Supermarket Career Path – Retail Job Position Flowchart

Hi guys, have been getting asked what the Supermarket position structure looks like a bit recently, so I’ve put this together for you to assist in planning your Retail Career in Supermarkets.

This Supermarket job position flow chart will give you an idea of what positions you need to be moving to in order to progress up the chain towards Store Management. As I’ve said before, a retail career can be quite lucrative when you are in management (check out the Pay grade for Supermarket Retail Management positions within Australia), with Store Managers of Coles or Woolworths typically on a six figure salary of $100k+, plus generous bonuses for achieving their business targets.

This is a typical progression model – starting from the bottom.

In some stores the pecking order may seem different, ie a Duty Manager in some stores may seem lower than Department Managers, if there are Senior Department managers and a younger/newer Duty Manager. However the path below is how it generally works. It is important to note that there are some positions that are kind of senior, but are a lot harder to progress up from, such as a Bakery Manager or Deli Manager.

When planning your career or pushing for promotion, it is KEY to know which position you should be aiming for next and clearly communicate that to the Store Manager or your Line Manager to make sure you are progressing your career as quickly as possible. For instance, going from Bakery 2IC to Produce 2IC holds little value in your career path, and it will ultimately take longer to make it to a Department Manager position. However going from Bakery 2IC to Grocery 2IC would be a correct move.

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You should be seeking to only do one position at each of the levels below, before moving to a position at the next level. Note the flow chart is horizontally tiered, you don’t need to move to position directly above, just any of the positions on each horizontal line above.

Wherever possible, you should also seek to skip a level. Your best opportunity for skipping a level is moving from Department 2IC to Manager of that Department. This will be much harder to do for a Grocery Manager position though.

Click image to enlarge

The Future  Rich - Retail Career Domination

There is actually a fast track path to move through the ranks to Store Manager in the shortest amount of time, I will put together a short (free) ebook soon with the Fast Path detailed inside in the coming weeks.

If any questions, please let me know in the comments, I read every one – aj

*You are welcome to link to this page, or if you wish to use this image you may – if you link back to this site with a follow link*

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  1. Sandeep says

    Hello there AJ, thank you for the information,, my question is why does going from Bakery 2IC to Produce 2IC hold little value in the career path?

    Many thanks

    • says

      The reason going from Bakery 2IC to Produce 2IC hold little value in your climb up the ranks is that they are both comparable positions in a Fresh department, that are relatively specialised, so will take time to become to become a top performer. Which is just adding more time in your mission to get to the next level.

      If you are performing well as as a Bakery 2IC, the only sideways move you should make is to Dairy 2IC, which is more closely aligned with Grocery, and is a bigger, more important (Larger Sales $) area.

      But if you were a Bakery 2IC, the move you really should be aiming for is Bakery Manager, or Grocery 2IC.

      Hope that makes sense!

  2. Craig says

    Hi Aj, what would be a reasonable timeframe that one would expect to go from a Duty Manager to a Grocery/Longlife Manager?

    Thanks in advance! (love this site)

    • says

      This question really depends on the person, but I have known people that did it in 6 months, also someone that went from Dairy Manager to Grocery manager in under 12 months (Skipping Duty Manager) and I myself did about 8 months as Duty Manager before moving into the Grocery Manager role.

      So I would say a realistic timeframe for someone (that’s good) to go from Duty Mgr to Dry Goods Mgr is 6 to 12 months.

      If you let your Store Manager or Regional Manager know you are happy to go to another store, you can definitely get there in the shortest time possible.

  3. trolleyboy4life says

    Thanks for the interesting article. It is great to see it laid out like this. I am currently a Grocery Fill Lead on wages, what would be the best move for me to go after from here to get promoted into a Department Manager role as quickly as possible?

    • says

      I would recommend pushing for Grocery 2IC as first preference, or Dairy 2IC as second preference. Moving into these positions from Grocery Fill Lead is quite common, and a correct move.

  4. All Star ASM says

    Do you think it’s easier to go from Assistant Store Manager to Store Manager by jumping ship to another retailer or staying in your current company?

    • says

      This will depend on your time in the role, your performance in your role and most importantly… Your relationship with your Store Manager.

      Have a career discussion with your Store Manager to get a gauge on if he thinks you’re close to ready and what timeframe he thinks is realistic. If it’s alot longer than you agree with, and you are a good performer at a large store it may be a better option to put yourself on the market.

      If you get an offer for Store Manager somewhere else, you could expect a counter offer and a commitment to fast track you into a Store Manager if you stay, or you can take the other job, do a year or two at the other company and then jump back to your original company for another payrise.

  5. shane says

    Hi, I’ve just moved from full time salary night fill manager to duty manager, I’m confused about how the hierarchy works, my salary is more than that of the grocery manager, i believe I’am on par in terms of ranking with my grocery manager, so I’ve been told anyway, do I answer to the ssm or to the store manager?
    Thank you in advance

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