10 Things to Know About A Retail Management Career

Retail management career has become a lucrative option these days. The retail sector in the UK is one of the largest business sectors having a net value of £394 Billion in 2019. About 2.9 million people are working in the retail sector, and the number is growing daily. So, have you ever thought that you could be a part of this huge industry?

However, it’s wise to know the ins and outs of a sector before pursuing a career in it. You shouldn’t make your decision without having much insight into that sector. The same thing applies to a career in retail management. As you’re reading this article, I assume you want to pursue a career in this field, and you’re looking for knowing the details of it. Here, I’ll walk you through the ten things to know about a retail management career. So, without further ado, let’s dive right in. 

10 Things to Know About A Career in Retail Management

These are the 10 must-know things about retail management before you pursue a career in it. 

1. Having the right personality is a must

Personality of a retail manager

As a retail manager, you’ll be directly interacting with the customers of your business. So, you must have the right personality to become successful in retail management. Here, the right personality means having the traits of successful people in this field. So focus on them and identify what things helped them become successful. 

You have to be a result-oriented person as this will drive you towards doing certain things to boost your career in this field. Also, you need to be a natural leader who can lead others under his command and motivate them to boost their productivity. Also, you should be cheerful, patient, and a good listener to understand the desires and pain points of your customers as well as your colleagues. 

2. Retail management isn't just about sales

You might be thinking that retail management is just about sales and revenue. In a simple sense, it’s right. But retail management isn’t only about just sales. It’s more than that, and sales are only a core part of it. 

As a retail manager, your tasks will be anything that makes your business running smoothly. It can be the sourcing of products, inventory management, merchandising, managing the supply chain, managing the employees under you, etc. Also, you’ll have to oversee customer relationship management and ensure best practices to make your customers satisfied with your business. So, it’s clear that you won’t be detailing the sales of your business, rather everything that makes a retail store work. 

3. Develop the required skills

Retail manager at desk

You must have some specific skills to get into the retail management sector and become successful in this field. The first and foremost skill you’ll require is communication skill. As the retail sector directly deals with customers, so you must have good communication skills to communicate with the customers effectively. Also, you need negotiating and influencing skills to convert the people visiting your store into your customers and retain them. 

Apart from this, strong leadership and organisational skills are also required to drive your team towards maximum efficiency and profitability.

4. Experience means a lot

Unlike many other jobs, retail management needs a considerable level of experience to succeed in this field. You need to have experience in different aspects of retail to become a successful retail manager. You need practical experience of customer handling, sales, negotiating, marketing and many more, which is worth more than having just a college degree. So, employ yourself in gaining experience before getting into the retail management career. The best way to obtain experience is to join an entry-level job and take time to learn every aspect of the retail sector practically.  

5. You have numerous options to specialise

Retail management is like an umbrella and a lot of options to specialise fall under this. Once you join the retail sector, you’ll find different aspects of it which include buying, merchandising, branding, pricing, customer support and many more. As you move up your career, you’ll be building expertise in these fields, which would give you big thrust in your career path. So, being a retail manager makes you a multitasker to succeed in the business world. However, you have to give you efforts to specialise in these fields to make this happen.

6. Only the numbers matter

Sales growth

Retail management is nothing but a number’s game. The sales and profit you can generate for the company will measure your performance and success in the retail sector. Your duty as a retail manager is to enhance business performance and maximise productivity by driving more sales and generating revenue. All your duties will reflect on the overall profitability of your business, and you will be judged by how you are doing in this regard. 

Though there are many other aspects to measure your performance, at the end of the day, the number of sales and the amount of profit is main for a business. Others will be worthless if the business can’t make a profit. So, you must be focused on sales and profit to succeed in this field. 

7. Moving up often requires a physical move.

In the retail management career, moving up means shifting to larger stores in larger markets with more management responsibilities. The sad part is, you might not find the promoted position within the same area due to the nature of the retail sector. So, you may have to move from your city to another city. It could be annoying for you if you need to leave your friends and family to go to your new workplace. However, if you find fun in exploring new places, it will be enjoyable for you. 

8. It's not a typical 9 to 5 job

The retail sector directly deals with the public, and everything takes place in a retail store where you’ll be working as a retail manager. The saying goes that the retailer’s duty starts when the public’s duty ends. It means other people generally work from 9 to 5 and shop in the evening and night after their office hours. So, the main duty of retailers starts after office hours. That’s why, as a retail manager, you could rarely expect to work from 9 to 5. Most of the time, you’ll be working on non-traditional office hours. 

9. Never mess with customers

Handling customer in retail management career

Remember that customers are the king of business. All your business activities revolve around the customers. If they turn their back on a business, it will be doomed. A satisfied customer is the greatest asset for a business, and it’s more applicable to the retail sector.

So, you must be meticulous with your customers. Always value their demands and aspirations and act accordingly. Try to provide them with the best service. It will create a positive impression about your business and help you retain your customers that eventually drives towards more profit. So you have to win your customer’s heart for a successful retail management career.

10. Never lose your patience

As a retail manager, you’ll be dealing with customers directly. Every day, thousands of people will visit your store, and each of them will be of different personalities. So, things would not always go as you want. Sometimes, difficult situations might arise, such as customer obligations, arguments etc. are common in retail stores. So, you must be patient in dealing with any situation arising in your workplace effectively. If you lose patience, you’ll lose your customers. So, you have no choice to lose your patience. 

Wrap up

Now that you read this article, you’ve gained an overview of the retail sector and what things to know before getting into this. It’s true that a retail management career isn’t suitable for all. But it can be a great career choice for the right persons. If you think you’re one of them, you can make it your career destination. If you want to learn more about retail management, you can consider taking an online course where you’ll gain more detailed insight into this. So, have a look at this.

Retail Management Course

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October 25, 2023
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