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Retail Store Manager

Education and Training: No formal education required; bachelor’s degree in business related discipline preferred
Average Salary: $24,890-$65,300 per year
Job Outlook: Fair

A retail store manager oversees and handles the day to day operations of a retail store. Duties may include product inventory control, hiring and scheduling sales personnel, organizing and assembling displays and promotions, motivating the team to increase sales and improve performance, dealing with personnel relations, and responding to customer complaints and dissatisfactions.

Depending on the size of the business, retail store managers may take care of the human resources, marketing, and information systems at the organization. The primary goal of the retail store manager is to maximize the profit of the store while minimizing costs. The store manager typically reports to a district manager or has direct contact to the business owner.

Education and Training Requirements

While no formal education is required, some retail store manager positions prefer associates or bachelor’s degrees in business, management or a related discipline. A high school diploma is a must for the position and on-the-job training is required. College graduates do not require the training that those without a college degree must have before applying to a retail store management position. However, internships with larger retail stores are preferred regardless of the level of education. Six-month and one-year internships often lead to full-time employment as a retail store manager.

Getting the Job

The application procedures for a retail store manager position requires the completion of a resume and interview process. Candidates who display effective leadership and the ability to motivate people will have an edge over competition. Showing a work history as a retail sales associate during high school and college is an excellent way to reveal experience in the field.

Large retail chains offer internships that often lead to full-time positions as sales associates or assistant store managers. Once the individual has their foot-in-the-door, they are more likely to advance to a retail store manager position. The field is relatively easy to break into if the adequate experience is shown.

Job Prospects, Employment Outlook and Career Development

Jobs as retail store managers are expected to grow on a slower than average rate according to the current data released by the United States Department of Labor and Statistics. The slow rate of growth is expected due to the high number of competing applicants for jobs.

Advancement is possible for those retail store managers who display leadership and strong motivational skills. Proven team building records are necessary for individuals who wish to advance in their career. Advancement is possible within larger retail chains through transfers to other stores or main office headquarters.

Working Conditions and Environment

The working conditions and environment varies with industry and size. Standard working conditions include a store with a personal office for the retail store manager. Irregular hours are often the norm as managers are often needed to work evenings and weekends, especially during the busy retail seasons such as the holidays. While independent owners may create their own work hours, larger retail chains require their store managers to report for work on short notice when adequate staff is limited.

Retail store managers work on average between 40-60 hours per week. The increase in hours combined with customer relations and employee conflict resolution may result in high stress levels, especially during busy shopping seasons.

Salary and Benefits

The typical salary for a position as a retail store manager varies per industry and size of the business. The median salary range is $24,890-$65,300 per year. Starting salaries are typically on the low end of the range and increase over time and experience.

Most large organizations offer benefit packages that include health and medical insurance, retirement plans or 401(k), life and disability insurances, and paid time off for vacation and sick leave. While the schedule may be demanding for a retail store manager, time off is available with pay.

Where to Go for More Information

American Management Association
1601 Broadway, Ste. 7
New York, NY 10036

National Retail Federation
325 7th St. NW, Ste. 1100
Washington, DC 20004

Retail Industry Leaders Association
1700 N. Moore St., Ste. 2250
Arlington, VA 22209

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