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Important concepts to learn during an MBA in Retail Management

Blog Date
July 1,

Retail management refers to the process of overseeing and coordinating the operations of a retail business to ensure its smooth functioning and profitability. It involves various aspects such as merchandise planning and buying, inventory management, store layout and design, sales and customer service, staff management, and marketing. Retail managers are responsible for creating a positive shopping experience for customers, maximizing sales, and effectively managing resources. 

Is a career in retail management any good? 

A career in retail management can be rewarding and dynamic. Here are some key aspects of a career in retail management: 

  • Diverse job roles: Retail management offers a wide range of job roles and opportunities for career growth. Starting from entry-level positions, individuals can progress to roles such as store manager, regional manager, or even senior executive positions within retail organizations. 
  • Customer interaction: Retail management involves direct interaction with customers. It provides the opportunity to understand consumer behavior, build relationships, and provide personalized service. Strong interpersonal and communication skills are essential for success in this field. 
  • Operational management: Retail managers oversee various operational aspects of a retail business, including inventory control, supply chain management, visual merchandising, and store maintenance. They ensure efficient processes, cost control, and adherence to quality standards. 
  • Sales and revenue generation: Retail managers play a crucial role in driving sales and revenue. They develop sales strategies, monitor performance, analyze sales data, and implement promotional activities to meet targets and maximize profitability. 
  • Team leadership: Retail managers are responsible for leading and managing a team of employees. They recruit, train, and motivate staff, ensuring high levels of performance and customer service. Effective leadership and people management skills are vital for success in this aspect. 
  • Dynamic and fast-paced environment: Retail management is known for its dynamic and fast-paced nature. Each day presents new challenges and opportunities, requiring adaptability, problem-solving skills, and the ability to work under pressure. 
  • Career progression: Retail management offers excellent opportunities for career progression. As individuals gain experience and develop their skills, they can advance to higher-level roles, take on broader responsibilities, and potentially move into senior management positions. 
  • Entrepreneurial opportunities: Retail management also provides opportunities for individuals to venture into their own retail business or franchise. With the right knowledge and skills, aspiring entrepreneurs can start their own retail ventures and work towards building successful brands. 

It’s important to note that the retail industry can be competitive, and success in retail management requires a combination of skills, including business acumen, strategic thinking, leadership abilities, and a customer-centric approach. Additionally, staying updated with industry trends, embracing technology, and continuously learning and adapting are key factors for long-term success in this field. 

Top in-demand MBA Specializations in 2023 | Online Manipal 

What is an MBA in retail management and who should do it? 

An MBA in Retail Management is for people interested in market dynamics and curious about the company’s retail strategies. It is one of the most popular specializations in MBA programs. In this, a candidate will learn about brand management, production strategies, advertising strategies, customer management, inventory management, and many more that will enhance your retail management skill.   

The MBA in retail management keeps students upbeat with international retail managerial skills and strategies, providing an edge in the employment market. As per Monster Employment Index, in India, the Retail Industry is expected to grow around 20 to 30 percent over the next five years and will create approximately 2.5 crores of jobs by 2030. An MBA in Retail Management will equip you with desired retail skills and training to open new career avenues. With the growing demand and popularity for online degrees, candidates can now opt for an online MBA in retail management from any reputed university/institute such as Manipal University Jaipur, as these degrees are treated equal to on-campus degrees. 

Also read: Is an MBA in retail management the right career choice? 

Subjects you will learn during an MBA in Retail Management 

The curriculum of an online MBA in retail management from Manipal University Jaipur is developed to impart knowledge and train aspirants in general as well as retail managerial skills. It is a two-year master’s program which is divided into four semesters.  

MBA Retail Management subjects are: 

Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP): This subject focuses on the implementation and management of integrated software systems that help streamline and automate various business processes within a retail organization. It covers areas such as inventory management, supply chain management, financial management, customer relationship management, and human resources. Students learn how to effectively use ERP systems to improve operational efficiency, enhance decision-making, and optimize resource utilization. 

