How to become a Retail Manager – A Complete Guide


Have you ever visited a store- be it ZARA or DMART? I am sure you have. Is it always easy to find the products you want to buy or do you have to search extensively before you spot your product? In either case, it is the Retail manager who is to be condemned or appreciated (respectively) for the customer experience. 

A Retail manager has all the decision-making power regarding the placement of products, ensuring there is enough supply for the store, sales strategy, helping the customer find what they are looking for, and ensuring a smooth customer experience. 

In this article, you will get to know how to become a Retail manager, the education and the skills required to become a Retail manager, how much a retail manager earns, and much more. 

Who is a Retail Manager? 

A retail manager oversees the daily operations of the store, making sure everything- right from the consumer’s satisfaction to the inventory is efficient. They are the ones who work on the floor like any other employee as well as the one who sits in the office and prepares sales strategies. All the employees of the store report to the retail manager who in turn reports to the general manager of the region.

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How to become a Retail Manager? 

Step 1: Stream to Select 

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

Step 2: Certification Courses and Project Courses

If you are not sure whether retail management is for you, you can explore it by taking various courses online. 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)
Channel Management and Retailing 8 hours 
Fast Track Retail Buying and Merchandising3.6 Hours 
Retail Customer Service 48 mins 2 seconds 
Coaching Skills for Retail Manager 1.4 hours 
Retail Sales Management 28 mins 30 seconds 
Retail for Business Analysts and Management Consultants  5.9 hours 

Step 3: Educational Qualifications  

  • What to study to become a Retail Manager in India

A) Undergraduate/Diploma Courses in India: 

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

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

PATH 1: 

A bachelor’s degree in Commerce ( is a good enough way to begin your career in retail management. With subjects like accounting, auditing, and business management, you will get to know the basics of running a business. 

PATH 2: 

Bachelors in Business Administration (BBA) or Bachelors of Management Studies (BMS) in retail management teaches principles of merchandising, marketing, buying, inventory control,  retail customer service, retail supply chain management, accounting, retail management, display tactics, etc. 

You can also opt for a diploma in retail management. They are a good way to get 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. Some of the diploma Courses that you can check out include: 

Diploma Course Institute offering Duration 
Diploma in Retail Management NMIMS Global Access School for continuing education 1-year 
Diploma in Retail Management Lovely Professional University 1 Year 
Diploma in Retail Management Bharathiar university1 Year 
Diploma in Retail Management Iasam academy1 Year 
Diploma in Retail Management Bombay Academy of Management Studies1 Year 

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B) Top Colleges In India: 

  • Amity University, Noida 
  • IMS Unison University, Dehradun
  • Poornima University, Jaipur 
  • Reva University, Bangalore 
  • Parul University, Vadodara
  • DY Patil University, Navi Mumbai
  • SSPU Pune – Symbiosis Skills and Open University
  • Mithibai College, Mumbai 
  • What to Study Abroad to become a Retail Manager 

A) Undergraduate/Diploma Courses Abroad: 

Abroad undergraduate courses differ in structure, assignments, and curriculum from India. Some of the courses that should check out include: 

Undergraduate Course Estimated Duration 
BSc (Hons) Business Management (Retail) 3 years 
Bachelor of Business (Hons) in Retail Management 4 years 
Bachelor of Business in Retail Management 3 years
BBA in Retail Management (Honours) 3 Years 
Retail Merchandising 4 Years 
B.Com in Business Management 4 Years 

The name of these courses or duration may differ depending on the country you apply to. You can also opt for diploma/Certificate courses if you don’t want to invest so many years. Some of them that you should check out include: 

Diploma/Certificate Courses Institute offering Duration 
Retail Business Fundamentals Certificate Capilano University, Canada 8 Months 
Diploma in Retail Management Ara Insititute of Canterbury, New Zealand 1 Year 
Diploma in Business Studies (Retail Management) International Academy of New Zealand, Auckland 1 Year 
Retail Management, Certificate Highline College, USA1-2 hour 
Retail Management Diploma International Career Institute, USA24 Weeks 

B) Top Colleges Abroad: 

