Retail Manager Career Information
What a Retail Manager does
Indian shopping has witnessed a sea change in the last decade. Novelty stores and local garment shops have given way to swanking new malls that promise everything under one roof.
Though the customer has always been the king, he/she has never been so pampered. If you are lifestyle conscious and want to help people make the right choices then Retail Management is for you.
Most stores rely on a pleasant environment to capture the customer's attention. If you enjoy a varied, lively environment with heavy focus on people contact and real 'hands on' management then this is a career worth considering.
Your tasks as a Retail Manager would include:
• Supervising the conduct and work of staff
• Ensuring that the staff is taught correct sales procedures and have good knowledge of the products they sell
• Maintaining a high level of customer service by ensuring that service standards are high and that complaints from customers are quickly resolved
• Determining the layout of merchandise so that it is presented as attractively as possible
• Monitoring the stock levels, placing orders and managing the supply chains
• Keeping and analysing records of sales figures and financial transactions
• Implementing and overseeing security procedures
• Ensuring that the outlet achieves its sales target
Retail Managers often work long hours under pressure and even on weekends. As an executive/trainee, you will work in different areas of a store, obtaining practical experience of each department and gaining selling, marketing and managerial skills.
Stores open early and finish late. As a Retail Manager you will be working even on Sundays and bank holidays. Mind you this is no desk job. You are likely to be on your feet for most of the day.
Sales or Department Managers aim at generating and maximising sales. The bottom line is strong customer service within efficient store performance and an eye on the trends and implications for the overall business.
At the senior level as a Retail Manager you will have many more challenges like:
Store systems, stock management, deliveries, and overall supply chain management
Staff management, training and team motivation
Looking at ways to cut costs, increase sales, maintain quality, trading analysis and planning
Sales promotion and the effective use of floor space and layout
Enhancing customer service and care
Health and safety issues
As a Retail Manager you may find jobs in:
Opportunities are aplenty in this field. Departmental stores, designer boutiques, fast food chains, super markets, company stores, music stores, electronics showrooms, automobile dealers all employ Retail Managers.
In franchisee driven corporations such as Hallmark - the world famous manufacturer of cards, as a retail manager, you will be responsible for looking after numerous small franchisees in an area.
Promotions can come rapidly. As a retail manager, you could move on be in charge of a particular section. You could even move laterally into roles such as merchandising, sales & marketing or even into customer service.
Career Prospects for a Retail Manager:
The industry is booming with the entry of big industrial corporations into the retailing sector. The entry of multinationals has also brought standards of customer service never before experienced in India. Most departmental stores now days have in-house training and even sponsor courses.
You will also have the opportunity to travel and work in different stores of the parent company. The companies that are in the field for about 5 years or more are also going for massive expansion drives.
Like the Domino's Pizza chain is expanding and increasing its base to newer areas. Shopper’s Stop is expanding in cities like Calcutta, Delhi, Uttaranchal and others. RPG group's Music World and Food World are also expanding fast in various cities. Summing up, it's boom time for the retailers and so for the Retail Managers.
Abilities & Traits Required
This is not a career for the contemplative - it requires doers and quick thinkers. As a retail manager, you are expected to take the initiative and deliver.
Customer service is paramount in this field and you should be able to put your business skills to practical and visible application. It is the self-motivated individuals who can infuse enthusiasm into others who end up being team leaders.
Other qualities of a Retail Manager include:
• Good communication, organisational and leadership skills
• Enjoy working with people
• Ability to work accurately and neatly
• Good numerical skills
Product knowledge or interests in market areas like fashion, computer games, etc helps. And if you have the right aptitude and a personality to match, your academic background really doesn't matter.
Graduates are taken in at entry level while MBAs join in at the supervisory level. Check out opportunities for summer jobs. The experience gained in any store will come in handy.
Expected Salary of a Retail Manager:
Starting salaries are in the range of Rs 240000 –300000 p.a. In a couple of years, you will be earning around Rs 450000 – 300000 p.a. Senior Managers make between Rs 400000 –600000 p.a.
The more you sell the more you earn. One of the best parts of this job is that your work as a retail manager is out there for everyone to see. Your skills and experience therefore matter more than your qualifications while deciding promotions. MBAs from premier business schools start at Rs 700000 p.a Other MBAs are paid in the range of Rs 800000-900000 p.a.