|A significant number of mangers spend most of their time on the sales floor rather than in the office.|
The primary responsibility of the retail manager is to take care of the day-to-day operations of the store. Although his or her tasks may vary depending on the size and location of the retail establishment, managers have to set work schedules, maintain inventories, ensure customer satisfaction, design the layout of store merchandise, and report to top management.
A retail manager's day-to-day responsibilities normally involve:
- Customer issues: assisting customers and responding to customer complaints, requests, queries, and comments.
- Sales issues: finding new ways to improve sales, meet sales targets, analyze figures, forecast volumes, and strategize.
- HR issues: recruiting, training, supervising, motivating, and reviewing staff, as well as resolving health, safety, and legal issues for the store.
- Inventory issues: maintaining stock levels, ensuring the quality of supplies, and supervising the quantity, type, and scheduling of orders.
- Display issues: planning the layout and design of displays.
- Coordination issues: acting as a link between management and staff.
The retail store is a demanding and fast-paced workplace. Constant change and unpredictability are inseparable elements of
retail work. Along with growth opportunities come deviations from normal work routines and more restrictions.
A significant number of mangers spend most of their time on the sales floor rather than in the office. Frequent involvement with staff, interaction with customers, and observation of actual sales proceedings help retail managers more in their careers than sitting secluded in an office struggling with diagrams and charts.
A manager normally works 38 to 40 hours per week, including evenings and weekends, especially during busy periods near seasonal holidays. Most managers have to work longer than their contract hours, and overtime pay is often unheard of. Managers need to accept having restricted social lives and less freedom, conforming to rigid dress codes, and dealing with intense pressure to perform if they want to enjoy the rewards and satisfaction that come with the business.
Attitude and Skills
The retail industry has always valued attitude and skill more than education. In fact, the industry follows the principle "recruit for attitude and train for skill." The retail store manger needs to possess the following career-specific and personal skills to be successful in the field.
- Business and financial sense
- The ability to deal with difficult customers
- The ability to motivate staff
- The expertise to innovate
- The tact to enforce rules and regulations in the workplace
- The motivation to get work done
- Familiarity with basic computer functions
- The capability to work under pressure for hours
- Drive, enthusiasm, and initiative
- Communication skills
- A positive and cheerful attitude
- Decision-making skills