The Truth About Retail Management
What industry comes to mind when you read the following description?
“New and experienced managers needed. Opportunity to build supervisory skills, customer service, inventory management, and budget management in a fast-paced environment.”
This description could be about any number of managerial positions, but the specific industry I was thinking about is retail.
At Workforce1, we find that when candidates think about a career in retail, their minds gravitate only to the large, clothing retailers.
We also hear some candidates say that they think retail positions are all entry-level and part-time – not a strong career pathway for highly professional managers.
Here are the facts:
- The knowledge relevant for Retail Management is not limited to fashion and clothing – but also includes electronic products, specialty food, and home improvement products, to name a sample.
- High-end, mid-range, and discount retailers have all continued to grow in the past 2-3 years in New York City. Examples include: Uniqlo, Bloomingdale’s, Apple, Whole Foods, Best Buy, Modell’s, Trader Joes, TJ Maxx.
- Retail stores generally have 25-30% of their staff in managerial positions. As companies expand, skilled managers are called upon to launch new sites.
- In the New York City market, we see a trend that large storestypically launch multiple locations throughout the five boroughs in a phased approach over a 1 to 2 year period which gives Managers a chance to take on more responsibility and be entrepreneurial.
- Work environments range from the very corporate (Bloomingdale’s) to the playful (Trader Joe’s).
- There are a lot of reasons why people are successful as Managers in retail: people are passionate about products (think Apple, Uniqlo, Trader Joes); enjoy helping customers make choices (think Whole Foods, Best Buy, Modell’s); and like fast paced environments (think all of the above).
- While evening and weekend scheduling might be more common in retail than other industries, the world is fast becoming a 24/7, technology-connected place. Fewer and fewer industries are strictly Monday to Friday, 9 to 5pm.
- Retailers are highly segmented (by product sold) and the opportunities are financially rewarding for Supervisors and Managers in nearly all segments. Salaries for Retail Managers can range from: $30,000 to over $100,000.
At Workforce1 we have made recruitment in retail management a key area of focus. We find that the dynamic environments, training opportunities, and ability to build multiple skill sets as a supervisor in a retail company to be huge assets.
The bottom line is that the skill set you can gain in a retail management position is transferable to marketing, customer service, corporate, entrepreneurial, and sales organizations. It is a great way to feel connected to a community, to learn about a company and its products, and think about future career paths in the variety of specialized segments that exist.
For more information on Workforce1 jobs in retail management visit our website at: www.nyc.gov/workforce1
Angie Kamath, who overseesWorkforce1 as the Deputy Commissioner of Workforce Development at the NYC Department of Small Business Services, will share her perspective on Workforce1 every Wednesday in her weekly Jobs in New York City column. Have a response to Angie’s column? Drop her a note in the comment section below!