What does a Shopkeeper do?

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  • Written By: Dan Cavallari
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 28 April 2019
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Most owners or managers of smaller retail establishments are sometimes known as the shopkeeper of the store. A shopkeeper will interact with customers and answer questions about products or services; in many cases, the shopkeeper may perform the service for which the customer has entered the store. The various tasks of shopkeepers depend on the type of shop being run, though many, if not all, shop owners or managers will be responsible for managing payroll as well as the other finances for the store, managing stock, and preventing theft. Other duties may include shop-specific tasks, managing employees, and opening and closing the store each day.

As a shopkeeper, one might spend a fair amount of time alone. Many shops are small and require few or no additional employees, meaning the shopkeeper may be responsible for all aspects of the business. Significant time will be spent interacting with customers and addressing their needs, but even more time may be spent managing stock. This means ordering items, pricing items, putting items on sale, or creating new displays that showcase the items for sale. By extension, the shopkeeper must also manage the finances of the shop to ensure enough money is available to purchase stock for the store.


If the shop is large enough to warrant hiring additional employees, the shopkeeper will be responsible for managing those employees. This means ensuring the employees get paid properly and on time; ensuring employees are covering all appropriate shifts; monitoring employee behavior to ensure customers are satisfied with their experiences in the shop; and hiring and firing according to need and performance. Shopkeepers may also be responsible for giving raises and promotions within the company. If the shop manager or owner is the only employee of the shop, that person will be responsible for rendering the services the shop offers; a bakery, for example, will require the owner or manager to make various pastries and other foods, and a locksmith may require the owner or manager to make keys, locks, and so on.

In some situations, shopkeepers may be responsible for the maintenance of the building in which the business is housed. This may not be an issue if the business is located in a larger building owned by a landlord, but shops that are operated out of a small space owned by the shopkeeper will require maintenance, and it must be done by the owner or manager. Shopkeepers may need to address plumbing and electrical issues, fire code adherence, building code adherence, or even basic repairs and maintenance such as replacing light bulbs, cleaning or replacing windows, or repairing floors or ceilings.


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