How Do I Become a Retail Manager?

If you are well-organized and responsible, with excellent communication and people skills, you may wonder how to become a retail manager. A lot of work goes into keeping retail stores well-stocked, maintained and running smoothly for the convenience of customers. Retail managers are the personnel responsible for overseeing workers and ensuring that the store meets daily objectives and long-term goals.

Retail managers are also known as retail store managers or simply store managers. As the job title implies, these personnel find employment in retail stores, most commonly in stores selling merchandise such as clothing and shoes, home décor and products, groceries, liquor, hardware and building materials and health and personal care products. As managers, these personnel are in charge of supervising employees and making sure that the daily, weekly, monthly and quarterly tasks are performed so that the store can operate efficiently.

The exact responsibilities of a retail manager may vary by company, but typically include some mix of store maintenance, administrative work, supervisory responsibilities and human resources management. Retail managers may be responsible for ensuring that the store is kept well-stocked and cleaned. They may have to conduct inventories of products. A retail manager is typically responsible for scheduling employees, handling payroll and managing store budgets. These personnel not only supervise current employees, but handle the process of hiring and training new employees. In retail chains, the store manager is the point of contact between workers and company executives, communicating new policies and practices to employees.

To begin a career as a retail manager, candidates typically do not need to possess a college degree. Many retail managers have only earned a high school diploma, though they may choose to pursue a college education in business or a related field in order to improve their opportunities for advancement. Employers typically give more consideration to experience within the retail industry than to formal education. In fact, many retail managers begin their careers within a company as an associate, cashier, salesperson, sales clerk or other entry-level employee. Through working hard and commitment to the store, these associates earn promotions to mid-level management positions and finally to the desired retail manager position. Employers often expect candidates to have between one and five years of experience in retail before earning the manager position.

Retail managers earned a median salary of $35,820 per year as of 2010, according to the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics. Actual wages vary greatly based on company, size of employer, location and candidate’s experience. In large, busy stores in the right location, retail managers may have the potential to earn far more. Retail managers may enjoy other perks, such as well discounts on purchases and flexible schedules. If you are a dedicated worker, communicate well and have the diplomatic and morale-building skills to interact with both customers and the employees being supervised, knowing how to become a retail manager could be the start of an exciting career in the fast-paced retail industry.

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