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Retail Distribution Manager: Job Description & Career Info

Learn about the education and training requirements for retail distribution managers. Find information about logistical duties, job outlook and earnings potential here.

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Career Definition for a Retail Distribution Manager

Retail distribution managers oversee the logistics of moving retail products from warehouses to vendors and suppliers, which includes meeting an organization's requirements for supply and demand. They may also manage warehouse teams and interact with vendors and suppliers.

Education/Experience High school diploma and five years of experience; a bachelor's degree may be required for some positions
Job Skills Communication, accounting, computer, management, and organizational
Median Salary (May 2015)* $86,630
Job Growth (2014-2024)* 2% (transportation, storage, and distribution managers)

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS)

Required Education

Entry-level requirements for retail distribution managers include a high school diploma and five years of experience in the field. However, a bachelor's degree in distribution management and technology, logistics and supply management or business administration may be required for some positions.

Skills Required

Retail distribution managers need excellent communication skills, not only to deal with internal staff, but also to negotiate with vendors and suppliers. Accounting, computer, management and organizational skills are also essential.

Career and Salary Outlook

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), transportation, storage and distribution managers will experience a 2%, or slower-than-average, growth in jobs nationwide from 2014 to 2024. Additionally, the BLS noted that the median annual salary for distribution managers was $86,630 in May 2015 (www.bls.gov).

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Alternate Career Options

A couple of careers similar to retail distribution management are profiled below.

Cargo and Freight Agents

Cargo and freight agents, who work in air, train or truck stations, are responsible for routing outgoing shipments in an expeditious and timely manner. Their duties include processing orders and bills of lading, calculating charges and duties and transporting shipments to docks and loading platforms. A high school diploma is the minimum educational requirement for securing a position; cargo and freight agents also receive short-term training on the job. Nationwide, job opportunities are expected to increase by an average rate of 7% from 2014-2024 for cargo and freight agents, who earned median annual wages of $41,870 in May 2015, according to the BLS.

First-Line Supervisors of Retail Sales Workers

Retail sales supervisors oversee the activities of department or store associates. Management duties may include those related to bookkeeping, budgeting or personnel. Entry-level employment typically requires a high school diploma and five years or less of supervisory experience. Across the country, employment prospects are projected to grow by a slower-than-average rate of 4% from 2014-2024 for first-line retail supervisors, who were paid median salaries of $38,310 in May 2015, as reported by the BLS.

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