Retail managers organise and manage the operations of retail stores or departments, including staff.
Assistant retail managers usually earn
$44K-$48K per year
Retail managers usually earn
$48K-$60K per year
Source: Retail NZ, 2020.
Pay for retail managers varies depending on experience, responsibilities, and employer.
- Assistant retail managers usually earn minimum wage to $48,000 a year.
- Department managers usually earn minimum wage to $51,000.
- Retail managers usually earn $48,000 to $60,000.
Source: Retail NZ, '2020 Wages Guide', 2020.
- PAYE.net.nz website - use this calculator to convert pay and salary information
- Employment New Zealand website - information about minimum wage rates
(This information is a guide only. Find out more about the sources of our pay information)
What you will do
Retail managers may do some or all of the following:
- choose products and determine stock levels and prices
- hire, train and supervise staff
- create and implement buying and marketing policies
- sell goods and services to customers, and advise them on product use
- maintain records of stock levels and financial transactions
- complete budgets and financial plans
- make sure shops comply with health and safety regulations.
Skills and knowledge
Retail managers need to have:
- customer service skills
- sales skills
- knowledge of the products they are selling, and how they are used
- knowledge of the Consumer Guarantees Act
- knowledge of health and safety regulations
- cash-handling and maths skills
- ability to manage and supervise staff
- marketing, financial and business management skills.
- may work full time or part time, and may also work evenings and weekends
- work in various kinds of shops and in offices.
What's the job really like?
Grocery and Checkout Manager
Jayne Go works as a grocery and checkout manager for Farro, a busy grocery outlet.
“I started working as a retail assistant and worked hard for about four years before accepting my new job as a grocery retail manager. I believe that my previous work experience was great training for the role, as was a leadership training course I completed.”
A busy retail environment brings rewards and challenges
Jayne enjoys many aspects of her role as a grocery and checkout manager, especially managing staff, making important decisions and dealing with the day-to-day challenges of working in a busy retail environment. Other daily tasks include ordering stock, pricing and discounting goods, supervising junior staff, administration, and making sure the business operations she is responsible for run smoothly.
Retail offers opportunities
Jayne's experience working in the retail sector has provided her with skills and knowledge that she feels will be useful for future career opportunities. She suggests that by taking advantage of every chance to learn and improve there are good careers opportunities for retail managers.
“The things I have learnt while working as a retail manager can help me to build my own business in the future if I choose to do so.”
There are no specific requirements to become a retail manager. However, you generally need business management skills or experience in retail work.
Most retail managers gain experience in retail sales assistant roles before moving into management positions, and many retail stores have their own in-house management training programmes.
Retail managers can also complete a formal qualification, such as a business management course or the New Zealand Certificate in Retail (Level 3 or 4).
There are no specific secondary education requirements to become a retail manager. However, English, maths, accounting, economics and business studies are useful.
Additional requirements for specialist roles:
Retail managers working in some specialist roles may need to meet additional requirements. For example, antique dealers require a second-hand dealer's licence from a district court, and liquor store managers need a Licence Controller Qualification (LCQ).
Retail managers need to be:
- good at communicating
- good at customer service
- mature and responsible
- reliable and honest
- able to lead people
- able to make good decisions
- able to work well under pressure.
Useful experience for retail managers includes:
- sales and marketing
- cash handling
- customer service
- any other business management work.
Find out more about training
- 0800 863 693 - www.serviceiq.org.nz
What are the chances of getting a job?
Impact of COVID-19 on retail jobs
The retail sector has experienced steady growth in recent years, but has been impacted significantly by the COVID-19 crisis.
Vacancies for retail managers are still being frequently advertised because it is a large industry with many roles. However, getting a job can be difficult due to high competition for roles and the impact of COVID-19 on the industry.
According to the Census, 35,148 retail managers worked in New Zealand in 2018.
Experience and adaptability increase chances of work
Vacancies for retail managers are common due to the large size of the occupation.
Chances of getting work as a retail manager are best for those who:
- have experience managing retail businesses
- are flexible about their work hours (including working evenings and weekends)
- want to work in retail areas that employ large numbers of staff, such as supermarkets, clothing retailers, hardware retailers and department stores.
Chances of finding work are also better between November and January, when retailers often take on more staff to deal with the rush before and after Christmas.
Types of employers varied
Retail managers work for a range of employers, including:
- department stores
- specialist clothing shops
- hardware, building and garden suppliers
- electronics stores
- motor vehicle and parts outlets
- food and beverage businesses.
Harford, G, chief executive, Retail NZ, careers.govt.nz interview, July 2020.
- Retail NZ, 'Retail Radar Report: Covid-19 Special Edition', July 2020, (www.retail.kiwi).
Stats NZ, '2018 Census Data', 2019.
(This information is a guide only. Find out more about the sources of our job opportunities information)
Progression and specialisations
Retail managers may progress to more senior roles, such as branch or regional retail manager.
Retail managers may specialise in a particular area of retail such as food, liquor, clothing, electronics or e-commerce.
Last updated 1 April 2022