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What is a store manager?

At a glance

  • Store managers help maintain individual retail establishments by hiring and training employees, ensuring customer satisfaction and sales numbers, and carrying out other daily duties.
  • Financial oversight is an important component to the role of store managers. They help budget employee hours, track inventory, aim to hit profitability targets and more.
  • Education requirements to become a retail manager vary depending on an employer’s needs, but a business degree can teach skills that are desirable for this role.
  • Learn business management knowledge and skills through a flexible, online business program at University of Phoenix!

What is a store manager?

Store managers are retail management professionals who aid in the day-to-day operations of a retail store, such as overseeing employees and their schedules among other duties. They often have to foster customer satisfaction by interacting with patrons directly. Managers also maintain inventory levels, implement marketing strategies, and train and motivate employees. Essentially, they’re the backbone of the store, ensuring that it’s smooth, functioning and profitable.

Managers also occasionally greet customers, offer assistance to both customers and employees and resolve concerns. By building strong relationships, store managers can boost customer loyalty, encourage repeat visits and drive sales.

But that’s not all. Store managers are also multitasking experts who wear many hats when managing a workforce. They recruit, hire and train employees, set schedules, conduct performance evaluations and delegate tasks. They may also help employees reach their potential and stay motivated and ensure everyone has the necessary skills and knowledge. Overall, they have many small- and big-picture duties to be mindful of.

Start your business career on the right foot. Explore business degrees at University of Phoenix! 

Duties and responsibilities of a store manager

Depending on the store, a store manager may have varying levels of responsibility. Many managers are responsible for overseeing employees as well as financial management and customer service. Aside from these greater responsibilities, managers might perform a range of duties each day, such as:

  • Opening and closing the store
  • Ensuring the store is clean, organized and visually appealing
  • Ensuring merchandise gets stocked and replenished
  • Hiring and supervising employees and associates
  • Leading by example and guiding their team on how to engage with customers

A store manager’s job description can involve marketing activities too, primarily if their store has a regional model. They may collaborate with the marketing team to develop and execute local initiatives, such as hosting events in their store or partnering with community organizations. They may also:

  • Monitor market trends
  • Conduct competitor analysis
  • Adapt strategies to stay ahead in the game

Store managers are also known to be the go-to when handling unexpected challenges or emergencies. They must make quick decisions and take appropriate action to ensure overall safety and success.

Financial oversight and management

Financial management is a key part of successful business, and store managers must understand how to handle financial aspects such as:

  • Monitoring expenses
  • Analyzing financial reports
  • Preparing and managing budgets
  • Identifying areas for improvement
  • Striving to achieve profitability targets
  • Making informed decisions to optimize resources and minimize waste

Another part of this is analyzing sales data, identifying trends and developing strategies to drive sales. In addition, they collaborate with their team to implement promotional campaigns, create attractive displays and optimize the store layout to maximize sales potential.

Customer service

Store managers understand that happy customers are vital to their business’s success. The manager and company as a whole strive to create an environment that fosters customer satisfaction from the moment someone steps through the door.

To do this, they must train and motivate their employees to deliver outstanding customer service. They provide guidance on how to:

  • Engage with customers
  • Actively listen to their needs
  • Offer personalized assistance

Moreover, store managers are the ultimate problem-solvers regarding customer complaints or concerns. They need to have the skills to actively listen to customer grievances and find solutions that leave them feeling understood, valued and satisfied.

But creating a positive customer experience also means paying attention to details. Store managers ensure the store is well maintained and visually appealing by keeping shelves stocked, merchandise neatly displayed and aisles clear of clutter. They understand that a well-organized store makes shopping more convenient and enhances the overall customer experience.

Inventory management

Inventory management is one of the most critical tasks. Store managers must:

  • Manage stock levels
  • Monitor inventory accuracy
  • Order new products

They must stay on trend by learning what’s selling well and adjusting orders accordingly to avoid overstocking or understocking. Likewise, they ensure all products are correctly priced, labeled and displayed. Plus, they have to plan for seasonal changes.

Staff training and development

Without their team, store managers’ efforts would be challenging alone. That’s why providing training and development opportunities for employees is important. Store managers are responsible for giving staff the tools they need to succeed, including:

  • On-the-job training
  • Feedback and guidance
  • Regular performance reviews

Likewise, finding employee training solutions can help increase productivity. For example, online courses and digital programs offer flexible learning for employees, allowing them to work on their skills independently. Training helps ensure that staff are up to date on policies, processes and procedures.

Benefits of being a store manager

Being a store manager allows you to gain invaluable leadership experience, hone your supervision skills, develop your management style and learn how to motivate others. There are other benefits as well:

  • You have the chance to influence people’s lives: By fostering a positive culture and investing in employee development, you can help your team members grow both personally and professionally.
  • Opportunities for career growth: You may have the chance to move up to regional or district management positions, oversee multiple stores or explore options in other industries where your leadership and operational skills may be sought after.

Overall, you have the potential to make a lasting, positive impression on customers and colleagues.

