What Does a Retail Category Manager Do?

Learn About the Salary, Required Skills, & More


A retail category manager is an in-save expert inside the visible merchandising, pricing, control, and sales of a exact institution of merchandise. This expertise is key to using pricing, product show, advertising and marketing, and promotions of sure products to lead them to incredibly seen, reachable, and appealing to customers.

Successful retail category managers contribute to the profitability of a business enterprise with the aid of growing the volume of products which are bought and by means of enhancing the velocity of stock turnover inside the category. They often help in or take rate of ordering, pricing, and organizing products. They can be liable for several categories of products, or they may focus on a few gadgets within a class.

Retail Category Manager Duties & Responsibilities

A retail class supervisor's major responsibilities and duties encompass:

  • Vendor management
  • Product choice
  • Product blend
  • Product pricing
  • Product show
  • Marketing
  • Planning
  • Inventory control

Retail category managers are often responsible for negotiating pricing, delivery, and charge terms, all of which can have an effect on the retail income margin of the goods and the man or woman retail keep. They're chargeable for setting competitive price points and adjusting expenses to boom income and to clean out stagnant objects from inventory.

Balancing projected forecasts and real income, retail category managers create trend forecasts and implement income plans. Financial evaluation is likewise part of those duties.

Retail Category Manager Salary

A retail class manager's earnings can range based totally on process place and experience inside the discipline. Retail category managers are members of the management crew, so their salaries are often supplemented by way of overall performance bonuses, profit sharing, and on occasion sales commissions. Benefits programs usually consist of medical health insurance and reductions on keep products.

  • Median Annual Salary: $84,236 ($forty two.12/hour)
  • Top 10% Annual Salary: $116,635 ($fifty six.07/hour)
  • Bottom 10% Annual Salary: $fifty three,949 ($25.94/hour)

Source: PayScale, 2019

Education, Training & Certification

Those seeking out careers as retail category managers should ideally have college degrees and related enjoy.

  • Education: Although it is feasible for a class manager to upward thrust thru the ranks of a retail agency, a bachelor’s diploma in enterprise, retailing, management, sales, or advertising and marketing is often required. Completing a Master of Business Administration (MBA) diploma or taking a few postgraduate guides can provide a bonus over other applicants, particularly if the sector of study is in vending or retail control.
  • Certification: Obtaining certification via the Category Management Association (CMA) may be an advantage in the course of the hiring manner.
  • Experience: Retail category managers aren't continually required to have previous control experience, however having a strong heritage in vending and vendor relationships are viewed favorably. Additional revel in with product buying, economic evaluation, and stock manage is ideal. Specific knowledge with income and advertising products within the merchandise class is a valuable revel in. A working know-how of the goods, client desires, shopping for practices, income dreams, and the retail surroundings related to the merchandise category is useful.

Retail Category Manager Skills & Competencies

Certain qualities and talents will assist you prevail as a retail class manager:

  • Management abilties: A successful retail category manager should be skilled in difficult and tender management talents, analytical and retail control abilties, as well as people courting abilties.
  • Analytical abilities: Retail category managers should be analytical and realistic to manage the numbers part of their process effectively.
  • Interpersonal skills: A a success retail class manager needs to be intuitive and personable to manage relationships.
  • Problem-fixing skills: Retail class managers are multi-taskers and effective trouble solvers which are involved in multiple tiers of the retail system.
  • Negotiating capabilities: Retail category managers use good judgment and expertise in negotiations and projections. Good intuition is as precious as exact analysis in this position.
  • Attention to element: Exceptional organizational abilities and attention to detail are important.
  • Communication skills: Excellent verbal exchange capabilities, each written and verbal, are critical while handling carriers and coworkers.

Job Outlook

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, job growth within the retail income region, in fashionable, is anticipated to be about 2% thru 2026. This is slower than the common for all occupations and is attributed to an increase in on-line sales and a corresponding lower in brick-and-mortar retail stores.

Work Environment

Although a great part of a retail category manager's paintings takes area backstage, frequently in an office, they spend some time on the ground as properly. Retail stores tend to be smooth, appealing, and well-maintained with an eye fixed towards beautiful and engaging clients.

Work Schedule

This occupation conforms to regular business hours, however it is able to require beyond regular time in some conditions.

How to Get the Job


CareerBuilder offers process listings particularly for this profession.


Workable will instruct you with a summary of questions you could probably anticipate, at the side of a few different recommendations.

Comparing Similar Jobs

Some comparable jobs and their median annual pay encompass: 

Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2018