The Tesco announcement the other day struck me that this might be an indicator of significant change in the retail industry. It seem a like store expansion as a strategy for growth is if not dead then at least significantly changed and like with many things where Tesco goes other follows. Between 2000 and 2004 Tesco added 6396 sq ft of space then the strategy was expansion.
One of the consequences of this will be less Supermarket Managers and this will continue a trend which started with many retail chains closing down. Of course it's not just Supermarket Manager but the whole retail management hierarchy of, Area manages, Regional Managers Regional Managing Directors and Country Managers that are affected.
Unless you are on a graduate training scheme you may take ten to fifteen years to progress from part time shelf-filler to shop manager of a hypermarket.
The question I pose here is, is that journey to Supermarket Manager is worth starting today in 2012?
What retail skills will be required in 2027?
I am not convinced the challenges are many, like the impact of ecommerce, Amazon does not have Area or Regional Managers. So what is the next step for Supermarket Managers of the future? The retail skills from a supermarket are not really easily transferable to where retail is going, online, mobile or beyond.
While some of the technology of the future will merge Supermarkets with other channels, not of all of them will. Of course this study quotes Best Buy and they are not employing any Managers in the UK anymore!
The disrupting influences in retail will be unlikely to have store estates like Net-a-Porter.com Look for example at Direct Line car insurance who took on the insurance agent on every high street. It's unthinkable today to drive to the high street to buy car insurance and Direct Line I am sure does not have Area Managers and example of a disrupting influence killing retail jobs.
Other changes for retail have been the railways, planning policy, centralization, the move from sole trader, moving from store accounts to credit cards, multiples, loyalty programs, ethical consumerism and the end of rationing, or even the most dangerous trend for Retail B&M Managers ever - showrooming, change is constant.
I think Supermarket Manger figures have hit their peak and are on their way down, time to up-skill or diversify?