Essentially, Retail Managers are the head of personnel in a retail store. They plan, organize, direct, control, and evaluate the operations of establishments that sell merchandise or services on a retail basis. Retail Managers are employed by retail sales establishments or they may be self-employed, owning and operating their own store.
As it happens with most retail-based jobs, a Retail Manager main goal is to ensure that the store earns a profit from its operations, while ensuring customer satisfaction.
- Planning, directing, and evaluating the operations of establishments specialized in retail sales or of certain departments in such establishments:
- Managing the staff and assigning their duties;
- making sure all customer complaints are addressed and handled in a professional and efficient manner;
- determining staffing requirements and hiring or overseeing the hiring of staff;
- implementing price and credit policies;
- assessing items being sold in the establishment;
- ensuring the establishment has adequate inventory, that it is merchandised properly, and that it is clean and well-maintained;
- driving sales through effective use of the retail space;
- setting sales goals;
- overseeing and managing staff members in order to ensure daily sales targets are met;
- reviewing the establishment’s performance in order to assess sales targets, labour costs, and return on sales;
- reviewing and using the monthly profit and loss statements to achieve revenue and cost budgeting; and
- completing weekly, quarterly, and monthly sales reports and ensuring sales targets are met.
- Analyzing market research and trends to determine consumer demand, potential sales volumes, and the effect of competitors’ operations on sales:
- Determining new and existing merchandise and services to be sold;
- determining the sales potential and inventory requirements of products and services;
- monitoring customers’ preferences;
- locating, selecting, and procuring merchandise for resale;
- developing and implementing marketing strategies (e.g. promotions, discounts, and sales);
- creating and implementing action plans in order to improve the store’s overall performance and maximize sales;
- projecting sales and determining the profitability of merchandise and services;
- developing and carrying out plans to acquire new customers (e.g. through direct sales techniques, cold calling, and business-to-business marketing visits);
- implementing feature displays and special events in the establishment;
- keeping up-to-date on the latest marketing and industry trends, as well as the competition’s activities; and
- understanding the local market and working to determine business growth opportunities.
- Working alongside other departments (e.g. Sales, Marketing, Operations, and Research) and managers in order to apply the best marketing strategies:
- Providing feedback to management and employees on marketing initiatives, customer trends, and product testimonials.
- Ensuring that all employees adhere to the company’s health, safety, and security policies and procedures.
- Resolving customer complaints regarding sales and service.
- Preparing budgets and approving expenditures.
- Monitoring customer preferences to determine the focus of sales efforts.
- Analyzing sales statistics.
- Applying discount rates or special pricing plans.
- Creating plans to acquire new customers.
- Managing, training, and overseeing staff.
The average Retail Manager salary is $41,430 per year or $21 per hour. This is around 1.3 times more than the Median wage of the country. Entry level positions start at $29,000 while most experienced workers make up to $58,000. These results are based on 1,677 salaries extracted from job descriptions.
- Exceptional communication and interpersonal skills:
- Communicating clearly, both in writing and verbally, in order to create a clear and communicative environment with employees, colleagues, and customers;
- having a friendly and engaging personality in order to create positive interactions with customers;
- listening carefully and understanding customers’ questions and complaints in order to be able to help them;
- being able to remain calm when interacting with customers who are upset or angry; and
- displaying strong customer service skills.
- Outstanding leadership and team-building skills:
- Being a demonstrated team player and leader in order to evaluate their staff’s performance and work with them to help them achieve better sales;
- being able to create a positive work environment; and
- being resourceful, energetic, and displaying a strong desire to take initiative.
- Strong organizational, operational, and planning skills in a customer service and sales focused environment:
- Multitasking; being able to work in a dynamic, fast-paced environment;
- being proactive and goal-oriented; and
- being able to handle time constraints while achieving the required goals.
- Analytical, problem-solving, and decision-making skills:
- Identifying issues and resolving problems in a timely manner;
- being able to gather, monitor, and analyze all types of quantitative and qualitative data into informational reports; and
- being polite and patient while dealing with difficult clients.
- Great attention to detail:
- Staying focused during highly repetitive tasks.
Candidates looking to work as a Retail Manager will not require a specific degree, however, having a degree in Marketing, Accounting, or Business Studies will definitely increase their chances of getting the job. Furthermore, employers look for applicants that are sociable and have excellent leadership skills, since part of this job is dealing directly with customers and managing a sales team. Retail Managers should also have sound business and commercial awareness in order to effectively improve the operations of a retail establishment.
The Retail Manager position can occasionally be challenging. Besides working long hours, its hectic and unpredictable nature while dealing with both staff members and customers make it more stressful. Due to the fact that some retail stores are open 24/7, these positions may require early morning or late night shifts, as well as working during weekends and holidays.
Retail Managers may be promoted to Senior Managers, especially when working for bigger retail companies. They usually use the Retail Manager position as an entry-level position to bigger, more high-profile managerial jobs. The possibilities for progression depend greatly on the candidate’s specialization, experience, and additional training.