a floor worker. Once you get some experience (either as a full-time job or part-time internships) you can pursue Masters’s in retail management, something that we will discuss shortly which will lead 

PATH 2: 

Another path that you can pursue in your undergraduate degree is Bachelor in Business Administration (BBA) in retail management. It is a 3-year undergraduate program that teaches principles of merchandising, marketing, buying, inventory control, etc. In addition, you can expect to get knowledge about retail customer service, retail supply chain management, accounting, retail location and management, display tactics, etc. Post BBA, you can pursue an MBA in retail management. 

PATH 3: 

Another path that you can choose is to do a diploma in retail management. It is a year-long course that will give an overview of retail like an analysis of the retail environment, industry trends, challenges faced by the industry, as well as some aspects of marketing and operations. 

You can visit our blog on How to become a Retail Manager, to get more information. 

Salary in different stages of Career as a Retail manager 

A lot about how much you earn depends on the geographical area, the company you work for, as well as your experience level. A starting salary for a retail manager ranges between 20,870 INR- 30,852 INR / month. As one moves ahead in their career, one can expect to get a raise. 

Experience level Entry-level Mid-level Senior Level 
Salary/year 178,793 INR489,436 INR 998,811 INR

Skills required to become a Retail Manager 

  • Adaptability: 
    Adaptability is one of the must-have skills to be a retail manager. This is because for a retail manager every day is different, so there is no way to prepare in advance regarding the challenges of the day-to-day work. Additionally, the constantly changing business environment like the introduction of new products, changes in the use of technology, and equipment, handling no-show employees, different kinds of customers, etc. requires the retail manager to be flexible while maintaining mental toughness
  • Organization: 
    One of the crucial skills for any management job is the ability to organize. The organization could be anything- items, files, pieces of information, people, and even your time. 
  • Communication
    On a daily basis, the retail manager communicates with their team, consumers, the top management, manufacturers, suppliers, etc. Imagine what if the retail manager miscommunicates the number of products required. There will be a surplus of products which might lead to inadequacy in other retail outlets. Transportation would also increase the costs.
  • Delegation
    As a retail manager, you are not there to do the work, you are there to make sure everyone does their work: at the right time, and in the most efficient way possible. A newly appointed retail manager usually finds it difficult to delegate since they are too focused on doing things a particular way. Experienced managers are more concerned about the outcomes rather than the specifics of how the employee does it. When delegating, make sure to ask them the “how” of something.
  • Relationship management: 
    Client retention is a significant part of revenue generation and therefore taking care of these clients becomes significant. Maintaining relationships with the employees, suppliers, their boss, and most importantly the customers is really important. 
  • Budgeting: 
    Analyzing the financial statements can help in gaining insight into the overall financial health of the retail company. Retail managers must also familiarise themselves with the budget that is required to run the retail. At the same time, a retail manager should know how much he is paying the employees and whether it is in line with their performance.
  • Sales and Decision making
    These two skills go hand in hand. Obviously, the retail manager has to lead the team to make sales as well as make the sale themselves. At the same time, they also have to make some important decisions about budgeting, which employee goes where on the floor, deciding on the pricing of the product, etc.
Skills required to become a retail manager.

Is being a Retail Manager a good Career option? 

Retail industry memes!
Along with the growth aspect, the retail industry can also be a lot of fun! Source

The retail sector in India has experienced a significant shift as consumers want convenience and a variety of options all under one roof. Numerous job opportunities are opening up across India as a result of the country’s fast-growing department shops and enormous shopping malls. There are numerous opportunities for job advancement. The sector has a significant level of revenue, and talented and ambitious management experts can expect to earn good pay.

Additionally, over the next five years, the Indian retail business is anticipated to grow at a compounded rate of 30%, making it the fifth most alluring and promising market in the world. According to EY India, the Indian retail sector will increase from $0.8 trillion in 2020 to $1.5 trillion by 2030, offering enormous potential for expansion. With the enormous increase in the economy, retail management has emerged as one of the industries’ fastest-growing professions.