Retail Customer Relationship Management: This subject explores strategies and techniques for building and maintaining strong relationships with customers in the retail industry. It covers topics such as customer segmentation, loyalty programs, personalized marketing, customer service, and data analytics. Students learn how to effectively manage customer interactions, understand consumer behavior, and implement customer-centric strategies to enhance customer satisfaction, loyalty, and retention. 

Operations Management: Operations management in retail focuses on efficiently managing the processes involved in delivering products or services to customers. It covers areas such as supply chain management, inventory control, store layout and design, logistics, and quality management. Students learn how to optimize operations to ensure smooth flow, minimize costs, improve productivity, and deliver excellent customer experiences. 

 IT in Retail: This subject explores the use of information technology (IT) in the retail industry. It covers topics such as e-commerce, point-of-sale systems, inventory management software, data analytics, digital marketing, and omnichannel retailing. Students gain an understanding of how IT can be leveraged to improve business processes, enhance customer experiences, enable data-driven decision-making, and stay competitive in the digital era. 

 International Retailing: This subject focuses on the unique challenges and opportunities associated with retail operations in the international market. It covers topics such as market entry strategies, cultural considerations, global supply chain management, international marketing, and legal and regulatory frameworks. Students learn about the complexities of operating across borders, adapting to diverse consumer preferences, and developing effective international retail strategies. 

Entrepreneurship in Retail Business: This subject explores the concept of entrepreneurship in the context of the retail industry. It covers topics such as business planning, opportunity identification, market research, financing, store location, retail branding, and risk management. Students learn how to develop and implement entrepreneurial strategies to start and manage successful retail businesses, including independent stores, franchises, or online ventures. 

Rural Retailing: This subject focuses on the unique aspects and challenges of retailing in rural areas. It covers topics such as rural market analysis, distribution networks, pricing strategies, product assortment, and reaching out to rural customers. Students gain insights into the rural consumer behavior, understand the rural retail landscape, and learn how to develop and implement effective retail strategies tailored to the rural market. 

Retail Marketing Environment: This subject explores the external factors and forces that influence the retail marketing landscape. It covers topics such as market trends, consumer behavior, competitive analysis, regulatory frameworks, economic factors, and social and cultural influences. Students gain an understanding of how the marketing environment impacts retail strategies and learn to adapt marketing plans to effectively respond to changes in the marketplace. 

Check out: MBA in retail management full course details 

Concepts that help you gain insights into Retail Management 

Retail planning 

It is a strategy formulation that will, at the same time, meet the customers’ needs and maximize the profit for the organization. It is a study of certain factors that will assist in developing an effective strategy. The following steps form part of retail planning: 

  • Study the market: For developing a realistic plan, analyze the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats of the market. This analysis will give an insight into the internal and external factors affecting the organizations and help decide the possible action plan. 
  • Customer behavior: The customer is the focal point of retail. Studying potential customers and their behaviour will help in developing strategies that are customer oriented. It is not easy to predict the customer response, but a demographic study will provide information about the customer’s background, buying habits, preferences and so on. It will help in assessing their response to the organization’s brand campaign.   
  • Set your goals: One can measure success and failure by setting up goals. Set quantifiable goals and try to avoid vague targets like increasing sales. The objectives should be reasonable and within the capacity of the store to be achieved. Giving a sales target of 10 lakhs to a small store is practically unachievable. Use SMART for goal formulation, which means objectives should be specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time bound. 
  • Implementation of strategy: It is one of the most critical steps. After setting goals, it is time to plan and implement the strategy. The crucial factors to be considered are whether the product you offer targets mass customers or belongs to a narrow niche. For example, designer handbags belong to a very specialized sector. In contrast, supermarkets target the general masses.  
  • Continuously monitor the performance: The effectiveness of a plan is assessed by comparing the outcome with the desired results. It is unnecessary to wait until the end of the month to know one’s performance. One can start comparing reports and returns and find deviations from the plan. The continuous monitoring of performance facilitates taking timely corrective actions. Remember, there will always be some factors that will be out of the control of the organizations and might impact adversely. 

