What does a Retail Manager do?

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  • Written By: Susan Grindstaff
  • Edited By: Heather Bailey
  • Last Modified Date: 23 November 2019
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A retail manager is someone who oversees the operation of a retail establishment. The job description for a retail manager may differ greatly depending on company policy and the size of the store. In most cases, these managers will be responsible for hiring and firing store employees, maintaining proper levels of store inventory, and overseeing customer service.

In many cases, those who manage small stores have many more responsibilities than those who work for large chain retailers. This is because large retailers often have whole departments devoted to segments of store management. For instance, in a small store, the retail manager may have complete control of inventory and inventory management. In large retailers however, stock is often tracked by computer in a centralized location, and the manager may have little control over inventory or its selection.

Small retailers often expect store managers to set prices on inventory. They may also be allowed to determine what inventory to put on sale, and the timing of these sales. This often works well because store managers usually become very attuned to their customer base and their spending habits. Larger retailers typically have centralized departments that make all the decisions regarding pricing. In these situations, the retail manager is simply expected to see that the store inventory is priced accordingly.


Regardless of the size of the store, most retail managers are expected to handle store staffing. While they may not always have control over the number of store employees, they typically are able to make decisions on who is hired when a position is open. They are expected to go over job applications and conduct interviews before making any hiring decisions. Most of the time, store managers take this responsibility very seriously because often the success of new hires is a direct reflection on their own job performance.

Two of the most important responsibilities of a retail manager involve store security and banking. In most cases, the store manager must make sure the store is locked down securely at the end of the workday. They are usually expected to collect cash from the stores and make sure it is safely secured until a bank deposit can be made. To be sure that someone in authority is always available to handle money, this responsibility is often shared with an assistant manager. Retail managers and assistant managers are also often expected to be on hand to unlock and prepare the store for morning openings.


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