Retail Store Manager

Retail store managers specialize in the management of stores that sell specific types of merchandise, such as groceries, meat, liquor, apparel, furniture, automobile parts, electronic items, or household appliances. They may also work in a specific department within a department store. Retail store managers may plan advertising campaigns and sales promotions, hire and train personnel, control inventories, draft budgets, and recommend, establish, or implement store procedures and policies. Sometimes they many direct remodeling, plan store layouts and design displays, determine selling strategies, and represent the store to manufacturers. They may also be responsible for stocking shelves, taking inventory, supervising employees, or doing sales work. Managers in large stores usually delegate these tasks to other workers, while managers in smaller establishments may perform many of the tasks themselves.

Job Skills

Retail store managers should be able to communicate clearly with, and get along with, many different types of people. They should have qualities such as initiative, self-discipline, and decisiveness. They need to be able to organize and motivate the workers they supervise. Because their duties often require them to attend to all areas of the store, they must be able to withstand long periods of walking and standing.


Retail store managers have an average hourly wage of $17.74, but earnings vary depending on the size, type, and profitability of the store where they work. They may start out making anywhere from minimum wage to $9.00 per hour in small stores with reasonably priced merchandise. Managers often receive bonuses of various types. While the methods for determining bonuses vary between companies, a highly successful manager may earn a total of $100,000 per year or more.

Training and Education

Retail store managers enter the occupation through a variety of paths. Some employers require applicants to have a college degree in business administration, while others only require two years of college. Courses of study may include accounting, public speaking, and basic computer operations. Community colleges offer associate’s degrees in marketing. Some employers are less interested in formal education and more interested in experience and aptitude. Many companies offer on-the-job training programs for managers to further develop their skills.

Employees usually need to demonstrate their leadership potential or have a strong educational background in order to qualify for these development programs. Retail store managers may advance to their position through the ranks as sales person, assistant buyer, buyer, and ultimately, store manager. From store manager, they may advance further to branch or division manager. Visit this page about retail management courses for more information on becoming a retail store manager.

Job Outlook

Job opportunity for retail store managers is expected to grow faster than the average for all occupations. This will be largely due to the expansion of retail stores, the high turnover rate in the occupation, the trend toward keeping stores open longer, and changing populations and markets that constantly require new marketing strategies. Opportunity will be best for those managers who are able to adapt to continuing innovations in retail management, especially those who can foresee opportunities in new markets.