Retail Managers are responsible for the running and organisation of retail premises, its output, staff and performance.
A career as a Retail Manager is an exciting career opportunity for graduates to pursue, with many graduates choosing this route. Many companies chose to launch graduate retail management schemes where they fast track appropriate graduates for retail careers. These careers involve graduates becoming totally immersed in the company and running their retail premises for them.
Graduate Retail Managers are trusted with totally running a retail premises, and while they might be originally taken on as an assistant manager, all their training will be geared to taking over the reins on their own store. In general, Managers are trusted with the day to day business of a retail premises. This includes staff training and recruitment, stock monitoring and ordering and forecasting and promotions.
The duties of Retail Managers are varied and vary more depending on what industry that retail store is based in. However, there tends to be a set list of skills and qualities that contribute to being a really successful Retail Manager.
Top of the list of requirements to be a great Retail Manager is commercial awareness, understanding the market and the customers of a particular retail outlet is vital to any success they might have. While, personality traits like customer service, confidence and great man-management for dealing with staff can also put a graduate in good footing.
Retail manager salaries
The average starting salary for a graduate Retail Manager is £20,132. This is a great starting salary and will only grow as graduates commit to a company for longer. Graduates in Retail can also be rewarded more depending on the success of their particular outlet. Many Retail Managers are targeted and can reap the benefits of performing well.
It is also evident from the figures that graduates can earn very comparable figures compared to similar roles as well as potentially earning higher with a good performance.
The daily duties of a retail manager
As Retail is a very seasonal and wide ranging field, the daily duties of a Retail Manager are extremely varied. Graduates in the field can expect to be exposed to a range of tasks as they learn their trade. Whether it is moving stock around to managing staff rotas, in the early days of being a Retail Manager graduates can expect to muck in at every turn so they can learn the about the business and how its mechanics work. Here are some of the duties that Retail Managers can expect to do:
- Analysing turnover - One of the main responsibilities of a graduate Retail Manager is to ensure their stock is selling. Retail Managers are responsible for keeping an eye on the money coming into the business and responsible for making sure the amount of money that is supposed to be there is there. This includes things like "cashing up" where a Retail Manager will check the amount of cash and card receipts is the same as the till totals.
- Competitor analysis/awareness - Retail Managers are supposed to be aware of what their competitors are up to. Some retail industries are fiercely competitive so it is important they know why customers might be going to another shop rather than theirs, then knowing how to amend this.
- Maintaining premises - While Retail Managers are trusted with the operations in retail outlets, they also have a responsibility for the image of retail outlets. This could be arranging window displays or promotional stands, Retail Managers must make sure their premises are clean, tidy and inviting.
- Monitoring stock - Retail Managers will be entirely comfortable with their stock. Knowing the benefits and savings of individual products, as well as being able to impress this upon staff and customers. Retail Managers must also make sure all stock is accounted for and where it should be.
- Ordering stock - Following on from monitoring stock, Retail Managers must use their understanding of their customers and their area to pre-empt any rushes for stock and ensure they have the products in stock when customers are looking for them.
- Promotional and Marketing - An important part of a Retail Manager's duties are ensuring the store is profitable and one way to encourage this is running promotional initiatives and marketing campaigns. Whether this is running discounts or rewarding customer loyalty, Retail Managers sometimes have help from Head Office depending on the size of the organisation.
- Training Staff - Alongside making sure staff are content in their role, it is the duty of Retail Managers to improve staff members. This could be through making sure they have a great understanding of products, topping up their training in customer service or training them to use new customer service.
Retail Management can be a fantastic and rewarding career for graduates. It offers all the challenges and achievements available in many other sectors, but in this role graduates can experience real responsibility and the pride that comes with this when they are successful. For this career, graduates need to have excellent teamworking and interpersonal skills, as well as having a smart eye for business and analytical mind for figures and finances.