Corporate communication 

It involves internal and external communication of the organizations. Companies continuously communicate with different stakeholders. These stakeholders are investors, employees, customers, vendors, media houses, etc. The two forms of corporate communication are written and oral. Press releases, promotional copies, emails, advertisements, reports, and memos are a few examples of written communications. Whereas meetings, videos, and interviews are examples of oral communications.  

Corporate communication plays a very crucial part in retail management. Retail is not just finalizing a deal or sale, it is about building relationships with customers and establishing a brand. Effective communication skills will ensure success in creating good customer relations and increased sales. A communication system will facilitate information flow within the organization. Timely exchange of information is vital for the proper functioning of the stores. The manager uses communication tools to effectively manage staff and engage them in work. A robust communication system will help employees to understand the organization’s goals and their contribution to achieving them. Other benefits will be improved customer relations, higher profits, brand building, and low employee turnover.  

Sales techniques and promotion 

The retail manager’s main aim is to increase sales, and they run different sales and promotion campaigns. The best techniques of sales promotions are those which are easily understandable by the customers, and the offer should be loud and clear to the potential buyers. Let’s look into a few of the popular sales promotion techniques: 

  • Price discounting: Under this technique, either goods are available at a discount or additional products are offered at the same price. The examples are buying one get one free, 20 percent off, etc.   
  • Coupons: This is another way of giving discounts, but it aims at encouraging repeat purchases. When a customer purchases goods, the future purchase of the same good will be at a discounted price.  
  • Free gifts: It is giving a free product along with a purchased one. It is a way of promoting newly launched goods by providing free samples. Examples are magazines giving free gifts to their regular subscribers.   
  • Competitions and prizes: Nowadays, companies run competitions for customer engagement. Generally, prizes are discount coupons, and this generates sales as winners want to redeem their prize coupons. It will also help in attracting and engaging with prospective customers. 
  • Loyalty programs: It is one of the most effective ways of retaining customers. When a customer makes a purchase, they are allotted points as per the amount paid to them. These points can be redeemed in future; this encourages customers to repurchase from the same company. 

Retail operations management 

It aims to streamline the flow of goods from manufacturing units to the final customer. It is managing retail and logistics and finding the best ways to reduce costs for the transfer of products from producer to customers. Following are the functions of retail operations management: 

  • Inventory Management: You don’t want empty shelves at your store. Proper inventory management ensures a smooth flow of goods from factories to individual retail stores. It also involves the study of sales trends, which product is selling fast, and which has low sales and the reasons for the sales, which products generate maximum profit, and so on.  
  • Customer Service: Customer satisfaction is essential for higher returns. A satisfied customer will return to the store. For this, it is important to study the needs and behaviour of the customers. It is crucial to address customer queries and at the right time, present them with goods that meet their requirements.  
  • Store Management: The display and designs of stores play a crucial role in attracting customers. If a store is not properly maintained, it will give a negative impression to the customers. The store manager should pay special attention to the display of goods, their pricing, the cleanliness of the store, and shelves should be filled back as soon as a product is sold.  

Luxury and lifestyle retailing 

Luxury retailing focuses on selling high-end products that are of high quality, high price, and generally limited editions. The luxury industry is a larger sector in the global retail market, but it is a pretty young sector in India. It is in its developing phase. As India is emerging as one of the largest consumer markets in the world, luxury product manufacturing companies are focusing on India and aiming at establishing stores and distribution channels in India.   

