Retail manager apprenticeships - where to start
You can get into this job through
a university coursea college coursean apprenticeshipworking towards this rolea company training scheme
You could do a degree before applying to join an organisation's management training scheme. Most subjects are accepted but you may have an advantage if you study:
It's useful to gain some experience in retail during your studies. You can do this through part-time retail jobs, internships and year placement schemes.
Your university careers service can help you find suitable opportunities. You'll usually need 2 to 3 A-Levels, or equivalent, for a degree.
- retail management
- retail marketing
You could do a college course, which would teach you some of the skills and knowledge you need in this job. Relevant subjects include:
- Level 3 Diploma in Retail Skills Management
- Level 4 Diploma in Retail Management
You'll usually need 4 or 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C), or equivalent, for a Level 3 course. You'll need 1 or 2 A-Levels, a Level 3 diploma or relevant experience for a Level 4 or 5 course.
You could start off in a retail team leader Level 3 apprenticeship and work your way up, or do a retail manager higher apprenticeship or retail leadership degree apprenticeship.
You'll usually need 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C), or equivalent, including English and maths, for a Level 3 apprenticeship. You'll need 4 or 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C) and A-Levels, or equivalent, for a higher or degree apprenticeship.
You may be able to start as a retail sales assistant and work your way up through promotion to supervisor or department manager.
You could also get into this job by switching from a managerial post in a related industry like customer service. You would be given training in retail to build on your existing management experience.
Many national retailers run trainee management schemes. Some will be for people with a suitable degree.
These combine training and mentoring with work placements in different parts of the business to develop your retail knowledge, skills and leadership qualities.
Retail manager apprenticeships - what it takes
Skills and knowledge
- customer service skills
- patience and the ability to remain calm in stressful situations
- the ability to accept criticism and work well under pressure
- the ability to work well with others
- leadership skills
- to enjoy working with other people
- sensitivity and understanding
- the ability to sell products and services
- to be able to use a computer and the main software packages competently
Retail manager apprenticeships - what you'll do
- manage and motivate teams to increase sales
- oversee recruitment and training of staff
- keep track of stock and ordering
- organise sales promotions and in-store events
- deal with queries, complaints and feedback from customers
- analyse sales figures and forecast future sales
- maintain awareness of market trends and monitor competitors
- control budgets and costs
- provide reports to senior company executives
You could work at a store or in an office.
Career path and progression - Retail manager apprenticeships
With experience you could progress into area or regional management.
You could also move into more specialist areas, like customer service, training and operations management.