Retail Management Schools
Retail management is the process of distributing products from the manufacturer to the customer. In a retail store environment, retail managers can be responsible for any or all of the many areas and tasks that are required for a store to be successful.
This may include determining retail strategies such as store design, store decoration, product placement, promotions and sales, brand development, and merchandising. Other tasks include generating sales targets and ensuring that they are met; hiring, supervising, and motivating staff; creating schedules; ordering and managing inventory; pricing products; planning and creating displays; and managing the customer service process.
For those interested in beginning or advancing a career in retail management, a retail management degree should provide a good base of knowledge with which you should be able to perform the tasks required of a professional retail manager. But in addition to knowledge, retail managers should also be organized, be detail oriented, and have good people skills, as the job includes being responsible for many different elements at once and being in regular contact with employees and customers.
Retail Management Programs
Whether you are seeking an Associate's Degree or Certificate in Retail Management, the program prepares students with the foundation they need to be successful in the field. Students completing a program in retail management are provided exposure to and involvement with the retail sector and all of the challenges and complexities that go along with it.
Typical courses offered in a retail management program include retail technology, retail buying, and retail strategy. The standard retail technology course provides an overview of the most common practices in operations management with an emphasis on retail. Students are taught the importance of retail technology and how to recognize successful companies who align their own operations with the right strategies. The retail strategy course emphasizes the big picture and entire spectrum of retail and business management, including the supply and demand chains. Students learn the important role and tasks of a retail strategy manager and are taught the true meaning of strategy as it applies to retail management. The core courses are geared to sharpen the student's abilities to think clearly and strategically from the perspective of what is best for the enterprise.
After students complete the foundational courses in retail management, classes are open in the areas of franchising, virtual retailing, visual merchandising, space planning, buying processes, and retail operations. The retail operations course is broken into two modules and consists of topics such as productivity issues or HR challenges. Students have the option of taking elective courses throughout their academic career. Electives are flexible and offer a variety of courses that are specific to the student's career track and desired interest.
Some retail management programs offer an internship or work placement program that students complete prior to graduation. The internship is normally done during the summer and lasts approximately 12 to 16 weeks. Student internships include assistant buying intern, visual merchandising intern, department manager, or consumer research coordinator. The internship may be paid or unpaid.