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Retail Store Manager Job Description: Top Duties and Qualifications

Last updated: December 10, 2022

A Retail Store Manager, or Shop Manager, is responsible for facilitating and supervising daily operations at a store to make sure that employees work together effectively to make sales and contribute to shop upkeep. Their duties include communicating with vendors about inventory orders, scheduling employee shifts and training new employees.

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Retail Store Manager duties and responsibilities

A Retail Store Manager is responsible for managing a retail store, which includes overseeing sales, staff and inventory. Retail Store Managers have the following duties and responsibilities: 

  • Supervise, train and assist employees like Sales Representatives and Retail Store Clerks in customer service, store maintenance and product promotions.
  • Develop and maintain a schedule for employees and promotions centered on holiday sales and other cycles.
  • Seek ways to better promote the store, the product line and service within the store.
  • Maintain proper inventory levels, ensure stocking, implement purchasing plans and maintain contact with suppliers to ensure maximum efficiency in meeting sales goals.
  • Implement cross-training of employees and Assistant Managers to maintain productivity at all times.
  • Manage all controllable costs with a view to maintaining profitability.
  • Ensure the store remains clean and presentable at all times.
  • Hire and train as needed to ensure adequate personnel is on hand to provide outstanding customer service.
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What does a Retail Store Manager do?

Retail Store Managers work on site at a shop to oversee employee activities and handle the administrative and managerial duties of running a store. They make sure that their location is stocked with the correct amount of merchandise and adjust the store layout to display in-demand items. Retail Store Managers develop strategies to meet sales targets and plan promotions to attract business.

Retail Store Managers evaluate their employees and mentor them to improve their retail skills, addressing issues with staff and planning professional development opportunities and company policies for employee behavior. Another role of the Retail Store Manager is to provide customer service and interact with customers who have an issue or need high-level support with a purchase or return.

Retail Store Manager skills and qualifications

Given the vast responsibilities of a Retail Store Manager, several skills and qualifications are required to be effective in this role, including:

  • Proactive in-store planning skills
  • Self-motivated leadership
  • Interpersonal communication skills
  • Strong sales abilities
  • Customer service skills
  • Organization skills
  • Ability to operate basic business software programs

Retail Store Manager salary expectations

A Retail Store Manager makes an average of $43,911 per year. Salary may vary depending on the Retail Store Manager’s level of experience and the geographic location of the store. 

Retail Store Manager education and training requirements

The education and training required of a Retail Store Manager includes a university or college education such as a bachelor’s degree in business, marketing or related field. Candidates holding a master’s degree in business administration or similar is a plus, as is a current Retail Management Certificate. If alcohol, tobacco or hot food is sold at the store, certain state certifications are also among the requirements for a Retail Store Manager. 

Retail Store Manager experience requirements

Experience requirements for a Retail Store Manager will generally include several years in retail, either as an Assistant Manager or Sales Clerk. The ideal candidate will have a combination of experience including supervision, sales, customer service, security and general office or accounting work. 

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Frequently asked questions about Retail Store Managers


What is the difference between a Retail Store Manager and an Assistant Manager?

Retail Store Managers work with Assistant Managers to help manage business tasks during all opening hours. Retail Store Managers train Assistant Managers to respond to customer issues when they are not actively on-site. Retail Store Managers can delegate responsibility to Assistant Managers, but they retain the power to make strategic decisions and manage the budget. Assistant Managers spend more time on the floor while Retail Store Managers may work in an attached office handling business details.

Assistant Managers help Retail Store Managers with tasks like opening and closing the store, creating schedules, placing purchase orders, dropping cash in the safe and counting inventory from new shipments. They also perform Store Associate tasks alongside their team, like checking out customers.


What are the daily duties of a Retail Store Manager?

Retail Store Managers can set their own hours based on busy times in the store where their employees will need the most support. They check in with Sales Associates and Cashiers about any issues then respond to communications about inventory, equipment or new hires. If a problem arises, the Retail Store Manager talks to the consumer about their concern and processes returns or explains store policies and provides possible solutions to the issue. 

They host interviews, manage paperwork for new hires and develop training plans and policies. At the end of a shift, the Retail Store Manager runs sales reports and records information about income and inventory levels. They host meetings and communicate with their team about goals and strategies to implement during their shifts.


What are the characteristics of a Retail Store Manager?

Retail Store Managers need to have excellent business sense, including a practical mindset, good math skills and an understanding of both logistics and human resources. Good Retail Store Managers are also creative so they can come up with ways to respond to market trends and generate business with limited resources. One of the most important characteristics of a successful Retail Store Manager is the ability to actually solve problems, balancing excellent customer service with the company’s bottom line. They should be fair to their employees and use their leadership skills to motivate their team, reward success and encourage growth.


Who does a Retail Store Manager report to?

Retail Store Managers can report directly to a store owner if they work for an independent retail outlet, or they can report to a Regional Manager or District Manager if they manage a store for a chain. They communicate about the impact of store policies, create long-term plans for store growth and discuss strategies for improving sales and achieving other store goals. Retail Store Managers work to align employee behaviors at their outlet with the overall goals of the organization or owner.

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