Type of Industries hiring for Retail Managers 

Where can you work as a retail manager? In a store, right? Duh! But there are various kinds of retail that you can explore, depending on the industry you are interested in. What I mean by industry is that something like medicines might not excite you, but you love dressing up. Such awareness can help you choose whether you want to be a retail manager at medical retail or you want to be at a clothing outlet. Some of the other areas you can check are: 

  • Departmental retail 
  • Healthcare product manufacturers 
  • Travelling product manufacturers
  • A clothing outlet 
  • A sport outlet 
  • Export outlet 
  • Warehouses 
  • Beverage outlets 
  • Jewellery retails 

Top recruiters for a Retail manager in India 

  • Reliance Brands Limited
  • Pantaloon Retail  
  • Bestseller 
  • Vodafone
  • Aditya Birla Group 
  • Tata Groups 
  • Tanishq 
  • Piramal Group
  • Landmark Group 
  • K Raheja Group 

Courses to Upskill as a Retail Manager 

If you are not sure whether retail management is for you, you can explore it by taking various courses online or as a way to upskill yourself. Such courses will help you analyze your likes and dislikes in a shorter duration and time. Some of the courses that you can check out include: 

Certificate Courses Duration 
Retail Fundamentals 4- week (self-paced)
Fast Track Retail Buying and Merchandising3.6 Hours 
Channel Management and Retailing 8 hours 
Retail Sales Management 28 mins 30 seconds 
Retail Customer Service 48 mins 2 seconds 
Coaching Skills for Retail Manager 1.4 hours 
JuniorMBA in Consulting 15 Hours 
Retail for Business Analysts and Management Consultants  5.9 hours 

Qualifications to become a Retail Manager 

If you have decided on the career of being a retail manager based on the details that we discussed above, then you need to prepare for it ahead of time. After the 10th it is best to select a commerce stream, while preparing for the Entrance exams that are required for the undergraduate degree. 

Degrees in India 

UG Courses 

There are three different pathways that you can choose to become a retail manager

Undergraduate Course Duration 
B.Com 3 years 
BBA/ BMS3 Years 

PG Degrees

For higher education, you can pursue the following courses to become a retail manager 

Post-graduate course Duration 
MBA in Retail Management 2 Years 

Degrees Abroad 

Abroad undergraduate courses differ in structure, assignments, and curriculum from India. Some of the courses that should check out include BSc (Hons) in Business Management (Retail), Bachelor of Business (Hons) in Retail Management, Bachelor of Business in Retail Management, BBA in Retail Management (Honours), and Retail Merchandising. 

Master’s courses abroad include MA in Retail and Consumer Management and an MBS in Retail Management. These courses take around 2-3 years to complete. 

Entry into these courses will require you to give language proficiency test scores of IELTS, TOEFL, PTE, SATs, etc along with an SOP (Statement of Purpose) and LORs (Letter of Recommendation). Want some help with SATs? We have got you covered. Read this blog to know more!

Want to know more? Check these out: 

TV Show: Superretail 

Where: Netflix 

What you can expect: This show will give you a glimpse of how retail runs with a tint of comedy. 

Books that you can read: 

  • Why we buy: The science of Shopping 
  • The retail revival: Reimagining business for the new age of consumerism 
  • Delivering Happiness: A path to profits, passion, and purpose 
  • Drive: The Surprising truth about what motivates us 
  • Silent selling: Best practices and effective strategies in visual merchandising 

I hope this information excites you to become a retail manager. The retail industry is a great way to begin your career if you like meeting new people and management. 

FAQs- Frequently Asked Questions about the Career as a Retail Manager

Is retail management a good career choice?

An extremely successful and fulfilling professional life can result from a career in retail management. There are a lot of avenues for career growth. The industry earns good revenue and the salary standards are high especially for talented individuals.

What are the job responsibilities of a retail manager?

A store manager’s or retail manager’s typical responsibilities include hiring, developing, managing, and evaluating staff, budget management, keeping financial and statistical records, answering questions and complaints from customers, and controlling pricing and inventory.

What qualifications do I need to be a retail manager?

An experience in the retail industry is a must. As a fresher, you can start out with a B.Com or a BBA degree, gain some sales experience and then work your way up the ladder. 

How much does a retail manager earn in India? 

The pay depends a lot on the years of experience and the company you are working at. Your pay as a retail manager of a local supermarket will be lower than a retail manager at a retail giant- say D-Mart or Big Bazaar. But you can expect a pay between 20,000 INR/month- 30,000 INR/month as an average base salary. 

Which company pays retail managers the most in India? 

According to, Reliance Brands Limited is found to be the most-high paying recruiter for a retail manager.

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How to become a Retail Manager? Top 8 Skills required to become a Retail Manager Top 8 colleges to become a Retail Manager in India Top 8 colleges to become a Retail Manager Abroad
How to become a Retail Manager? Top 8 Skills required to become a Retail Manager Top 8 colleges to become a Retail Manager in India Top 8 colleges to become a Retail Manager Abroad