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Customer services

Retail manager

Retail managers look after stores, motivate staff to achieve sales targets, organise promotional events and monitor industry trends.

Annual Salary

£20,000 to £60,000

Average UK salary in 2019 was £30,378
(source Office for National Statistics)

Working hours

40 to 42 a week

You could work: evenings / weekends / bank holidays; managing your own hours

5%
Future employment

There will be 5% more Retail manager jobs in 2026.
In your local area

Day to day tasks

You will:

  • manage and motivate teams to increase sales
  • oversee recruitment and training of staff
  • keep track of stock and ordering
  • organise sales promotions and in-store events
  • deal with queries, complaints and feedback from customers
  • analyse sales figures and forecast future sales
  • maintain awareness of market trends and monitor competitors
  • control budgets and costs
  • provide reports to senior company executives

Working environment

You could work at a store or in an office.

You can get into this job through:

  • a university course
  • a college course
  • an apprenticeship
  • working towards this role
  • a company training scheme
University

You could do a degree before applying to join an organisation's management training scheme. Most subjects are accepted but you may have an advantage if you study:

  • business retail management
  • retail marketing

It's useful to gain some experience in retail during your studies. You can do this through part-time retail jobs, internships and year placement schemes.

Your university careers service can help you find suitable opportunities.

Entry requirements

You'll usually need:

  • 2 to 3 A levels, or equivalent, for a degree
For more information
College

You could do a college course, which would teach you some of the skills and knowledge you need in this job. Relevant subjects include:

  • Level 3 Diploma in Retail Skills Management
  • Level 4 Diploma in Retail Management

Entry requirements

You'll usually need:

  • 4 or 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C), or equivalent, for a level 3 course
  • 1 or 2 A levels, a level 3 diploma or relevant experience for a level 4 or level 5 course
For more information
Apprenticeship

You could start off in a retail team leader advanced apprenticeship and work your way up, or do a retail manager higher apprenticeship or retail leadership degree apprenticeship.

Entry requirements

You'll usually need:

  • 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C), or equivalent, including English and maths, for an advanced apprenticeship
  • 4 or 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C) and A levels, or equivalent, for a higher or degree apprenticeship
For more information
Work

You may be able to start as a retail sales assistant and work your way up through promotion to supervisor or department manager.

You could also get into this job by switching from a managerial post in a related industry like customer service. You would be given training in retail to build on your existing management experience.

Other routes

Many national retailers run trainee management schemes. Some will be for people with a suitable degree.

These combine training and mentoring with work placements in different parts of the business to develop your retail knowledge, skills and leadership qualities.

More information

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With experience you could progress into area or regional management.

You could also move into more specialist areas, like customer service, training and operations management.

Skills required and how your skills match up

What skills are required?

You'll need:

  • customer service skills
  • patience and the ability to remain calm in stressful situations
  • the ability to accept criticism and work well under pressure
  • the ability to work well with others
  • leadership skills
  • to enjoy working with other people
  • sensitivity and understanding
  • the ability to sell products and services
  • business management skills
  • to be able to use a computer and the main software packages competently
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