The retail manager is essentially the head personnel of a retail store. As with most retail-based jobs, the main task of the retail manager is to ensure that the store earns a profit from its operations.
This job, of course, entails several tasks—from assessing items being sold in the store, doing sales and promotions when necessary, and managing the store’s staff so daily sales targets are met.
The common job tasks of a retail manager are related to managing the staff and analyzing present and future sales figures. This entails researching about current market and demand trends.
Using this information, the retail manager needs to create plans and initiate changes with the intention of improving the store’s performance.
Salary & benefits
Retail managers can earn a yearly income of £20,000 to £25,000. More experienced managers can even get as much as £40,000 to £60,000 annually.
Those working for bigger retail stores might get a maximum of £65,000 to £70,000 a year. Of course, the higher the salary, the bigger the job responsibilities.
Some retail stores, however, provide salaries on a commission basis. Here, the retail managers get a low basic salary plus monetary compensation for every item they sell. This is great if your products are selling like hotcakes, but some prefer the security of a flat rate salary.
Retail managers usually work more than 40 hours a week, and during certain seasonal holidays managers face a lot of overtime. Since retail stores are open all week long, you should expect some weekend work.
One of the challenges of this job, besides the long working hours, is its hectic and unpredictable nature. Retail managers need to handle the store’s staff while dealing with customers. This can be quite stressful, especially during unusually busy work days.
There is no specific degree required to work as a retail manager, but many managers do have degrees in marketing, accounting, and business studies.
Fashion retail stores may prefer applicants with a degree in fashion management, although this isn’t a definite requirement—the retail manager doesn’t have a say on what goods are sold on the store, after all.
Applicants for this position should be sociable and should have excellent leadership skills, since part of this job is dealing with people. Retail managers, in general, should have sound business and commercial awareness in order to effectively improve the operations of a retail store.
Training & progression
Although the job position is open to anyone, it’s best for applicants to get some professional or related experience first before applying.
This is because the competition here can be quite fierce. Besides the graduate applicants, there are also the existing retail staff members of the store to consider as competition. Remember: academic credentials are important, but employers prefer applicants who have already proven their worth in the retail industry.
Retail managers can be promoted as senior managers, especially in bigger companies. Many retail managers actually use the position as a stepping stone to bigger, more high-profile managerial jobs. The possible options for progression largely depend on one’s specialization and additional training.