Career Development

What Does a Retail General Manager Do?

Find out what a retail general manager does, how to get this job, and what it takes to succeed as a retail general manager.

Retail general managers are responsible for overseeing all aspects of their company’s operations. They commonly lead a team of retail employees and may also be involved in developing new products or services, managing inventory, and ensuring that the company meets its financial goals.

Retail general managers must have strong leadership skills to manage their teams effectively. They must also be able to think strategically about how best to use their resources to achieve their company’s goals.

Retail General Manager Job Duties

A retail general manager typically has a wide range of responsibilities, which can include:

  • Training employees and providing performance feedback, while ensuring that they are complying with company policies and procedures
  • Reviewing financial reports, customer satisfaction surveys, and other data to identify opportunities for improvement or changes in store operations
  • Ensuring that the store is staffed with employees who are trained, motivated, and respectful of customer needs
  • Establishing and enforcing store policies to ensure customer satisfaction and employee safety
  • Ensuring that store shelves are stocked with items that meet brand standards while also attracting customers with new products that will drive sales
  • Developing and implementing marketing plans to promote products and boost sales
  • Coordinating with suppliers to ensure an adequate supply of products to meet demand
  • Analyzing data and making decisions about pricing and promotions in response to customer feedback
  • Monitoring inventory levels and ordering new stock as necessary to meet demand

Retail General Manager Salary & Outlook

Retail general managers’ salaries vary depending on their level of education, years of experience, and the size and location of the company. They may also earn additional compensation in the form of bonuses and commissions.

  • Median Annual Salary: $62,500 ($30.05/hour)
  • Top 10% Annual Salary: $108,000 ($51.92/hour)

The employment of retail general managers is expected to decline over the next decade.

Employment growth will be limited by the increasing automation of retail establishments. Self-service checkout aisles and online ordering systems allow retailers to do more with fewer workers. In addition, e-commerce sales are expected to continue to grow, reducing the need for retail general managers in brick-and-mortar stores.

Retail General Manager Job Requirements

A retail general manager typically needs to have the following qualifications:

Education: Retail general managers are typically required to have at least a high school diploma or equivalent. Some employers prefer candidates who have an associate’s or bachelor’s degree in business, retail or a related field. Those who have a degree in business or retail can expect to learn the basics of business, including finance, accounting, marketing, management and economics.

Training & Experience: Retail general managers typically receive on-the-job training in the form of an entry-level position in retail. This training can last anywhere from a few months to a year. Training often includes shadowing current retail general managers and performing daily tasks under supervision until you are comfortable enough to complete tasks on your own.

Certifications & Licenses: Certifications are not usually a requirement to become a general manager at a retail store, but they can make you a more competitive candidate when applying for positions.

Retail General Manager Skills

Retail general managers need the following skills in order to be successful:

Leadership: General managers oversee the day-to-day operations of a retail store. This includes managing a team of employees, ensuring the store is operating efficiently and ensuring the store is meeting its sales goals. Effective general managers are strong leaders who can motivate their team members and help them develop their own leadership skills.

Communication: General managers communicate with many different people, including employees, customers, supervisors and suppliers. Effective communication skills can help you convey messages clearly and understand messages from others. You can use communication skills to train employees, answer questions from customers and suppliers and provide feedback to your team.

Problem-solving: General managers are responsible for maintaining a positive customer experience and ensuring the success of their store. This means being able to identify and solve problems that may arise. Being able to identify problems and develop solutions is an important skill for a general manager.

Inventory management: General managers oversee the inventory of a retail store, including the ordering and receiving of new products. Inventory management is a crucial skill for a general manager to have, as it ensures the store has the products it needs to operate. General managers should be familiar with inventory management software and be able to track the store’s inventory levels.

Teamwork: General managers work with a variety of individuals, including assistant managers, supervisors, sales associates and other managers. It’s important for them to be able to work with others to ensure the success of the business. General managers should be able to delegate tasks and responsibilities to their team members. They should also be able to provide feedback and guidance to their team members to help them improve their performance.

Retail General Manager Work Environment

Retail general managers are responsible for the overall operation of a retail store. They typically work long hours, including evenings and weekends, to ensure that the store is running smoothly and efficiently. In larger stores, retail general managers may have a staff of assistant managers and department managers who report to them. They spend much of their time supervising staff, handling customer complaints, and dealing with the day-to-day operations of the store. Retail general managers must be able to work well under pressure and handle stress effectively. They must also be able to make quick decisions and solve problems quickly.

