Careers in Grocery Store Management

Find out about the types of jobs you could pursue in grocery management. Read on to learn more about career options along with job duties and education requirements information. Schools offering Retail Management degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

What Does a Grocery Store Manager Do?

Managing a grocery store could mean supervising and training workers, presiding over a store's overall operations, or overseeing the activities of one department or product. Job titles you might find in grocery management include assistant manager, store manager and produce department manager. As the store manager, you would be in charge of the store's general operations, so your duties would range from staff hiring and training to inventory oversight to monitoring transactions. You would also be involved in customer service. In a position as an assistant manager, you would support the general manager by helping with all operations. This could include helping with purchase orders and paperwork. You might also serve as backup for cashiers or customer service representatives when the store is short-staffed. Finally, as a produce manager, you would focus specifically on the selection, storage and presentation of fresh fruits and vegetables. You would also oversee lower-level staff in the produce department, such as those who stock the shelves.

The table below outlines the general requirements for these career options.

Assistant Manager Store Manager Produce Department Manager
Degree Required Associate's degree, bachelor's or master's degree recommended Associate's degree, bachelor's or master's degree recommended Associate's degree, bachelor's or master's degree recommended
Education Field of Study Business administration Business administration Business administration
Other Requirements Supermarket or food management program possible education alternative Start in training management program as education alternative, work experience as assistant manager recommended Supermarket or food management program possible education alternative
Key Responsibilities Supervise workers, ensure company rules are obeyed, study monthly reports, order merchandise Preside over store's overall operations, establish policy, keep updated on the store's financial status, employ new workers Oversee inventory selection, schedule, train and supervise produce staff, coordinate delivery schedules, ensure produce is properly displayed
Job Growth (2014-2024) 4% (for all retail worker first-line supervisors)* 7% (for all general and operations managers)* 4% (for all retail worker first-line supervisors)*
Median Salary (2017) $46,794** $57,497** $42,017**

Source: *U.S. Department of Labor Statistics, **Payscale.com

What Job Options Do I Have in Grocery Store Management?

The grocery industry includes numerous management positions. The specific job titles vary depending upon the store or grocery chain. Large grocery stores with multiple specialized departments generally have more management positions than smaller markets.

Store managers or general managers preside over a store's overall operations and establish policy. In this job your responsibilities include keeping updated on the store's financial status, employing new workers and establishing a positive relationship with shoppers.

Department managers or first-line managers supervise, train and motivate workers in specialized sections like the deli counter, fresh produce section or the floral department. Your duties include scheduling work shifts, tracking inventory and sales, and keeping the store manager updated on the activities you oversee.

As an assistant manager you supervise workers, make sure company rules are obeyed, study monthly reports and order merchandise. Your responsibilities as a sales manager or marketing manager include creating marketing strategies after analyzing sales statistics, shoppers' preferences and demographic information.

As a category manager you become an expert in a specific type of merchandise, like pet food. You closely monitor which brands and sizes are selling or not selling. You make reordering decisions and product marketing plans based on your knowledge.

Other management titles found in grocery stores include bakery manager, floral manager, co-manager, meat market manager, store director and shift manager. The job responsibilities include training and overseeing employees, helping shoppers, setting budgets, making sure the store is safe and sanitary, and responding to shoppers' complaints.

Do I Need an Education?

The main trait that grocery stores want in new management hires is retail sales experience, preferably gained at a grocery store. But according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), a college education is becoming increasingly important in landing management jobs in the grocery industry (www.bls.gov). It is recommended that you earn a bachelor's degree or a master's degree in business administration. Other options include obtaining an associate's degree or entering a supermarket or food management program at a technical school, community college or university.

Some grocery store chains offer management training programs. An entry-level management job for someone in management training might be assistant manager, but there is room for promotion to higher management levels as you gain experience and build skills.

It is also possible to work your way up to a management job via internal store promotions. You will get experience and hone your abilities by working your way through various departments before the company promotes you to a management job or places you in a management training program.

What Salary Could I Earn?

PayScale.com reported yearly salaries made by various grocery management positions as of January 2017. The middle 80% of grocery store managers earned $36,109-$85,080. The middle 80% of assistant grocery store managers earned $28,124-$59,291. And the middle 80% of produce department managers took home $33,855-$64,662.

What Are Some Related Alternative Careers?

Instead of working as a manager of a grocery store, you might be interested in managing a food service establishment like a restaurant. Food services managers supervise staff, manage the restaurant's budget, order ingredients and oversee food preparation. The minimum educational requirement is a high school diploma. Another option is a job as a retail sales manager at a different kind of retail store, such as a department store that sells clothing. These managers are in charge of the store's sales team, and they evaluate sales statistics in order to develop and implement storewide goals. They usually need to have a bachelor's degree.

To continue researching, browse degree options below for course curriculum, prerequisites and financial aid information. Or, learn more about the subject by reading the related articles below:

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