Life as a Retail Manager - Job Description

Ever wondered what it's like to work as a manager in retail store? Read our latest post which outlines a full retail manager job description.


Retail managers can be found everywhere we shop, ensuring not only the day-to-day smooth running of the businesses they manage, but also the long-term financial success of the enterprise. Operating within a busy, dynamic environment across the shop floor and office, the role of a retail manager encompasses a diverse array of duties. These include, but are not limited to:

·         Interviewing and recruiting new staff

·         Training and motivating staff

·         Ensuring the achievement of financial objectives and company KPIs

·         Organising rosters, staff availability and holidays

·         Overseeing stock control and receiving orders 

·         Dealing with customer service issues such as complaints and queries 

·         Placing orders with wholesalers

·         Completing operational store requirements such as assigning staff specific duties and projects

·         The preparation of promotional materials and displays 

·         Promoting and marketing the business

Working as a Retail Manager – What Personal Attributes are Required? 

Successful retail managers are well rounded individuals, who possess a wide range of be proficient in dealing with business finance and budgets.  As they are responsible for managing staff, leadership qualities such as patience, understanding, the ability to delegate, and confidence are a must. Furthermore, strong interpersonal communication skills, as well as high levels of customer service capabilities are also needed when dealing with customer issues and queries.  In order to ensure the success of the business they are managing, retail managers are also required to have a degree of commercial awareness.

Salary Expectations:

The salary of retail managers can vary quite significantly as they can be based partly on a commission or profit-sharing agreement.  The salary range for a retail manager in Australia is between $39,393 and $64383; with the average being $48,040 per year according to Payscale.   Commission and profit-sharing agreements differ greatly from employer to employer, and will depend on the company you work for and what agreement you’ve negotiated.

Courses and Training:

No specific entry qualifications are generally required to become a retail manager, however due to the increasing amount of responsibility placed on store managers, recruiters generally prefer applicants with a formal education in a business-related discipline, or with extensive retail experience. Having a certificate or diploma in retail services won’t hurt either!

If you are just beginning your career within the retail industry, along with paid work as a retail assistant, you may wish to volunteer at a local charity shop, in order to gain experience. Various retail organisations also provide their own vocational training programs.

Video Transcript

I’m Chris. I’m the manager of the menswear store.

 I’ve been in the industry for about 25 years now.

Started off as a salesman on the floor and worked my way up to eventually manage stores, buy for businesses both here and in the UK.

I now manage a menswear store and its great fun. It’s a very very nice job.

 A typical day involves a typical day of starting any business. You know you have to be there on time if not earlier. Probably have as much done from the previous night as possible so that when you turn up.  If there’s a customer waiting outside the door you can open the door, turn on the lights and you can make a sale. That’s what it is all about.

 Organizational skills are paramount. You need to be able to think on your feet and always take the best-case scenario. You need positivity, you need to be thinking that “tomorrow’s going to be a great day - today was an OK day – tomorrow’s going to be a fantastic day”.

 You’ve got to multi-task. It’s much bandied around that you have to be able to do more than one thing - well in this industry you do. You’ve got to be able to present a retail environment in a way that the customer: A enjoys; B feels comfortable in and C buys from.


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