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How to be a successful retail manager

How to be a successful retail manager


Retail management is an ideal career choice for students who are interested in taking on significant work responsibilities at an early stage in their career. As a retail manager you can expect to work on the front line of the retail sector by promoting brands and encouraging consumers to buy products. In order to be successful in the role, there are skills you will need to develop. Read this article to gain some tips on becoming a successful retail manager.

What does a retail manager do?

Retail managers are an integral part of store management, where they work to supervise every aspect of the store. They possess the ability to deal with customers with professionalism and to confront difficult situations with confidence. In terms of personality, retail managers tend to be confident, extroverted and ambitious.

Retail manager will mainly manage other members of staff, supervisors and other employees of the store. They are required to create customer loyalty and make crucial decisions pertaining to the success of the business. A retail store manager is typically responsible for:

  • Meeting sales goals and offering sales promotions;
  • Managing budgets and maintaining statistical and financial records;
  • Overseeing the day-to-day operations of the business, including sales, staff, stock and resources management;
  • Ensuring that staff are providing great customer service and dealing with customer related issues and complaints on a regular basis;
  • Promoting and marketing the business, which includes the preparation of store and advertising displays;
  • Hiring, training and supervising subordinate staff members by implementing workplace scheduling and performance management.

How to be a good retail manager

1.   Improve team efficiency – motivating your team members and working towards their career development is an important aspect of becoming a good retail manager. As a retail manager you should take an interest in all activities involving your team and inform team members about any important changes in the business operations.

2.   Implement unique management skills – another way of managing a team effectively is to apply different styles of management. You should try to act as a mentor for your employees and guide them through their work process.

3.   Resolve workplace conflicts – although workspace conflicts are inevitable, good retail managers are expected to be able to minimise them at a workplace effectively. You should be able to find solutions to work tensions which is best achieved by listening carefully before making any decisions and clearing up any misapprehensions.

4.   Build team productivity – to encourage productivity from your team, you must focus on creating a caring and positive business environment for them. You must also consider providing your staff members with additional responsibilities that can lead to their skills being enhanced and ultimately leads to a stronger workforce.

5.   Be the ideal employer – as a supervisor, you must strive towards enhancing your employees’ performance. Inspiring your employees on a daily basis can encourage them to see you as their role model. You can achieve this by:

  • Setting achievable performance goals;
  • Encouraging contributions and recommendations;
  • Showing enthusiasm;
  • Exuding professionalism;
  • Demonstrating responsible or thoughtful conversation;
  • Showing genuine interest in their efforts.

How to become a retail manager

1.   Educational qualifications – although an undergraduate degree in retailmanagement is desirable, students can also choose other academic routes such as business and law. Retail managers generally hold a graduate degree in subjects such as accounting, languages, fashion or marketing.

2.   Key skills – acquiring the right skills during formal education can help students establish themselves as retail managers. The skills related to the retail management sector of the fashion industry include:

  • Excellent communication;
  • Teamwork, organisational and leadership abilities;
  • Informational technology (IT), numeracy and analytical skills;
  • Customer service, financial planning and business management;
  • Problem-solving, commercial and people management abilities.

3.   Employment – with a retail management degree in hand, students can take up a job in the management sector and move into the retail market. Working in the field of retail can allow students to manage a specific type of retail venue, thereby helping them gain relevant experience. Additionally, students can take up an apprenticeship at a department store or supermarket to begin their career.

4.   Secure a managerial position – to secure the position of a retail manager, students are required to work their way up the organisational hierarchy. Students who aspire to obtain retail management positions can eventually land jobs as store or general managers of a retail brand.

5.   Research and career growth – during the early stages of their careers, students can apply for a position within the management department of retail stores. They should then research the experience level required for the various types of management positions available and apply accordingly. Furthermore, students must be aware of their strengths and weaknesses before considering taking up a position at a different store.

How much does a retail manager earn?

Retail managers are hired by department stores, supply chain stores and supermarkets. The salary that a retail manager might earn depends on:

  • Their educational background;
  • Professional skills that they possess;
  • Previous work experience;
  • The type of brand that they are currently working for.

The average annual salary for retail jobs is £25,000.

London School of Business and Finance (LSBF) offers a wide range of courses on fashion, innovation and communication. Enrol on a course now to get started with your career as a retail manager.

This article was written by Deblina Dam and edited by Emma Chadwick.

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