Store Managers oversee the running of a shop, supermarket or store. Their main aim is to maximise profits. They might, for example, organise staffing, monitor stock levels, make sure that goods are displayed effectively, manage a budget and promote excellence in customer service.
Also known as
- Shop Manager
- Store Manager, Retail
- Supermarket Manager
- Retail Manager
Store Managers control the day-to-day running of a shop, supermarket or store, with the overall aim of improving its commercial performance. You must make sure that sales targets are achieved while keeping operating costs within a set budget.
A typical day could involve you being at the store some time before opening and checking that it is ready to trade legally, safely and effectively.
As the leader of a store team, you might have to, for example:
- recruit new staff
- check staff rotas
- arrange, and sometimes deliver, staff training
- analyse sales figures
- develop and implement new sales strategies
- write reports
- hold staff meetings to discuss a new policy or promotion
- solve problems
You also have to walk the sales floor to monitor the performance of key product lines and deal with some customer enquiries. You might have to close the store at the end of trading, and take overall responsibility for stock and store security.
In larger organisations with many branches, Group or Area Managers set the long-term strategies, budgets and sales targets, and monitor sales figures. You also need to be aware of what your competitors are doing.
In large stores, there could be a team of several Managers, each one responsible for their own department, with a single Store Manager in overall charge. Managers who work for larger retailers usually have to work within a series of guidelines passed on to them by their head office.
Store Managers in smaller, independent shops can expect to have a more 'hands on' approach. You usually have more flexibility in the way you organise and display your products. A small shop might be managed by the owner.
Being able to read, write and speak Welsh may be an advantage when you’re looking for work in Wales.
Personal Qualities and Skills
To become a Store Manager, you will need to be:
- able to show that you can motivate, support and encourage people
- a good manager of your own time
- able to delegate jobs to others
- able to forecast, plan and prioritise
- confident and decisive in unpredictable situations
- able to communicate effectively with people from all walks of life
Pay and Opportunities
The pay rates given below are approximate.
- Starting: £19,500 - £22,000
- With experience: £25,000 - £30,500
- Senior Store Managers earn £35,000 - £41,000
Hours of work
Store Managers usually work 35 to 39 hours a week. However, long and unsocial hours, including late night and weekend work is common. Large retail companies (often referred to as retail multiples) expect their Managers to move to stores in other parts of the country when required. In some cases, you might be expected to be 'on-call' in emergencies.
Where could I work?
The greatest number of employment opportunities are with major retail multiples. These might specialise in a particular retail sector such as food or fashion. Other opportunities exist in department stores and with large and small independent retailers.
Opportunities for Store Managers occur in every town and city throughout the UK.
In smaller stores, the Store Manager might also be the Owner, working on a self-employed basis.
Where are vacancies advertised?
Vacancies are advertised in local/national newspapers, on job boards and large employers' websites, in small shops, on Find a Job and at Jobcentre Plus.
Entry Routes and Training
It is possible to start as a Retail Assistant and apply for supervisory and then management training, after gaining experience.
An Advanced or Higher Level Apprenticeship is a great place to start. You may be able to take an NVQ qualification as part of your apprenticeship.
Many management trainees have A levels or higher qualifications such as a HND or a degree.
Applicants with a degree in retailing or business might have an advantage. Foundation degrees in retail management are also available.
A great way to get into this career is through an internship. Take a look at our information article '
Many stores run their own management training schemes that usually last for one to two years, perhaps longer for non-graduates. These involve the trainee working in a variety of departments such as customer services, distribution and human resources.
Trainees usually then manage a small section before applying for departmental management positions. To complement this, trainees usually attend courses on management skills, technology, communication, buying and merchandising.
For Retail Managers selling food items, the Institute of Grocery Distribution offers training courses and workshops. General management courses and professional qualifications are offered by the Chartered Management Institute.
You could also take a diploma in retail skills (management) at level 3. This course has a range of units, which include:
- auditing stock levels and stock inventories in a retail environment
- sourcing goods and services
- monitoring and helping improve food safety
- managing staff to receive goods
- managing the availability of goods on display
- producing staff schedules to help a retail team to achieve its targets
- making effective decisions
- managing a conflict in a team
- motivating colleagues to promote web-based retail facilities to customers
Other courses could be available in your area.
Previous experience within a retail or management role will be really useful for this career.
Store Managers in smaller stores can progress to management posts in larger stores, and then to Area Manager and head office management roles.
Qualifications vary between management training programmes and the level of entry.
To get onto an Advanced or Higher Level Apprenticeship, you will usually need at least five GCSEs at A*-C or 9-4, including English and maths, and possibly two A levels. Take a look at our information article
Entry to graduate training programmes is usually with a degree or HND.
For entry to a degree course in any subject, the usual minimum requirement is:
- 2/3 A levels
- GCSEs at grade C/4 or above in 2/3 other subjects
You are likely to need GCSEs in English and maths at grade C/4 or above.
Alternatives to A levels include:
- BTEC level 3 qualification (useful subjects include 'retail' and 'retail knowledge')
- the International Baccalaureate Diploma
However, course requirements vary, so please check college/university websites very carefully.
Some management training schemes accept candidates with A levels or equivalent. It might be possible to enter with some GCSEs at grade C/4 or above, although this is a lengthy training route.
Some universities accept the Welsh Baccalaureate as equivalent to 1 A level.
It is illegal for any organisation to set age limits for entry to employment, education or training, unless they can show there is a real need to have these limits.
If you don't have the qualifications needed to enter your chosen degree or HND course, a college or university Access course (for example, Access to Business) could be the way in.
These courses are designed for people who have not followed the usual routes into higher education. No formal qualifications are usually needed, but you should check this with individual colleges.
There are degree and postgraduate courses in business available by distance learning.
The Open University offers foundation degrees in business and retail management.
- 14% of people in occupations such as Store Manager are self-employed.
- 11% work part-time.
- 7% have flexible hours.
Contact individual employers.
Apprenticeships: Get In. Go Far
National Apprenticeship Service (NAS)
Tel: 0800 015 0400
Open University (OU)
Tel: 0845 3006090
Retail, fashion and hospitality industries
Tel: 020 8340 3366
National Skills Academy for Food & Drink
Sector Skills Council for the food and drinks industry
Food and drink careers
A Career in Retail
Address: 4th Floor, 93 Newman Street, London W1T 3EZ
Tel: 020 7462 5060
Fashion Retail Academy
Address: 15 Gresse Street, London W1T 1QL
Tel: 020 7307 2345
Institute of Grocery Distribution (IGD)
Address: Grange Lane, Letchmore Heath, Watford, Hertfordshire WD25 8GD
Tel: 01923 857141