Customer relationship management 

It is a system that a company follows to interact with their customers. The main motive of customer relationship management is to provide better services to the customers in a minimum time. Companies use different types of software to effectively manage their customer database, and it offers various advantages: 

  • The data collected by the customer relationship management system helps in the research of consumer behaviour and sales pattern.  
  • The analysis of data collected helps in making predictions regarding consumer behaviour and market trends that helps in taking important decisions. 
  • Providing information for implementing a customer-oriented approach that focuses on meeting their needs. It will result in the creation of loyal customers. 
  • It helps in designing advertising campaigns and deciding about the promotional techniques to be used to attract customers.  

International retailing 

In simple terms, it is selling products or services to the consumer who lives in another country. We are working in a dynamic global environment, and it has made it possible for the sellers to capture retail markets of different countries. An organization can enter the international market by either merger and acquisition, entering into a joint venture, franchising, or exporting. The significant challenges faced in international retailing are  

  • The different taxation systems and double taxation on income 
  • The differences in retail practices and the strategy that is successful in the home country might not work in another country 
  • Laws and regulations of the target market country sometimes are not favorable to foreign companies or brands 
  • The cost incurred in establishing an international presence is enormous, and one should keep checking that cost should not surpass the profit earned by the global market 

Direct and network marketing 

There are two modes of marketing, and under direct marketing, the salesperson sells products to the consumer on a one-on-one basis. They don’t have to work in the store, and these salespersons can directly visit the customer’s place and deliver the product. There is no change or network created here, and the salesperson is responsible for achieving his target. Generally, the commission paid to the seller in direct marketing is much higher. In comparison, network marketing or multilevel marketing creates a kind of network of sales representatives. Here the salesperson sells to customers and parallelly recruits sales agents or representatives and earns a bonus for the sales made by new salespeople recruited by him. Both the marketing methods have their pros and cons. 

Check out: Is supply chain management important in retail industry 

Topics for project work or thesis 

It is the practical implementation of the knowledge gained by the students in the course. Students will work on different real-life-based projects and case studies that will make them confident in their chosen specializations. Here are few interesting topics that students can consider for their project or thesis: 

  • Impact of retail store design & layout on customer mind 
  • Study of retail store operations 
  • Effectiveness of promotional schemes in retail stores 
  • Customer loyalty programs its advantages and a study on loyalty programs in the organized retail sector. 
  • Emerging retail formats and strategies 
  • Foreign investment in the Indian retail Industry 
  • Study of product life cycle 
  • A study on effective supply chain practices in the organized retail sector 
  • Use of IT in retail and its impact on store operations 
  • The sustainable ways of retail management 
  • The Human resource management practices for store management  
  • What are the different pricing strategies followed by top retailers? 
  • Study of effective project management 

Career opportunities for MBA in Retail Management aspirants 

 There are vast job opportunities for a person with an MBA in retail management. There are job profiles like marketing manager, store manager, brand manager, and so on. The salary for each job profile varies accordingly, and a person with the right amount of work experience and skills gets a high salary. Following are the job profiles for an MBA in retail management graduate and the average salary they can earn. 

Job profile Details Average salary 
Marketing Manager A marketing manager organizes marketing campaigns and events. Their main responsibility is to create awareness of the products among customers. They work to generate demand, attract potential customers, and hold existing customers with good customer relationship skills.   The average salary of a Marketing Manager is around ₹ 7.0 LPA in India. Salary varies as per work experience. It can go up to ₹ 22.5 Lakhs per annum. 
Senior Operations Manager A Senior Operations Manager oversees the efficiency of the operations of the organization. They are responsible for the implementation of the right processes and practices. Their duties involve planning and executing strategies and processes for cost-effective operations.   The average salary drawn by a Senior Operations Manager is ₹ 13.5 LPA in India. It can go up to ₹ 28.0 Lakhs per annum depending upon experience and skills.  
Store Manager They are responsible for the day-to-day operations of the retail store assigned. They lead the team and make necessary decisions regarding the procurement of goods, hiring new staff, customer relation policies, and so on.  The average salary of a store manager in India is ₹ 4.0 LPA. It can go up to 9.5 Lakhs per annum depending upon experience and skills. 
Brand Manager A Brand Manager works toward establishing a brand for the company. They formulate and implement brand strategies. They are concerned with the customer’s perspective about the company. They aim to get a positive response from potential customers. The average salary of a brand manager is around ₹ 12.0 LPA. Depending upon one’s experience and skills, it can go up to ₹ 32.0 Lakhs. 
Area Manager – Retail Their core responsibility is to maximize business in their assigned regions. They set sales targets and stimulate the team to achieve desired results, and provide the necessary support for achieving targets. The average salary is ₹ 7.0 LPA. Depending upon one’s experience and skills, it can go up to ₹ 16.0 Lakhs per annum. 
Business Development Manager As a Business Development Manager, you will have to study trends, markets, and customers to identify new opportunities for the organization. They create new clients and customers for the business.    The average salary drawn is ₹ 5.7 LPA. The salary of a Business Development Manager in India ranges from ₹ 2.5 Lakhs to ₹ 15.0 Lakhs. 

