Retail managers run businesses that sell products or services. They are
responsible for all facets of the business.
That includes hiring and firing, managing merchandise and staff and working
with suppliers. They also plan budgets, analyze sales figures and trends and
set pricing and other store policies. At larger companies, these functions
may be divided between managers who specialize in different areas.
Retail managers can work in department stores, supermarkets or car dealerships.
Other possibilities are wholesale clubs and factory outlets. They sell books,
furniture, clothes, food, cosmetics and novelties. Anything that is for sale
needs someone to manage it.
"If you don't truly enjoy working with people, seek another career path,"
says Warren L. Flanigan. He has worked in various retail management positions
for many years.
"The most important quality a manager must have is the ability to motivate
and develop people. Many managers believe that employees must do what they
ask simply because they are the boss. In reality, this form of management
is short-term thinking. It does nothing for the employees' personal growth."
Jennifer Ratliff is a recruitment professional from Ohio. She specializes
in placing retail managers. She says the job needs "someone who is very outgoing,
very goal-oriented, dedicated and high energy. Also, someone who is flexible
and patient because of the constant changes in retail."
Working conditions and hours vary. They depend on where you work and what
your job title is. Generally, it's 40 hours a week. But it can work out to
more for many managers, especially during busy seasons. Weekends and nights
are usually included.
At higher levels, Ratliff says three to four nights per week might be spent
traveling. "Expect constant changes in scheduling, requirements, company goals,"
Retail managers usually have an office area within their stores. However,
they spend a lot of time on the sales floor. "As a planner, 40 percent of
my time is spent with my buyers, while the other 60 percent is time spent
working on my own," says Rozel Gonzales. She is a merchandise planner.