Store Manager: Job Description, Duties and Requirements
Store managers are responsible for many aspects of a retail store's operation, from customer service and budget maintenance to personnel hiring, training and management. Some employers require formal education, such as a bachelor's degree in business, while others look for management and retail experience and choose to train prospective managers themselves.
Store Manager Job Description
Store managers supervise a retail organization's staff, meet customer needs and plan and coordinate sales, merchandising and budgeting. In order to effectively perform the multitude of tasks required, managers should work well under pressure and with deadlines, and have significant experience in retail business and human resources. They also need strong leadership, interpersonal and multitasking skills.
Store managers may work for a variety of retailers, including food, apparel and electronics. They work in an office environment while performing administrative duties and on the sales floor while addressing staffing, customer and merchandising needs. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the average annual salary of first-line supervisors of retail sales workers, including store managers, was $41,450 in May 2013.
Duties of Store Managers
In the office, store managers plan, monitor and maximize retail budgets and product inventory, purchasing and sales. They may work closely with regional managers and store owners to coordinate and determine the most cost-effective marketing and hiring strategies, and align their particular franchise with a retailer's parent business philosophy. Store managers use company software to draft proposals, recruit employees and research and track products.
On the floor, store managers must assemble the best possible sales team. They interview and selectively hire the most qualified candidates, provide time-efficient and thorough training and maintain the skills and well-being of current staff with motivational incentives and evaluations. In addition, managers must address customer needs by immediately resolving conflict, inspiring long-term customer relationships and creatively placing and rotating merchandise in a way that best catches customers' attention.
Store Manager Requirements
Because of the increasing amounts of responsibility placed on store managers, many employers prefer to hire employees with a bachelor's degree or other formal education in a business-related field. A bachelor's in business administration degree program provides students with the skills necessary to become effective store managers through coursework in such subjects as marketing, accounting, business ethics and management strategy. Employees with a degree are most likely to be promoted to a higher level of management and administration in larger retail companies.
Training and Experience
Various retail organizations provide their own managerial training programs. According to the BLS, such programs may last anywhere from one week to one year, and offer both on-the-job and classroom training. Topics covered in these programs range from customer service skills to employee interviewing and relations (www.bls.gov).
The National Retail Federation provides prospective store managers with the training and skills necessary for the job through courses in retail management, merchandising and human resources. However, actual experience in retail management and sales may substitute for formal education or training, depending on the employer.
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