Ready to Operate

There are two broad types of retailing jobs: merchandising and operations.

Positions in merchandising have titles such as Buyer, Merchandiser, etc. These people work at the company’s headquarters and are responsible for deciding which items to carry in the stores, how to present them, how to price them, and how to advertise.

Positions in operations have titles such as Department Manager, Store Manager, District Manager, etc. These people work in the stores and are responsible for managing the stores and scheduling and supervising store employees.

Most retailers have one headquarters and many stores, so the majority of career opportunities in retailing are in store management (i.e., operations).

How Many Jobs Are Available?

Quite a few. These jobs are available through Rockwell Career Services, personal networking, and want ads.

Who Is It Good For?

Retail merchandising is a good career choice if: the idea of choosing and presenting retail merchandise appeals to you; you think you have good judgment about what merchandise will sell; and you will be comfortable working with numbers that relate to product sales rates and profit margins.

Retail operations is a good career choice if: you like being in stores; you like the idea of running your own operation with your own employees; you have the firmness and fairness needed to manage employees effectively; and you are willing to make a commitment to great customer service.

Suggested Courses

Courses recommended for students interested in retailing are as follows:

Suggested courses:

  • MARK 4362, Applied Buyer Behavior
  • MARK 4365, Introduction to Digital Marketing
  • MARK 4368, Pricing
  • MARK 4367, Advertising and Promotion Management
  • MARK 4339, Database Marketing

Students interested in retail operations positions are advised to enroll in relevant HRMA courses.

These courses should improve your skills in: managing retail merchandise and operations; understanding buyers; pricing merchandise; managing communications and promotions; managing service; and analyzing customer information.