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Career Outlook for Individuals with a Degree in Retail Management and Merchandising

Career News February 21, 2016

Retail and management degrees are offered at both undergraduate and graduate levels. Generally, the degree focuses on management and marketing skills for retail companies. Read this article to learn what education qualifications, skills, job outlook and the salary prospects after graduating with this degree program.

Degree Programs in Retail Management and Merchandising Overview

Most universities and colleges around the country do offer degree programs in Retail merchandising and management, although the names may vary from one institution to another. So, the degree program may also go by the names fashion merchandise management or retail management and fashion merchandising. However, the curriculum and units covered are the same in all institutions. The programs focus on topics such as store management, promotions, e-business, retail and business, financial accounting and textile management.

In most universities, students are given the options of specializing in fashion marketing, store operations management or product management. After graduation, students have the choice of either pursuing further education at a Master’s level or they may look for employment in any of the following career paths: retail store manager, merchandiser, or purchasing manager.

Career Options for those with a Retail Management and Merchandising Degree

Given that the degree program prepare students to be store and retail managers, jobs for graduates also tend to align towards these fields. For instance, you may be employed as a merchandiser, in which case, your work involves coming up with visual designs aimed at helping the retails store improve its sales. On the other hand, you can get a job as a purchasing manager.

Retail Store Manager

He or she acts as the general manager of a retail store. Therefore, the roles of a retail store manager are to ensure the operations of the store move on effectively with no hiccups. They are also responsible for employees’ schedules and affairs, as they intervene when there are wrangles among employees or when they have any other problems. Depending on the types of store they work for, retail store managers may be responsible for the entire store or for just one department.


They are also known as merchandise managers. They select the color and trend to be associated with certain products besides overseeing the purchase of products in the retail store. Finally, they act as marketing managers in retail stores.

Purchasing Manager

Purchasing managers observe customer purchasing trends and behaviors, make forecasts about what goods are going to be in demand in the future, then helps in ordering these goods in advance. In other words, purchasing managers influence how much profits the retail stores will make in the future.

Job Outlook and Salary Details

Jobs for sales managers are predicted to rise within the next few years at a rate of five percent while jobs for purchasing agents and merchandisers are expected to rise at a slightly slower rate of two percent, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). On the other hand, estimates that in 2014, merchandisers earned an average annual salary of $38,000 while retail store mangers earned $41,270. Finally, purchasing managers earned a relatively higher annual salary of $61,849.

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