Postgraduate courses in Retail Management

Close to 3 million people are employed in retail in the UK with the sector raking in over £394 million in 2019. There must be plenty of great management within those stores!

We walk into a clothes shop or in to do the food shop and don’t bat an eyelid as to who designed the layout of the products? Who is in charge of making sure the bread and milk and bread there for when I need it? It’s easy to take these people for granted when we don’t necessarily see them on the shop floor every day. 

If you think it’s something you’d be good at, take a look at the information below. 

What is retail management?

Retail management is the process which helps customers to obtain their desired products and merchandise from retail stores that fulfill their personal needs and are up to the required standard. Effective retail management can also drive business goals and profits. 

There is a great emphasis on customer relationship management, brand management and sales management. 

What does a retail manager do?

Retail managers are responsible for the day to day management of shops and retailers. Typical daily some activities of a retail manager include:

  • Ordering stock
  • Staff wages
  • Product display decisions
  • Shop layout 
  • Setting sales targets
  • Motivating and managing staff
  • Good communication with staff and customers
  • Ensure efficiency and increase sales
  • Make key decisions about stock control
  • Forward plan for the business
  • Respond to customer complaints and comments
  • Organize promotions, displays and events 
  • Maintain awareness of market trends

Courses

There are quite a few courses to choose from under the retail management umbrella. Retail covers a range of different shop types so there are courses to be found in particular types of retail such as seen below. Full course details can be found on University websites and course overviews. Some courses also give an option of studying full time or part time. 

Examples of courses you can find are:

Retail Management

Postgraduate retail management courses give students the opportunity to take their careers in retail to a higher level. A course in retail management focuses on the skills required to tackle complex, strategic business challenges facing businesses in today’s world in order to prepare students to take on a career at senior management level. A knowledge of different management and supply chains, skills and knowledge of retail management and systematic approached to understanding business issues may all be covered. 

Fashion Retail Management

A course specifically tailored to fashion retail management is usually aimed at students who wish to pursue a management or creative career in fashion retailing. These courses encompass digital and new media practices to encourage multi channel practices, innovation in coming up with solutions and effective communication. A course in retail management, specifically fashion, aims to exploit the potential of physical and virtual retailers. 

Entry requirements

Like most fields, the individual courses may have differing entry requirements. Some courses require a second class honours (2.1) in business or a related discipline while others may consider applications on an individual basis. This depends on the course and/or University providing the course. Experience in the retail industry is very important also in order to adapt to the fast pace environment which you may find yourself in.

You can find entry requirements for each course on the course overview online or on University websites. 

Salary Expectation

Salaries in a lot of jobs can increase and change with experience. The salary of a retail manager in the UK can also differ depending on the company you may work for and bonuses you may receive. To give an example of the difference, three companies and the average annual salary of their retail managers are listed below. 

  • Lidl Retail Manager: £37,000
  • eRecruitSmart Retail Manager: £48,652
  • Listers Group Limited Retail Manager: £53,333

Skills and requirements 

Important skills to have as a retail manager include:

  • Strong management skills
  • Strong communication skills
  • Work well with others
  • Work on own initiative
  • Confident in own ability
  • Strong customer service
  • Problem solver
  • Organised
  • Leadership skills
  • Be able to work under pressure in a fast paced environment

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