Career Development

What Does a Retail Manager Do?

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

Retail managers are responsible for overseeing all aspects of their company’s retail operations. They commonly manage a team of employees and may also be involved in making strategic decisions about the future of the business.

Retail managers must have strong leadership skills, as they are often tasked with managing large teams of people who work on various projects throughout the day. They must also be able to effectively communicate with their staff to ensure that everyone is on the same page and working towards the same goals.

Retail Manager Job Duties

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

  • Ensuring that staff members have adequate training to perform their jobs effectively
  • Communicating with store managers to discuss inventory levels and sales numbers in order to make adjustments to store layouts as needed
  • Maintaining records of sales, inventory, and other data for use in business planning and analysis
  • Managing day-to-day operations of the store including employee hiring, training, and termination decisions
  • Identifying opportunities for improving store operations by studying industry trends and customers’ buying patterns
  • Supervising employee performance to ensure that they are meeting company standards for customer service and sales performance
  • Developing a marketing plan for the store based on research into customer demographics and buying patterns
  • Developing employee training programs in areas such as merchandising, sales skills, and customer service
  • Determining staffing needs based on projected store activity levels, hiring new employees as necessary, and ensuring that they are trained properly

Retail Manager Salary & Outlook

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

  • Median Annual Salary: $47,000 ($22.6/hour)
  • Top 10% Annual Salary: $80,500 ($38.7/hour)

The employment of retail 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 electronic price tags allow retailers to reduce the number of workers at checkout counters. In addition, online shopping has reduced the need for retail workers to serve customers in stores.

Retail Manager Job Requirements

A retail manager typically needs to have the following qualifications:

Education: Retail managers are typically required to have at least a high school diploma or equivalent. Some employers prefer to hire candidates who have an associate’s or bachelor’s degree in business, retail or a related field.

Training & Experience: Retail managers typically receive on-the-job training in the form of an entry-level position in retail. This training provides the retail manager with experience in customer service, merchandising and other aspects of retail. Training for retail managers may also include seminars and conferences that help them learn about the latest trends in retail and how to manage their store more efficiently.

Certifications & Licenses: Certifications are not typically required to qualify for a role as a retail manager. However, they can increase your competitiveness when applying for roles.

Retail Manager Skills

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

Communication skills: Communication skills are essential for retail managers. You use these skills to communicate with your team, customers and other members of the company. You use communication skills to relay messages, give directions and answer questions. Effective communication skills can help you build trust with your team and customers, which can lead to better relationships and improved performance.

Leadership skills: As a retail manager, you are responsible for overseeing the work of your team. You may be the person who assigns tasks, delegates responsibilities and assigns shifts. You are also responsible for ensuring that your team is working productively and safely. Effective leadership skills can help you to motivate your team, delegate tasks and responsibilities and provide guidance and feedback.

Problem-solving skills: Retail managers are responsible for maintaining a positive customer experience. This often means resolving customer complaints and addressing issues that arise during the course of a shift. Strong problem-solving skills can help you identify and address issues quickly and efficiently.

Organizational skills: Organization skills can help you keep your team on task and ensure they complete their daily duties. You can use organizational skills to plan and prepare for meetings, trainings and other company events. Organization skills can also help you keep your team’s workspace clean and organized.

Customer service: Customer service skills can help you provide guidance to your team members and customers. You can use your customer service skills to help your team members resolve customer concerns and complaints. You can also use your customer service skills to help your team members develop effective sales strategies and provide customers with positive experiences.

Retail Manager Work Environment

Retail managers typically work long hours, including evenings and weekends. They may work in a store, an office, or a combination of both. In larger stores, they may spend most of their time in the office, dealing with paperwork, scheduling, and other managerial duties. In smaller stores, they may spend more time on the sales floor, helping customers and supervising employees. Retail managers may have to travel to attend training seminars or to visit other stores in the chain. Some retail managers also travel to trade shows to learn about new products and trends in the industry.