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How long does it take to get a business management degree? 

How to become a store manager

There are many skills and qualifications that make a store manager successful:

  • Leadership: Ability to inspire, motivate and guide a team toward achieving common goals
  • Communication: Excellent oral and written communication skills to interact effectively with employees, customers and stakeholders
  • Problem-solving: Aptitude for identifying issues, analyzing data and finding creative solutions to challenges that arise in the store
  • Time management: Strong organizational skills to prioritize tasks, manage schedules and meet deadlines in a fast-paced environment
  • Business acumen: Understanding of retail operations, sales strategies and financial concepts to drive profitability and make informed decisions
  • Adaptability: Flexibility to easily navigate changing priorities, industry trends and customer demands
  • Pay attention to detail: Keen eye for detail to ensure visual merchandising, inventory management and store presentation
  • Technical proficiency: Familiarity with point-of-sale systems, inventory management software and other retail technology tools

By embodying these skills and qualifications, store managers can thrive in their role.

Education needed for a store manager

At a minimum, a high school education is required to become a store manager. However, there will be employers who prefer or require a college degree. Having a college degree, such as a bachelor’s degree in management, can provide you with a comprehensive understanding of business fundamentals and management principles. Along with education, experience may also be important to employers.

However, while degrees provide valuable knowledge and skills, they don’t guarantee job outcomes. Success relies on a combination of knowledge, experience and the application of learned skills in real-world situations.

Average salary of a store manager

As of May 2021, the U.S. Bureau Labor of Statistics (BLS) reported that general and operations managers made between $43,470 and $221,270 annually. It’s important to keep in mind that this role and its annual salary can vary, especially by city, state, years with the company or experience in general, among other factors.

The best way to determine annual salary for a specific role you’re interested in is to see if the job description states the salary range being offered or ask the employer in the interview what to expect. You might also do a search to see what the average salary is reported for your specific city and state to get an idea.

If you want to become a store manager a degree in business is helpful in teaching foundational knowledge in this field and will likely help you stand out when applying for open roles.

BLS Occupational Employment Projections, 2021-2031 is published by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. This data reflects BLS’ projections of national (not local) conditions. These data points are not specific to University of Phoenix students or graduates.

Business programs at University of Phoenix

If becoming a store manager interests you, or you simply desire to learn fundamental knowledge about business skills, University of Phoenix offers a variety of flexible, online programs to consider:

  • Bachelor of Science in Business — This program prepares students for management roles in a variety of organizations. Gain a solid foundation in core business concepts while customizing your business bachelor’s degree with a certificate in analytics, entrepreneurship or other areas.
  • Bachelor of Science in Management — In this program you’ll study leadership skills required to become a better business manager. Develop in-demand skills in management, operations and strategic planning to improve productivity, efficiency and communication in a business setting.
  • Bachelor of Science in Business with an Associate of Arts concentration in Business Fundamentals — This program enables you to earn a credential on the path to your bachelor’s degree. You’ll learn skills such as finance, marketing, accounting and other business practices. You’ll also become familiar with legal, ethical and regulatory considerations, business communication, management strategies and statistical analysis.
  • Bachelor of Science in Business with an Operations Management Certificate — How does business theory become hands-on operations management? With the help of a Bachelor of Science in Business with an Operation Management Certificate, students learn how to bridge the gap between areas such as marketing, analytics and business law to application of critical business principles in an organizational setting.
  • Bachelor of Science in Business with a Small Business Management and Entrepreneurship Certificate — This program is designed to prepare graduates with the requisite knowledge, skills and abilities to effectively apply business principles and tools in an organizational setting. The BSB foundation is designed to bridge the gap between theory and practical application while examining accounting, communication, diversity and inclusion, economics, finance, business law and ethics, management, marketing, organizational behavior, business analytics and information systems.
  • Master of Management — This program promotes the development of management competencies through the practical application of theory, business and management diagnostics, and the formulation of creative management and consulting solutions. Students acquire a wide range of tools, concepts and methodologies to design, conduct and follow through on successful leadership and entrepreneurship practices. In addition, students actively develop their interpersonal and business-related management skills to foster leadership, creative thinking, collegiality and teamwork ability in an international context.
  • Master of Business Administration — In this MBA program you’ll learn sought-after skills such as management, operations, communication, leadership and decision-making. Other skills taught include:
    • Integrating decision-making skills to deliver organizational value in dynamic environments
    • Creating strategies for sustainable organizational success that integrates the organization’s mission and vision with societal values
    • Synthesizing leadership skills to foster innovation and facilitate change in a dynamic business environment
    • Evaluating the global environment to sustain an organization’s competitive advantage
    • Integrating managerial skills to support strategic execution in a rapidly changing business environment
Michael Feder

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Michael Feder is a content marketing specialist at University of Phoenix, where he researches and writes on a variety of topics, ranging from healthcare to IT. He is a graduate of the Johns Hopkins University Writing Seminars program and a New Jersey native!

 

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