Store managers oversee the daily operations of retail outlets. Programs in store management are available at the associate's, bachelor's and master's degree levels. In 2-year associate's degree programs, students take introductory courses in business and retailing and are equipped for entry-level positions such as associate manager. More advanced business coursework is taken in a bachelor's degree program, along with more in-depth retail courses such as merchandising. An emphasis is also placed on leadership and management practices. Graduates are generally qualified for department and store management positions.
Master's degree students develop advanced knowledge in areas such as marketing, merchandising and organizational management in order to effectively manage single or chain retail outlets in senior-level positions. Master's degree studies in retail or store management can be found as an area of concentration in Master of Business Administration programs or in stand-alone programs such as merchandising. Master's degree candidates examine the application of core business administration principles in the retail setting. An internship may be required to graduate.
A high school diploma or its equivalent is a prerequisite to enroll in an associate's or bachelor's degree program, and a bachelor's degree in a related field is required to enroll in a master's degree program.
Associate of Applied Science in Retail Management
These programs generally focus on core management theories and technical electives in order to provide learners with an overview of effective retail outlet management.
This A.A.S. program comprises classes that emphasize fundamental managerial theories and their application in a variety of retail settings. Possible subjects covered in the curriculum are:
- Introduction to retailing
- Business math
- Retail employee management
- Business communications
Bachelor of Science in Business Administration, Retail Management Specialization
Areas of focus include accounting, merchandising, business law and personnel management. The curriculum includes classes in strategic decision making as well as technical coursework in areas such as economics, promotions and store management. A field experience allows students to apply their knowledge in a retail setting. Course topics may include:
- Strategic decision-making
- Organizational leadership
- Marketing, merchandising and advertising
- Retail analytical tools and techniques
Master's Degree Program for Store Management
Possible awards granted at the conclusion of a program include the Master of Science in Business Administration (with a focus on retail management), M.S. in Hospitality and Retail Management or M.S. in Merchandising.
Applicants typically must hold a bachelor's degree in business or a closely related field from an accredited college or university. Candidates generally are required to have completed undergraduate coursework in areas such as finance, marketing and business leadership.
These graduate degree programs generally contain classes that combine theoretical and practical application of business administration principles for use in the retail sector. Many programs focus on the economics of business decisions and operations management. Course topics may include:
- Retail strategy
- Consumer behavior
- Merchandising strategies
- Retail buying and control
- Customer relationship management
Popular Career Options
Graduates of an undergraduate program are generally equipped to seek managerial positions in a variety of business settings. Some career options include:
- Department manager
- Buying and product manager
- Store manager
Employment and Salary Information
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported that employment of supervisors of retail sales workers was expected to decrease by 2% in the period of 2018-2028. According to the BLS, the annual average salary for retail sales supervisors as of 2018 was $45,080.
Career Information for Master's Graduates
Job applicants holding a master's degree are generally qualified to seek advanced positions in retail and store management. In 2018, the BLS reported that the annual average salary for purchasing managers, including merchandising managers, was $125,630.
Associate's, bachelor's, and master's degree programs all are available for those seeking education programs related to store management.