Retail Manager Trends

Here are three trends influencing how retail managers work. Retail 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 shoppers.

This means that retail managers will need to be familiar with the latest digital shopping trends and how to best cater to the needs of the digital shopper. They will also need to be able to manage and optimize their online presence in order to attract customers.

More Focus on Customer Experience

As customer experience becomes more important, retailers are beginning to focus on creating an environment where customers feel welcome and appreciated. This means that retail managers will need to focus on creating a positive atmosphere for customers and providing them with excellent service.

In order to be successful in this new environment, retail managers will need to be able to understand what makes customers happy and then create a plan to achieve that goal. They will also need to be able to communicate effectively with employees and ensure that they are all on the same page.

Retailers Will Use Technology to Personalize the Shopping Experience

As technology advances, retailers are using it to personalize the shopping experience for their customers. This means that customers will see products that are tailored to their interests and preferences, which can lead to higher sales.

Retail managers can take advantage of this trend by learning how to use technology to customize the shopping experience for their customers. This includes using data analytics to understand what products customers are interested in and using social media to connect with customers on a personal level.

How to Become a Retail Manager

A career as a retail manager can be rewarding in many ways. It offers the opportunity to work with people, manage a team, and develop your own skills. You’ll also have the chance to see how different businesses operate and learn about new products and services.

To become a successful retail manager, it’s important to have strong communication and leadership skills. You should also be able to work effectively under pressure and meet deadlines.

Related: How to Write a Retail Manager Resume

Advancement Prospects

Retail managers typically start out as retail salespersons. With experience, they may be promoted to assistant manager, and then to store manager. Some large retailers have management trainee programs that prepare employees for advancement to store manager.

Advancement to a corporate headquarters position may be possible for retail managers who have experience in several stores and a proven record of success in sales and store operations. Some retail managers may open their own stores.

Retail Manager Job Description Example

At [CompanyX], we are looking for an experienced retail manager to oversee the daily operations of our store. The ideal candidate will have a proven track record of successfully managing a team of sales associates, achieving sales targets, and providing excellent customer service. They will be responsible for opening and closing the store, managing inventory, and ensuring the store is running smoothly and efficiently. They will also be responsible for training and development of the sales associates. The retail manager will be the face of the store and will be expected to provide a high level of customer service.

Duties & Responsibilities

  • Achieve sales targets while controlling expenses and shrink
  • Drive traffic to the store through effective merchandising, advertising, and promotional programs
  • Ensure that the store is adequately staffed with qualified, motivated employees who are trained in customer service and selling techniques
  • Maintain high standards of store appearance and cleanliness
  • Monitor inventory levels and stock merchandise as needed
  • Process customer transactions quickly and efficiently
  • Resolve customer complaints in a courteous and professional manner
  • Handle all aspects of employee relations, including recruiting, hiring, training, performance evaluations, and disciplinary action
  • Prepare weekly schedules to ensure adequate coverage during peak periods
  • Conduct regular meetings with staff to communicate company policies and objectives, and to solicit feedback on store operations
  • Prepare and submit accurate reports on store sales, expenses, and inventory levels
  • Stay abreast of changes in the retail industry and adapt store operations accordingly

Required Skills and Qualifications

  • Proven experience as retail manager or in other managerial role
  • Excellent communication, interpersonal, and leadership skills
  • Outstanding organizational and time management abilities
  • Flexibility to work long hours, including evenings and weekends
  • High school diploma or equivalent; bachelor’s degree preferred

Preferred Skills and Qualifications

  • Previous experience working in a retail environment
  • Strong understanding of the retail market and trends
  • Demonstrated ability to meet sales goals and targets
  • Proven track record of successful team development and motivation
  • Experience with inventory management and loss prevention

Similar Jobs


What Does a System Analyst Do?

Back to Career Development

What Does an Assistant Do?