  • University of Bolton, UK
  • Capilano University, Canada 
  • European Business School, Paris 
  • Galway-Mayo Institute of Technology, Ireland 
  • University of Minnesota, USA
  • Ara Insititute of Canterbury, New Zealand 
  • George Brown College, Canada 
  • University of Tunku Abdul Rehman, Malaysia 

Step 4: Job Preparation required for Retail Management 

Post your completion of your Bachelor’s, many opportunities will open up. However, these won’t be at a managerial level. You can either choose to pursue your Master’s (like an MBA) or work for a few years and then decide. Any real experience will teach you the basics of the industry which is significant in your initial years. Here are some tips that will help you crack those interviews: 

  1. Assess the industry you want to work in: 

There are various kinds of industries you can explore. 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 a medical store or you want to be at a clothing outlet

Different industries you can try before you become a Retail Manager
Assess the different industries you can work in by opting for various internships.
  1. Go for Internships: 

Internships help in assessing and making a choice about the kind of industry you are interested in. You can take up internships at warehouses, jewelry stores, departmental stores, or beverage outlets. Such experiences will help you become a better retail manager since it requires you to fall in love with the product you are selling. 

  1. Prepare for the interviews: 

This seems like an obvious thing to say. However, background research on the company is what candidates forget to do. Additionally, recruiters are usually looking for thought clarity on why you want to work for them. Thus, the previous two points will help you convey the “why” across. 

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Skills required to become a Retail Manager 

  • Adaptability 
  • Communication 
  • Organization 
  • Delegation 
  • Relationship Management 
  • Budgeting 
  • Sales 
  • Decision Making 

A retail manager requires business skills too. But not so sure if you have it in you. Don’t worry. Clever Harvey’s JuniorMBA in Entrepreneurship & Clever Harvey’s JuniorMBA Future CEO will help you develop such a skill. 

Salary of a Retail Manager 

Salary of a Retail Manager in India 

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

The pay also differs depending on the geographical location and the company you are in. The Top 5 Highest paying Cities in India are 

  1. Bengaluru, Karnataka: 24,664 INR/Month 
  2. Delhi, Delhi: 24,383 INR/ Month 
  3. Kolkata, West Bengal: 23,716 INR/ Month 
  4. Hyderabad, Telangana: 23, 614 INR/ Month 
  5. Mumbai, Maharashtra: 22,311 INR/ Month 

Salary of a Retail Manager Abroad: 

Salary Abroad also differs depending on the company and the geographical location. However, an overview of the salary abroad is given below: 

Country USA UK Canada  South Korea    Australia  France China 
Average  salary per year $46,295£25183 $50,689 5,190,000 KRW$62,000 62,300 EUR CN¥1,10,267

Top Recruiters in India 

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

Top Recruiters Abroad 

  • Target 
  • Walmart 
  • Whole Foods Market 
  • The Home Depot 
  • Louis Vuitton 
  • Starbucks 
  • Prada 
  • H&M 

Retail management is a fun job if you like meeting new people every day. Helping people find what they need but don’t know ‘what’ is truly exciting.

If you want to explore more, here are some cool resources you can check out: 

  1. TV Show: SuperStore 

Where: Netflix 

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

  1. If you want to open your own retail outlet, you can watch this video 

What to expect: Though the video is about setting up grocery retail abroad, it does talk about some challenges that any business would face. Also, it’s inspiring to see just a 21-year-old doing it, so you can too. 

Types of marketing careers

FAQs related to how to become a Retail Manager

Is being a retail manager a good job?

A retail manager is a great job if you like organizing and delegating work. It is a fast-paced job but if you like retail merchandising then it may prove to be a lucrative job opportunity. Obviously, being a retail manager will come with experience. 

Is a retail manager a career?

Yes, it is a career in the retail industry. A retail manager is the one who is responsible for overseeing everything that makes the retail run – right from placing the product strategically to providing great customer service.

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.

Who is above a retail manager?

A retail manager is usually a liaison between the assistant manager and the general manager. Thus, the corporate executives and the general/regional manager are above the retail manager while the sales representatives and floor manager are below the retail manager.

How much does a retail manager earn in India? 

The pay depends a lot on your 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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Are you looking for information on how to become a Retail manager? Here is all the information you need- the education, skills, job preparation and even the salary.

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