Retail Managers are the head of personnel in a retail store. They oversee all in-store operations, supervise employees’ activities, organize and arrange schedules, and manage a variety of administrative tasks. They are often hired by retail stores, either family-owned businesses or franchises.
Like with most professionals working in Retail, the main objective of any Retail Manager should always be to increase efficiency and profits. In order to reach this goal, they must follow several types of strategies and plans.
Here’s a non-exhaustive list of common tasks Retail Managers are required to complete.
- Managing and overseeing administrative tasks in retail establishments:
- Assigning tasks to employees and staff members;
- making sure all customer complaints are addressed and handled in a professional and efficient manner;
- overseeing hiring processes when there’s a vacancy in the staff;
- establishing prices of items and products;
- inventorying all items;
- 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;
- ensuring that all staff members are performing their assigned duties;
- 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.
- Following trends and market analyses in order to anticipate and adapt to incoming changes in the market:
- Planning new items to be sold in the future;
- evaluating the possible sales performance of new items;
- keeping track of what customers prefer;
- locating, selecting, and procuring merchandise for resale;
- maximizing sales by implementing different marketing plans and strategies;
- projecting sales and determining the profitability of merchandise and services;
- implementing feature displays and special events in the establishment;
- keeping up-to-date on the latest 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 develop and implement the best marketing strategies.
- Ensuring that all employees adhere to the company’s health, safety, and security policies and procedures.
- Helping customers with special requests or complaints.
- Managing budgets and approving stocking purchases.
- Liaising with customers and using their feedback to adapt selling strategies to their preferences.
- Overseeing sales records in order to determine profitability of items.
- 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;
- possessing strong levels of patience to interact with angry or stressed customers; 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 capable of remaining calm in stressful situations.
- Great attention to detail:
- Staying focused during highly repetitive tasks.
Most Retail Managers start out their careers as Cashiers or Clerks in stores and work their way up by gaining experience and pursuing higher education. Different employers may require candidates to have a specific educational background. Many Retail Managers have a degree in Business, Administration, Marketing, or Sales. Furthermore, employers look for applicants that are outgoing and have engaging personalities due to regular contact with customers and having to manage a sales team.
Working as a Retail Manager requires a big deal of patience and even physical stamina due to the long hours, the staff managing tasks, and dealing with the occasional angry customer. 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.