5 Desirable Skills of a Retail Manager And Why They Matter

Retail managers wear many hats and have many responsibilities. They must work with customers, manage a sales team, meet sales quotas and lend a hand when needed. Because of this, companies looking to hire managers in the retail industry look for diverse, versatile, well-rounded individuals.

Unlike their counterparts in other industries, few retail managers have degrees in management that they can draw lessons from. Most of their learning happens on the job. Here are five learned skills every retail manager should possess.

Customer service

Since retail is all about making sure customers have an excellent experience, this skill is at the top of the list. A manager who is good at customer service is not one who thinks the customer is always right because sometimes they’re not. Instead, he or she is good at finding ways to get the customer what they want without compromising their personal or business integrity.

Communication Skills

Managers in the retail industry deal with people of all sorts. Their staff that reports to them is likely to include inexperienced, part-time or seasonal employees. Factor in customers, and now they’re dealing with a number of different personalities. The ability to effectively, clearly, and directly communicate with these various personalities is critically important.


Working in retail is not always glorious and often involves working long hours, weekends, and holidays, making it an industry with a lot of turnover. In this industry, it’s all about showing up. If managers don’t show up, failure follows. Retail managers need to be flexible with the day-to-day dealings of their space, and while the uncertainty can be exciting, it could also lead to burnout.


Retail is a fast-moving industry and it takes someone who is very organized to stay on top of everything that’s going on in and around his or her space. From managing employee schedules to internal sales contests and everything in between, successful retail managers need to be organized, good planners, and adept at troubleshooting any problems that will arise.


It’s important that managers know how to lead, not just manage, their staff. Leadership in retail is a lot like being a coach. Managers are teaching techniques while maintaining a positive atmosphere that values information sharing in all directions. Leadership also comes in the form of trust. Because a manager can’t be there 24/7, his or her staff must be able to work and solve problems on their own.

There is a lot to be learned in retail management. And while most managers receive some level of training prior to their promotion, the learning never stops.

If you’d like to learn strategies to sharpen your skills and position yourself for a career in retail management, schedule a free, no-obligation consultation.


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