Retail General Manager Trends

Here are three trends influencing how retail general managers work. Retail general managers will need to stay up-to-date on these developments to keep their skills relevant and maintain a competitive advantage in the workplace.

The Rise of the Digital Shopper

The rise of the digital shopper is a trend that is quickly changing the retail landscape. As more and more people shop online, retailers are having to adapt their strategies to meet the needs of these customers.

This means that retail general managers will need to be familiar with digital marketing techniques and how to optimize their websites for search engines. They will also need to be able to track and analyze data to understand what is working and what is not.

More Focus on Customer Experience

As businesses focus more on customer experience, they will look to hire professionals who can help create an environment where customers feel valued and appreciated. This is where retail general managers come in; they are responsible for overseeing all aspects of the customer experience, from the moment a customer walks into the store to the moment they leave.

To be successful in this role, retail general managers will need to be able to think creatively about how to make each customer’s experience unique. They will also need to be able to manage a team of employees who are responsible for different aspects of the customer experience, such as sales, customer service, and product development.

Retailers Will Emphasize Personalization

As technology advances, retailers are increasingly using it to provide a more personalized shopping experience for their customers. This includes everything from recommending products based on past purchases to suggesting items that might be perfect for a particular occasion.

In order to stay competitive, retail general managers will need to learn how to use technology to personalize the shopping experience for their customers. This requires understanding how to use data to create a more tailored experience, as well as knowing which technologies are most effective for doing so.

How to Become a Retail General Manager

A successful retail general manager career requires a combination of skills, experience, and personal attributes. You need to be able to manage people, processes, and products; have strong communication and problem-solving skills; and be able to work effectively with customers, vendors, and other stakeholders.

You should also be prepared to take on additional responsibilities as they arise. As your company grows and evolves, you may be asked to take on new roles and challenges.

Advancement Prospects

The best way to advance your career as a retail general manager is to gain experience and knowledge in all aspects of retail management. As you gain experience, you will be able to move up to higher-level management positions. You may also want to consider getting a degree in business or retail management, which will give you the skills and knowledge you need to be a successful manager.

The most common job titles that people move up to as they advance their career in retail management are store manager, district manager, and regional manager. Store managers are responsible for the day-to-day operations of a retail store, district managers oversee a group of stores, and regional managers oversee a group of districts.

Retail General Manager Job Description Example

At [CompanyX], we strive to provide our customers with an exceptional shopping experience. We are looking for a Retail General Manager who is passionate about customer service and has a proven track record in leading and motivating a team to meet and exceed sales targets. The Retail General Manager will be responsible for the overall performance of the store, including sales, profitability, customer satisfaction, visual merchandising, store operations, and team development. They will ensure that the store is well-run and profitable by developing and implementing strategies to increase sales, reduce costs, and improve efficiency. They will also be responsible for building and maintaining relationships with key stakeholders, such as landlords, suppliers, and local businesses.

Duties & Responsibilities

  • Achieve sales targets while controlling expenses and maximizing profitability
  • Analyze business trends to anticipate needs and plan accordingly, adjusting strategies as needed in a rapidly changing environment
  • Lead, coach, and develop store staff, delegating tasks and responsibilities appropriately while maintaining accountability for all team members
  • Effectively communicate company policies and procedures to staff and ensure compliance
  • Maintain high standards of visual merchandising, store cleanliness, and health and safety
  • Monitor stock levels and reorder merchandise as needed to maintain optimal inventory
  • Process customer transactions accurately and efficiently
  • Resolve customer complaints in a professional and courteous manner
  • Prepare weekly and monthly reports for upper management
  • Conduct regular store audits and take corrective action as necessary
  • Participate in the development and implementation of marketing campaigns
  • Manage store budget and control expenses

Required Skills and Qualifications

  • Bachelor’s degree in business, retail management, or related field
  • 7-10 years experience in progressively responsible management roles within the retail industry
  • Proven track record of successful sales and profit growth
  • Demonstrated leadership ability with excellent communication, interpersonal, and team-building skills
  • Strong organizational, time-management, and multitasking skills
  • Ability to work well under pressure and meet deadlines in a fast-paced environment

Preferred Skills and Qualifications

  • MBA or other advanced degree
  • Experience managing multiple locations
  • Experience with store openings and closings
  • Familiarity with point-of-sale systems and retail software applications
  • Working knowledge of financial reporting and budgeting


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