In order to become a retail regional manager, it is important to have management experience in the field of retail. It is especially helpful to have experience working with the kinds of retail merchandise that the company hiring for the regional manager position specializes in. For example, an ideal candidate for a regional manager position for a shoe company should have experience in retail management and experience with footwear. Also, in order to become a retail regional manager, it is useful to have experience as a sales associate. This is because sales associates make up the majority of the staff in retail stores, so understanding the perspective of these workers is very useful for managers.
Working as an assistant manager or an assistant regional manager also can be helpful. Either position would be a useful stepping stone for someone working to become a retail regional manager. By being an assistant regional manager or simply an assistant to the regional manager of a retail company, the worker can see the ins and outs of the position and learn how the regional manager operates and manages duties.
In fact, it is common that assistants are promoted to their superior's position when the person whom they assist retires or moves on to another position, either within the company or elsewhere. As such, being an assistant often positions an employee to become a retail regional manager. If, however, the regional manager shows no signs or retiring or moving to another position, the position of assistant can be held for two to three years before the assistant moves on to become a retail regional manager for another company.
For anyone who really wants to become a retail regional manager, taking classes in business and sales is quite useful. If there are course offerings specific to one's industry, taking those is useful as well. Also, courses in management are quite helpful and can offer the skills and knowledge that one will need in order to become a retail regional manager. All of these courses can be taken while working toward an associate's degree in business or management or a bachelor's degree in business and management. It is useful for students to get experience at lower levels in retail while they are still in school.