What is a retail manager?

A retail manager is someone who is responsible for the management of a retail store including day-to-day supervision of retail outlets, including sales, staff, stock and resources management. They are responsible for ensuring their staff give great customer service as well as monitoring the financial performance of the store. 

How to become a retail manager?

You could do a degree before applying to join an organisation’s management training scheme. Most subjects are accepted but you may have an advantage if you study business retail management, and retail marketing.

It’s useful to gain some experience in retail during your studies. You can do this through part-time retail jobs, internships and year placement schemes.

You could do a college course, which would teach you some of the skills and knowledge you need in this job. Relevant subjects include:

  • Level 3 Diploma in Retail Skills Management
  • Level 4 Diploma in Retail Management

Retail manager duties

Retail manager duties are diverse and depend on the employer and specialty, but some responsibilities are common to most:

  • Recruit, train, supervise and appraise staff
  • Prepare and control the store’s budget aiming for minimum expenditure and efficiency
  • Monitor stock levels and purchases and ensure they stay within budget
  • Secure merchandise by implementing security systems and measures
  • Protect employees and customers by providing a safe and clean store environment
  • Maintain the stability and reputation of the store by complying with legal requirements
  • Update colleagues on business performance, new initiatives and other pertinent issues
  • Develop relationships with key suppliers and vendors

Retail manager skills

To be an effective retail manager, you’ll need certain skills and competencies. The following are often cited in job vacancies:

  • Reliability and dependability are key traits
  • Strong work ethic and a desire to improve and succeed
  • Good knowledge of sales and marketing
  • Excellent leadership skills
  • Good time-management skills
  • Great interpersonal and communication skills
  • Team player
  • Critical thinker

How to find a retail manager job

These jobs are advertised online, in local newspapers and at your local jobcentre. To find all the retail manager jobs near you, you need to:

  • Search for retail manager jobs on popular job websites such as; Indeed, Total Jobs and CV Library
  • Use the DWP’s Find A Job Service
  • Check local newspapers and local Facebook groups, especially groups dedicated to local jobs

Retail Manager Job Titles

When you search for retail manager jobs online, be aware that the jobs might be advertised using a different job title. Popular job titles for retail manager jobs include;

  • Sales Manager
  • Store Manager
  • Shop Manager

What does a retail manager do?

The job of a retail manager varies depending on the job role and the company you’re working for. Check the duties and responsibilities of retail manager job advertisements to find jobs that best suit your skills and experience. 

The day-to-day tasks of a retail manager include;

  • Manage and motivate teams to increase sales
  • Oversee recruitment and training of staff
  • Keep track of stock and ordering
  • Organise sales promotions and in-store events
  • Deal with queries, complaints and feedback from customers
  • Analyse sales figures and forecast future sales
  • Maintain awareness of market trends and monitor competitors
  • Control budgets and costs
  • Provide reports to senior company executives