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How to Become a Retail Manager in the UK

Do you have excellent managerial skills and would like to utilise your expertise in the business field? The career of a retail manager might be perfect for you. Retail managers are responsible for the daily management of retail outlets.

What Do Retail Managers Do?

The position of a retail manager requires you to:

  • Manage and motivate a team to increase efficiency and boost sales
  • Mange stock levels and make vital stock control decisions
  • Evaluate and interpret trends to execute planning
  • Record sales figures for forward planning and data analysis
  • Respond to customer comments and complaints
  • Update colleagues on new initiatives, business performance and any other pertinent matters
  • Meet sales targets and optimize profitability
  • Promote and market the business
  • Ensure business compliance to safety and health legislation
  • Manage budgets
  • Prepare promotional materials


Earnings for retail managers depend highly on their dedication, employer, experience and location.

Starting managers


 £20,000- £30,000

Experienced mangers


 £35,000- £50,000

Senior managers


More than  £70,000

Source: Prospects


The position of a retail manager needs you to have the following imperative qualities:

  • Excellent time management skills
  • Excellent arithmetic skills
  • Outstanding instructing and motivational skills
  • Strong orientation to service
  • Ability to work under pressure and handle stressful circumstances
  • Enthusiasm, drive and confidence
  • A sense of responsibility and decision-making aptitude
  • Good people skills and excellent business sense
  • A clear understanding of security, health and retail laws
  • Ability to evaluate figures


There are many routes to the career of a retail manager. For instance, you can gain this position through:

  • A graduate trainee administration scheme
  • A management apprenticeship program
  • Promotion within a retail department
  • Moving from a management position in a related trade

Most retail managers gain this position through promotion. This results from building experience as a sales assistant by pursuing training and development. Training, mentoring and work placements in various business sectors give these individuals leadership qualities and retail knowledge necessary for their practice.

Another way is through retail management advanced apprenticeship schemes. These programs provide trainees who aspire to fast-track their management profession with work-based training together with studies to give them management qualifications. Alternatively, you can switch from a managerial position in a related specialty such as customer or sales service, then seek retail training to build on your prevailing managerial experience.

Even though there are many ways to achieve this position, excellent interpersonal skills are considered to be more important for this career than formal qualifications. These professionals usually receive on-the-job training. There are also a number of professional courses for those who want to obtain specialized training. These include level 3 certificate and diploma in retail skills as well as foundation degrees and bachelor’s degrees in retail management. During your journey up the hierarchy, you move from the position of a department manager to a deputy store manager and then finally to the store manager. With more experience and training, you are open to job openings in operations department or even regional sales depending on the company’s size.

Career Prospects

Retail managers can work in any trade that requires their services. According to the NCS, there will be about 2,300,000 jobs for these professionals by 2020 in the UK. Once they receive sufficient hands-on experience, retail managers can move into more specialist positions such as marketing, buying or personnel.

If you are good in instructing, monitoring and motivating staff, this is a perfect career for you!

Image Source: Dexel

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