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Top 11 MBA Careers In Retail

February 21, 2017 1:24 pm0 commentsViews: 223
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MBAs and Other Business Programs for Working Professionals

Retail has long been seen as one of the safest industries to work for, setting it apart from others, such as information technology or banking. The reason is that people will always have a need for certain commodities, regardless of the state of the economy. This is why, although there was certainly an effect on retail during the financial crisis of 2008, as a result of decreased customer spending, it was also one of the first sectors to recover. If you have an MBA degree, obtaining a career in management within the retail sector may be a good choice. So what are the top MBA careers in retail?

1. Retail Manager

The most obvious entry point into the retail industry is the role of retail manager. Retail managers essentially manage a certain store or a certain element of an overall business. It requires knowledge in general areas of business, administration, HR, finance, marketing, which is exactly what an MBA equips you with.

2. Store Marketing Manager

All stores have to be engaged in branding and marketing exercises in order to attract customers and build their brand. Store marketing managers are responsible for the development, implementation, and review of these efforts. In many cases, they work with external partners, including specific brands, and the marketing efforts then have to reflect this joint effort. They also track and analyze consumer spending on each campaign, to determine the return on investment and what lessons can be learned for future activities.

3. Store Technology Manager

A lot of people forget that stores have a strong focus on technology. This is because consumers simply want to come in, pick their products, pay for them, and leave again. In reality, however, stores have huge technological requirements. Being able to accept a variety of payment methods, having their cash registers linked up to a central inventory database, using barcodes, and more, are just some examples of standard technology used within stores. Furthermore, an increasing number of stores now offer free WiFi to its customers, and they offer promotions through text messages. Lastly, various forms of technology are used to analyze consumer behavior, for all of which the store technology manager has responsibility.

4. Store Manager

Store managers hold responsibility for every operational task within the store, ensuring that it can function properly. This is a highly coordinating role, in which they manage different teams to make sure they can all work together properly. This includes ensuring that the right staff are available at the right time and in the right place, and that the right products are in inventory.

5. Category Manager

Store managers and category managers may seem very similar, but they are in fact quite different. Category managers have a strong focus on inventory levels in a certain category of operations. They must ensure that enough stock is available at all times – not too much and not too little. If there is too much inventory, the company will operate at a loss due to having to pay for increased warehouse space or, in the case or perishable goods, having to get rid of certain products. If there is too little inventory, customers will have to be turned away, destroying their trust in the company. As such, category managers can be better compared to supply chain managers than a store managers.

6. Luxury Goods Manager

As the name suggests, these managers are in charge of the luxury goods held by the company. This role is about being creative, while at the same time having the right brain skills supplied by the MBA degree. Luxury goods and brands like Louis Vuitton, Hennessy, and Chanel have a requirement for those who understand the high finance environment in which they operate, and the basics of being a retail store as well.

7. Buying Manager

Buying managers make sure that the right products are brought into the company. This role is most commonly seen within the department, grocery, and drug stores, where they will work closely with external partners, rather than developing their own product. The goal is to make sure the right products are purchased, at a price that customers find affordable, while still leaving the company with a profit.

8. Pricing Manager

Pricing managers work closely with the buying manager. In smaller retail organizations, they are often one and the same person. They determine what the cost of an individual items should be in order to make sure the company can be profitable after all the expenses have been deducted.

9. Personnel Manager

All MBA degrees, regardless of your chosen concentration, have a core element of human resources management included in it. Retail stores have an equally big demand for human resources and specialists to manage this, as any other industry. Taking on a position of human resource or personnel manager within a retail store is all about finding the right staff for the right positions, while focusing on issues such as retention, succession planning, promotion, benefits, staff rotas, and disciplinary procedures.

10. Customer Service Manager

No retail operation will ever be able to be successful without strong customer service management. The customer is king and the customer is always right, are two statements that all retail organizations continue to live by. This means that a customer service manager focuses on how a business treats its customers and how that can be improved overall. This includes implementing new customer service agreements, including setting up social media websites and training personnel on how to manage customers who have problems.

11. Training Manager

Training managers work closely with the HR manager to ensure all staff are trained properly. Within the field of retail, training often includes the different technologies that are being used on the shop floor, such as the price scanners and tills. However, other forms of training include assertiveness, product training, technology training, manual handling training, and a variety of other forms of training.

As can be seen from above, there are lots of opportunities available for an MBA graduate to become involved in the retail industry. The exact role that would be most suitable would depend on personal skills and interests, but most roles within the retail industry need, as a minimum, the generalized skills that someone with an MBA has.

Time to start your search and find an affordable online MBA degree program from accredited only schools.