Also read: How to start a career in supply chain management 

Top companies that usually hire retail management graduates 

Apart from the domestic market, there is demand for retail managers and retail management graduates in international markets. A lot of multinational companies hire MBA in retail management graduates, a few of the top recruiters are: 

  • Amazon 
  • Croma 
  • Reliance Group 
  • Tata Group 
  • Philips India 
  • ITC Retails 
  • Wills Lifestyle 
  • Shoppers Stop 
  • Flipkart 
  • eBay 
  • Blue Star 
  • Taj Group of Hotels 
  • ITC Hotels 
  • Future Group 
  • HCL 
  • Canon 
  • Panasonic 

Build essential retail management knowledge with an online MBA from Manipal University Jaipur 

Pursue UGC-entitled online MBA program from NAAC A+ rated Manipal University Jaipur (MUJ). The program is designed to equip the candidate with the necessary skills and training that will open new career avenues. MUJ offers online MBA programs with numerous in-demand and new-age specializations on the Online Manipal platform. 

The online MBA in Retail Management course will benefit professionals who are looking forward to a career change, graduates who want to get a career boost, and an entrepreneur who wants to start a retail store. Gain knowledge and valuable skills and get trained by experienced faculty members. Real-life based case studies will prepare students for the future. There are options for live and recorded classes, and one can easily revise the MBA Retail Management syllabus at their own pace using the vast and readily accessible e-learning content. 

Online Manipal’s placement assistance cell will assist students in landing their dream job by helping them in preparing for job interviews. The complete course fee is INR 1,66,000, which is INR 41,500 per semester. Students can also opt for easy financing options like zero-cost EMI. Manipal University Jaipur also runs various scholarship programs, thus making MBA accessible for everyone. The added advantage is the free access to paid courses on Coursera; Start your journey of an MBA in Retail Management from Manipal University Jaipur and prepare for better career opportunities. 


The Indian economy is growing, and it is projected that the retail industry will continue to grow in the upcoming years. A person with a specialization in retail management will be able to take advantage of this growing industry. The course will impart knowledge that will prepare aspirants for working in the dynamic retail market. The program is designed to provide real-life experiences and case studies that will help in the effective implementation of knowledge gained in the course. Retail management is for students as well as for professionals who want to either change their job roles or wish to climb corporate leadership. One can choose an online MBA in retail management and get a master’s degree without leaving the job. 

 If you have a flare for brand management, customer relationship management, and designing sales strategies, an MBA in Retail Management is for you. 


Information related to companies and external organizations is based on secondary research or the opinion of individual authors and must not be interpreted as the official information shared by the concerned organization.

Additionally, information like fee, eligibility, scholarships, finance options etc. on offerings and programs listed on Online Manipal may change as per the discretion of respective universities so please refer to the respective program page for latest information. Any information provided in blogs is not binding and cannot be taken as final.

  • TAGS
  • Master of Business Administration
  • Online MBA
  • online MBA courses in India
  • retail management

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