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Retail Management Degree

Any business trying to sell products requires the expertise of retail and merchandising professionals. Retail refers to the sale of items to consumers while merchandising is the process of pricing, packaging and marketing items to create greater appeal among consumers. In order to build a career in retail and merchandising you need to be knowledgeable about retail operations and brand management. A professional in this field is required to be trained in buying stocks, managing inventory, strategizing, predicting consumer trends and pricing seasonal products.

How Long Does It Take to Complete a Retail Management Degree?

Many schools in the US, such as Phoenix College, Arizona State University and Ashford University, are offering a degree or specialization in Retail Management. Students can enroll in a 2-year Associate of Applied Science (AAS) in Retail Management or a 4-year long Bachelor of Arts (B.A) in Service Management with a specialization in Retail Management. These programs prepare individuals to pursue mid-level management positions in a variety of industries.

What Are the Requirements to Complete a Retail Management Degree?

Students enrolled in Associate of Applied Science (AAS) in Retail Management have to complete around 61 to 63 credits and those enrolled in the Bachelor of Arts (B.A) in Service Management with a specialization in Retail Management have to complete around 120 credits. The curriculum covers a variety of topics such as Introduction to Advertising, Principles of Retail Management, Retail Pricing Management and Retail Merchandising.

How Much Can I Make after Completing a Retail Management Degree?

After graduating, individuals can find employment as Sales Managers and Retail Business Analysts. Data published by the US Bureau of Labor Statistics indicates that Sales Managers had an annual median pay of $124,220 in May 2018. Forecasts suggest that the job opportunities in this specific field are likely to grow by 5% between 2018 and 2028, which will create 20,600 more jobs in the field.

Retail and Merchandising Degrees and Programs

There are countless products being offered by companies in every category. Due to the cut-throat competition in the marketplace, companies require retail and merchandising experts who can forecast, purchase and market their items successfully to consumers. Formal training in this particular field can be found through a range of programs being offered at each level of education. You can choose from Associate’s, Bachelor’s or Master’s programs related to retail, sales management and merchandising. While some programs focus solely on retail and merchandising, some such as the Master of business Administration (MBA) programs may offer retail or sales management as a concentration. The higher the level of education you have, the more successful you are likely to be. Some relevant programs include:

  • Associate in Fashion Merchandising
  • BS in Retail Management
  • BS in Sales and Sales Management
  • BBA in Retail Management
  • MBA in Retail Management

Areas of Study in Retail and Merchandising

Retail and merchandising degrees offer a variety of subjects to students which will teach them the ins and outs of the field. Students learn to analyze markets, predict consumer behavior in terms of what will be popular and market products. Some of the courses taught include:

  • Pricing and promotions
  • marketing techniques
  • Advertising
  • Distribution
  • Merchandise planning
  • Finance and accounting
  • Logistics
  • Supply chain management
  • Buying
  • Fashion marketing and merchandising

Retail and merchandising professionals are also required to have excellent organizational and communication skills as they need to coordinate a wide range of activities and communicate with vendors, designers, managers and many others. These are also taught during the course of retail and merchandising programs. Usually a retail internship also has to be completed in order to graduate.

Careers in Retail and Merchandising

Retail and merchandising degrees can provide you with the knowledge and skills on which you can build a successful career. There are a wide variety of positions available to retail and merchandising graduates. These include roles such as:

  • Purchasing manager
  • Sales manager
  • Marketing manager
  • Retail operations manager
  • Fashion merchandising manager
  • Advertising manager

Anywhere that products are being sold is a potential employer for a merchandising and retail professional. Retail experts can find employment in a variety of settings including boutiques and large department stores. Depending on the level of education and experience, retail and merchandising managers can earn between 30,000 to 65,000 US dollars on average. With added experience, more senior management positions can become available leading to a higher salary.

Frequently Asked Question(s)

Q:How many credits are there in the MBA Retail and Merchandising?

A:The MBA in Retail and Merchandising has around 60 credits.

Q:Why should I opt for the Retail and Merchandising Master degree program?

A:Retail and Merchandising are key components of any product being manufactured in the industry since it requires retailing and distribution of the product irrespective of what the product is. Hence, retail and merchandising graduates are in high demand by majority of the industrial organizations. And with the growing demand, the competition within graduates is increasing every year. Hence, it's better to have a competitive edge in the job market to score a job of your choice alongside improved salaries and fringe benefits which is offered by the Masters in Retail and Merchandising Degree.

Q:Which is the shortest program amongst the online Retail and Merchandising degrees?

A:The shortest online Retail and Merchandising degree consists of the Associate in Retail and Merchandising. It is a two year degree program, however, online students can complete it in as much time as they want. Students are taught the basic necessary concepts relating the field and are encouraged to take up internship programs for practical application of the concepts.

Q:Retail and merchandising degrees will help me learn about what?

A:In a retail and management degree, you will learn about different principles of merchandising and retail. The coursework will basically depend upon the level of degree being pursued. However, important topics such as the following are usually covered: consumer behavior, design and aesthetics, marketing and promotions, leadership, multi-channel retailing, and technology.

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