How Do I Become a Retail Store Manager?

If you enjoy working in retail and have strong customer service and leadership skills, you might wonder how to become a retail store manager. Retail store managers handle the managerial tasks that keep stores functioning efficiently. These responsibilities often include overseeing staff, hiring and training new employees, interacting with vendors, maintaining store premises and providing problem-solving and customer-service skills as needed.

Retail stores of all sizes rely on managers to organize employees and keep the store stocked and running efficiently. In larger retail stores, the store manager may have help from assistant managers, human resource personnel and department heads. In small stores, store managers may undertake these responsibilities themselves.

A retail store manager works to maximize productivity. Store managers are often in charge of setting up new sales promotions and products, either by devising the promotions and strategies themselves or by precisely implementing instructions from company executives. Retail store managers must provide excellent customer service when problems arise, such as when a customer is dissatisfied with a purchase. Because retail store managers are typically also the primary point of contact with vendors, they must also be able to use communication skills to talk to vendors as well as visiting company executives. Retail store managers may hold the responsibility of taking inventory and ordering product shipments. Additionally, retail managers aim to increase productivity and sales, which may include maximizing the use of employees’ time on the clock, review reports to ensure that sales goals are met, maintaining the premises of the store in a safe manner and enhancing security to prevent theft.

Retail store managers manage the people working for the store, as well. When the time comes to hire new employees, retail store managers may seek job applicants, review applications, conduct interviews and train new employees. Retail store managers also supervise existing employees and encourage them to complete their productivity goals. If the store develops new policies, managers may be accountable for educating and updating employees on the changes. Retail store managers could also be responsible for creating employees’ work schedules in a way that increases efficiency and ensures that all tasks are completed in a timely manner.

Professional experience working in retail can be the greatest asset in an aspiring store manager’s job search. Excelling in retail positions, such as cashier, customer service associate and inventory worker, is one reliable way to increase a candidate’s chances of earning a promotion. To further enhance job marketability, aspiring retail store managers should pursue a college degree in business, marketing, management or a related field. lists the median annual salary for retail store managers as $40,118, which is more than the $33,840 median annual salary that the Bureau of Labor Statistics reports for all occupations. If you have the leadership skills to supervise employees, the problem-solving skills to appease customers and an interest in sales, knowing how to become a retail store manager might be the first step toward a fast-paced new career.

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