How to Be a Good Manager in Retail

What does a retail manager need to do to be a good manager? First, they need to have interpersonal and employability skills which helps them to execute management plans so the stores can boost sales and retain customers. Hands on experience is very valuable but at times it can be limiting to your craft. When it comes to business the success is often determined by your profits not by the loyalty of your employees or family. Being a successful manager in retail is much more than filling your product displays and rotating stock, it’s about being personable and professional and helping your company or the one you work for to succeed and reach heights it never thought imaginable.

A good manager will know the best ways to do the basics and to do them well. You should not need to find out how to do it for the manager and give them all the information they don’t have. Your rewards will come when your crew ends up exceeding the expectations such as increasing the number of items in a sale, adding onto each and every sale with a little personal touch and driving the average sale amount higher per each week.

There are certain skills that are essential for retail managers to have:


A good manager needs to oversee the employees whilst keeping their weaknesses and their abilities in mind when it comes to prioritizing the multiple projects they will have at a single time. This is a good way to develop and use problem solving skills. The best managers are able to multi-tasks and balance out their priorities without losing any productivity of the day and continuing to complete tasks at a successful rate.

Decision making

A great manager will have the ability to evaluate and then decide what things are crucial to the success of the store. In retail, actions must be acted upon fast but when it comes to making the right decision fast means you have to evaluate the information and take out what is important. A bad manager is one who looks at the situation over and over without being able to make a decision. Decision making requires quick thinking, wherewithal and understanding of the situation and the ability to take action.


The best managers will know how to get the most out of their employees by using their management skills, listening skills and their problem-solving skills to encourage the associates and fellow employees. A leader needs to be able to use constructive criticism instead of belittling or discouraging staff members. A manager needs to be able to lead in times of chaos. An employee may have cut their hand when fitting some new metal display stands and another employee might be affected by this, it is up to you as the manager to step up and lead through the incident.


This sits right with leadership. In order to be an effective manager you need to have the ability to motivate the employees. A retail manager needs to be able to nurture clear performance expectations and you need to set the goals to keep everyone focused on the success of the company. It’s all great to say that you have completed a course and successfully obtained a certificate 3 in business management, but are you able to translate those skills into motivating your employees and communicating effectively to them? You need to be able to use your skills and knowledge as a manager in retail to make sure everyone is motivated to complete a central goal.

Organisational skills

A manager needs to be able to look for the different areas in which the procedures or rules of the company need improvement. Good managers need to be open to new employees who start and find problems or things that need improving. Being organised is having work set-out for each and every employee to be doing and have them trained correctly and learn to cut costs when there is a need to.

Effective communication

There is only a small percentage of communication that is done by verbal speaking. Facial expression, body language and the tone you use when speaking all combine to convey your message. A good manager will have the ability to communicate their wants and points but also listen to those around them. This means looking people in the eye and not using smartphones to communicate.

Most importantly the retail manager will be on time every day, they stay late when needed and they offer to help when times are busy. Being there for the employees when they need is important not only for the business but employees to.

Being a great manager is about realising that not everyone in your team is the same person. They all have different needs and motivations, it is your job to keep them all safe and confident within the business.