How to become a Retail Manager
The UK economy has been in the past and continues to be supported considerably by the retail sector. The recession has admittedly rid us of some of the familiar stalwarts of the retail industry, but a career in retail is certainly not a poor career choice, irrespective of the growth of internet shopping and sales.
So – what does a Retail Manager do? Well, irrespective of the sector / type of retail you work in there are some common job duties that you are most likely going to have to undertake.
Managing people, managing stock, the day to day running of the store, and managing performance, targets, and overall store profit and loss are all typical responsibilities.
Some Retail Management roles are more target specific than others however and, be prepared in a ‘white goods’ environment such as furniture, electrical, mobile phones etc, that not only will the store have revenue targets; you and your staff will have individual sales targets to meet on a weekly, monthly and yearly basis.
There are some qualifications that will evidently aid your entry into and progression along the retail career ladder. Any HND or Degree level qualification associated with Retail Management is an advantage, as are more generic business related subjects such as business studies, management, and human resources. However like the majority of Management roles – in any discipline, a solid level of experience at a more junior level is more relevant when applying for a Retail Manager role.
To be shortlisted for a retail management role expect to need practical work experience at both a retail assistant and then assistant manager / deputy management level. Starting at the bottom and working your way up is a typical route to entry and this may take anything from 3 -5 years to achieve. You may also find that previous and transferable experience in another customer service and Management role, will aid any application you make – such as a Team Leader in a targeted call centre or a Sales Executive role for a wholesalers. Gaining entry level experience can be easier than in some other industries – but you still need to make sure that your CV and application highlights any customer service experience or skills that you feel you have.
It stands to reason, but to be a successful Retail Manager, you really need to have a passion for providing good customer service and care. You need to have good communication and people management skills – dealing with both customers and also your own staff. You will need to be able to deal with pressure and around peak seasonal periods in particular, working long hours, and you should also have good time management skills. Good IT, administration, presentation and report writing skills are required – as you will be expected to report to senior management on the performance and success of your team.
Still fancy a career as a Retail Manager? Good luck!! We hope these basic tips help you along the way…
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