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General Manager vs. Store Manager: What Are the Differences?

Learn about the two careers and review some of the similarities and differences between them.

A general manager and store manager are both responsible for the overall success of their respective businesses. However, there are key differences between the two roles in terms of scope, responsibilities and pay. In this article, we compare and contrast the job titles of general manager and store manager, and we provide insights into the best way to advance your career in each field.

What is a General Manager?

A General Manager is responsible for the overall operation of a business or organization. They typically develop and implement strategies and policies to ensure that the company meets its goals and objectives. General Managers also oversee the work of subordinate managers and staff. They may be involved in hiring and firing decisions, as well as employee training and development. General Managers typically report to a Board of Directors or company owners. In larger organizations, there may be multiple levels of General Managers, each with their own area of responsibility.

What is a Store Manager?

A Store Manager is responsible for the overall operation of a retail store. They ensure that the store meets sales goals, operates efficiently and provides excellent customer service. Store Managers train and develop store employees, create work schedules and resolve customer complaints. They also order inventory, track sales data and analyze trends to make decisions about merchandising and marketing. Store Managers typically work in retail establishments, such as department stores, clothing stores, grocery stores or home improvement stores.

General Manager vs. Store Manager

Here are the main differences between a general manager and a store manager.

Job Duties

General managers oversee the entire business, while store managers handle operations for a specific location. The general manager oversees the hiring, training and scheduling of all employees. They also ensure that all locations operate smoothly by communicating with store managers and providing them with direction. In addition, general managers manage budgets and make decisions about purchases for the company.

Store managers are responsible for the daily operations of one location. They schedule shifts, train employees, resolve customer issues and monitor productivity. They may also perform maintenance on equipment and buildings, and they communicate with general managers about issues they encounter.

Job Requirements

The job requirements for general managers and store managers vary depending on the company they work for. However, most employers prefer candidates to have at least a bachelor’s degree in business administration or a related field. Additionally, many companies require their managers to have several years of experience working in management or a related role before being promoted to a store manager or general manager position. Some employers also offer training programs that teach new managers the skills they need to be successful in their role.

Work Environment

General managers typically work in an office setting, where they can oversee the entire company. They may travel to different locations to meet with employees and discuss business goals. Store managers usually work on location at their store or department. This means that they spend most of their time working directly with customers and employees. General managers often have more administrative duties than store managers, which means that they may spend less time interacting with customers and employees.


There are several similarities in the skills needed for a general manager and store manager. Both positions require excellent communication, interpersonal, customer service and leadership skills. They also both need to be able to handle conflict resolution, be organized and have good problem-solving skills.

However, there are some differences in the skills needed for these two positions. A general manager needs to have a more strategic perspective and be able to see the big picture of how the store fits into the company’s overall goals. They also need to be able to develop and implement plans and initiatives to improve the store’s performance. A store manager, on the other hand, is more focused on the day-to-day operations of the store and ensuring that it runs smoothly. They may also be responsible for training and development of staff, which requires additional skills such as coaching and mentoring.


The average salary for a general manager is $63,331 per year, while the average salary for a store manager is $51,400 per year. Both of these salaries can vary depending on the size of the company, the location of the job and the level of experience the manager has.


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