Most employers require a bachelor’s degree in supply chain management, logistics or a related discipline for this occupation. At least seven years of progressive experience in a distribution center leading into a managerial role is also required. Grocery distribution managers work directly with customers to ensure accurate and timely deliveries, which requires excellent customer service skills.
A grocery distribution manager oversees and directs the delivery of perishable and non-perishable goods to grocery stores from a distribution center. This includes developing and maintaining financial budgets, supervising staff and managing the overall operations of one or several distribution facilities. The Bureau of Labor Statistics estimated wages for these professionals in the grocery and related product merchant wholesaler industry in May 2010.
The average salary was $82,190 per year for this occupation, according to the bureau. Because a distribution manager plays a critical role in customer satisfaction and the organization’s profitability, some employers offer bonuses. Bonuses are often based on the manager’s ability to stay within the established financial budget and the organization’s overall revenue.
The salary for grocery distribution managers varies based on factors such as experience and the size of the distribution operation. The salary ranged from $46,340 to $125,910 per year, including the bureau’s 10th through 90th percentiles. The 25th percentile of grocery distribution managers earned $57,940 per year and the 75th percentile earned $95,520 per year.
The bureau expects about 4 percent growth for in the wholesale trade industry between 2008 and 2018, which includes grocery products distribution. Growth in this industry is slower than 11 percent growth for all industries combined. New technology, such as radio frequency identification systems and e-commerce, will allow organizations to become more automated, requiring fewer workers. Distribution managers skilled using these technologies should experience good job opportunities.