Retail managers are responsible for the day-to-day running of a store, with the aim of maximising profits, while minimising costs.

As a retail manager, you’ll manage the daily operations of a store or department and will have employees reporting to you. You’ll report to an area manager.

You’ll ensure promotions are run accurately and to the company’s standards and make sure that staff are all working towards the target for the day. It’s also your job to ensure that excellent customer care standards are met at all times.


As a retail manager, you’ll need to:

manage and motivate a team to increase sales and ensure efficiency manage stock levels and make key decisions about stock control analyse sales figures and forecast future sales analyse and interpret trends to facilitate planning use information technology to record sales figures, analyse data and forward plan deal with staffing issues such as interviewing potential staff, conducting appraisals and performance reviews provide or organise training and development ensure standards for quality, customer service and health and safety are met resolve health and safety, legal and security issues respond to customer complaints and comments organise special promotions, displays and events attend and chair meetings update colleagues on business performance, new initiatives and other pertinent issues tour the sales floor regularly, talking to colleagues and customers and identifying or resolving urgent issues deal with sales, as and when required maintain awareness of market trends in the retail industry, understanding forthcoming customer initiatives and monitoring what competitors are doing initiate changes to improve the business, such as revising opening hours to ensure the store can compete effectively in the local market promote the organisation locally by liaising with local newspapers and the community in general deal with other aspects of the business, such as customer service, finance, human resources, information technology, logistics or marketing – whether you need to do this will depend on the size of the store.


Salaries for assistant positions generally range between £17,000 and £23,000. With a few years’ experience salaries can reach £20,000 to £30,000, depending on the organisation. With more experience, salaries of £35,000 to £60,000+ can be achieved in larger shops or supermarkets.

Some retailers offer bonuses or share offers, which can increase the amount payable, as well as other benefits such as pension schemes, company car, staff discount, private healthcare, professional qualifications, gym membership and travel subsidies.

Income figures are intended as a guide only.

Working hours.

In the retail sector, the normal working week can exceed 40 hours. During peak periods such as Christmas, sales and other seasonal holidays, managers may work more than 40 hours.

Many retail stores operate in out-of-town sites and are open seven days a week. This means that there is a requirement to work irregular hours including late nights, weekends and bank holidays. Many organisations offer competitive annual leave entitlement. In addition, career breaks or job-sharing opportunities are also available for store managers.

What to expect.

Retail is a fast-paced environment and managers have to react to consumer’s demands and industry trends. Because of this, there is an element of pressure. Most companies have a dress code, with fashion retailers offering employees a substantial discount to wear their merchandise on a seasonal basis. Many companies require their managers to be flexible with their mobility, however this tends to be done on a regional basis and relocation will always be discussed. Self-employment and franchising are possible. However, in spite of support from trade organisations such as The UK Franchise Directory, small traders can find the competition very tough. Travel away from your store base is usually just for meetings and training events.