Retail management is a subject that requires you to be fully aware of brands, marketing strategies, and retail philosophies behind winning the customer.
This is one industry that works clearly on the paradigm, “Customer is King”. The next time you enter a Reliance Fresh supermarket or a Big Bazaar to buy a commodity of your choice, try and analyze the various discount prices being offered. The systems these days are super fast and dynamic and totally computerized. Unlike in the past where you had a grocery or a kirana shop selling you products and commodities at higher prices, now almost everything comes for a discount! It is the sale season for no proper reason! Right from factory outlets to supermarkets, some brand or the other would offer you discounts to beat and win the competition.
What to study :
You will basically need to clear the CAT (Common Aptitude Test) for getting into prestigious colleges such as the IIMs or clear GMAT (General Management Aptitude Test) to get admitted to foreign universities for pursuing MBA.
Some of the best institutes offering courses in retail management are: MDI Gurgaon and NMIMS University, Mumbai. You would have to appear for entrance exams to get admitted to these colleges.
As a student, pursuing a course in retail management would equip you with knowledge in the following areas overall:
1. Introduction to Retail Management and Concepts
2. Retailing trends
3. Retail Market Segmentation
4. Retail Pricing and merchandising
5. Relationship Marketing in Retailing
6. Role of Information Technology in Retailing
All other topics are a subset of either of these or are related subtopics.
The job options in the retail field are quite interesting for a college graduate. You may start working as a sales executive or be directly employed as a sales manager or a marketing manager and even start a retail business of your own by becoming a franchisee of another big player in the retail business!
The pay packet for a sales executive or a floor manager averages anywhere between Rs. 15,000 and Rs. 25,000 depending on the magnitude of business you handle. Your responsibilities would primarily include managing people on the floor and assisting them with purchases.
At a corporate level, you may work as business development officer as well.
Companies such as Reliance, Big Bazaar, Vishal Mega Mart, and the newly started Star Bazaar make millions of rupees per day owing to the sheer volume of products and commodities they sell. Besides these companies, apparel leaders such as Westside and Pantaloons, shoemakers such as Regal, Metro and Bata use different strategies to market their products and come up with creative methods to sell their brands.
In this context, the summer, spring, winter sales and discounts hold much importance. The rise and fall of stocks and shares of these brands entirely depends on the monthly and annual sales.
• There are several foreign retail chains from countries like Germany, the US and the UK which are opening up stores in India every year. As a result, these have generated many opportunities for job seekers.
• The retail systems in general are very colourful and exciting. Individuals pursuing a job in this industry get wide exposure and an opportunity to interact with different kinds of people.
• Some retail outlets hire individuals who are simply graduates and do not ask for an MBA degree or any specific qualification in retail management. Sometimes, this may lead to inconsistencies in people’s careers.
• Certain brands that don’t do well in the market sometimes downsize their business and layoff employees. This is a risk factor often associated with the retail business.
The employees hired by retail companies are usually known as floor managers, floor executives, lobby managers et al. At a corporate level, they would be called sales managers or marketing managers.
Nonetheless, the growth and expansion of the retail industry has seen the upsurge of plenty of malls, supermarkets, movie theatres, and hypermarkets for the general public. Though the products they see are different, the basic functionality remains the same, of capturing customers’ hearts.
These are the top 10 retail companies in India: Shopper’s Stop, Westside, Pantaloons, Lifestyle, RPG Retail, Crossword, Wills Lifestyle, Globus, Piramals and Ebony Retail Holdings