Retail Business Manager: Job Description, Duties and Requirements

Sep 12, 2019

Retail business managers need to have a bachelor's degree and demonstrated leadership skills. It is common for businesses to have their own in-house training program for managers as well.

Essential Information

A retail business manager is responsible for the day-to-day and long-term operations and financial success of a business or store. Job duties include working with employees, management and customers. Leadership, communication and math are important skills for this position. Most managers hold bachelor's degrees, but ambitious store employees with less education sometimes work their way up the ranks. Many retailers have a corporate training program for their managers.

Required Education Bachelor's degree
Projected Job Growth (2018-2028)* 2% for first-line supervisors of retail sales workers
Mean Salary (2018)* $45,080 for first-line supervisors of retail sales workers

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).

Job Description for a Retail Business Manager

Retail business managers are responsible for the financial success and smooth operation of the business, as well as the resolution of any customer situations. In a large retail establishment such as a department store or supercenter, the manager may be assigned to a specific area or department, while smaller stores may have a general manager. The retail industry has a high turnover rate for employees, and the manager is responsible for interviewing, hiring and training all new workers. Retail business managers usually work at least 40 hours or more, especially during big sales promotions or holidays.

Many retail businesses have management trainee programs involving long hours and extensive exposure to various aspects of the business. These programs also usually send the trainee to different departments and different store locations.

Retail business managers can be salaried or may be part of a commission or profit-sharing arrangement. The mean salary for a retail manager in 2018 was $45,080 according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), with some making much more and others making less. More expensive items such as cars or furniture may bring larger salaries or commissions, but these items also require additional specialized product knowledge.


The duties of the retail business manager may vary depending on the establishment. Here are a few general duties of a retail manager:

  • Hire and train workers such as customer service associates, clerks and cashiers
  • Provide staff with product knowledge
  • Motivate sales clerks to meet or exceed sales goals
  • Make the schedule of workers
  • Place orders with vendors or wholesalers
  • Assign workers to specific projects such as cleaning or restocking
  • Notify staff of new procedures or policies


Most corporate manager trainee programs expect a college degree and usually have requirements for a certain GPA as well as extra-curricular activities, references, work experience and proven leadership skills. But many hard-working sales associates are gradually given more responsibility and work their way up to manager positions without a degree.

Managers need to have good communication and math skills. They're expected to have between 1-3 years of customer service or retail experience and are sometimes expected to have already served as a manager.

Retail business managers must oversee interviewing, hiring and training staff, along with the daily operations of the business they work for. They may be responsible for the whole store, or they may be assigned to a specific department. Other duties may include ordering stock, informing staff about products, and creating work schedules.

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