This job is sometimes referred to by alternative titles
Retail managers organise and manage the running of retail stores.
Assistant retail managers earn an average of
$17 per hour
Retail managers earn an average of
$22 per hour
Source: Trade Me Jobs, 'July-December 2015 Salary Guide', 2015.
Pay for retail managers varies depending on their experience and employer.
- Assistant retail managers earn an average of $17 an hour.
- Retail managers earn an average of $22 an hour.
Trade Me Jobs, 'July-December 2015 Salary Guide', 2015.
(This information is a guide only. Find out more about the figures and diagrams in our job 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:
- 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
- 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?
It’s all in the family
"I was born into this trade – it's in my blood", says antique dealer Keri Mason.
"My dad had an antique shop, and I went straight from school to here. The hands-on knowledge I got early on was brilliant."
A typical work day for Keri involves a lot of customer interaction. "Generally we're quite busy either buying, selling, cleaning or valuing. People pop in with the odd request, and I keep an eye on Trade Me."
Exciting job despite hard times
"Business is hard right now because everyone thinks they’re a dealer. Trade Me’s really made things tough.
"Also, people come in and want you to value their stuff for free. It’s taken me 28 years to accumulate this knowledge, so I don’t like giving it away for nothing."
Despite these problems, the job continues to excite Keri. "Surprising people is the bit I love the most. Often people don’t realise the value of an object. The worst-looking thing is usually worth the most money, and the most interesting thing is often worth nothing."
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 but useful subjects include English, maths, accounting, economics and business studies.
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.
You definitely need people skills because you have to deal with a wide range of people, of all ages and backgrounds. We get a lot of teenage girls and university students coming in interested in the vintage clothing, and then we also have little old ladies coming in to sell some of their jewellery.
Useful experience for retail managers includes:
- sales and marketing
- 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?
Vacancies are common and being flexible increases your chances
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 variety of employers, including:
- department stores
- specialist clothing shops
- hardware, building and garden suppliers
- electronics stores
- motor vehicle and parts outlets
- car rental firms
- food and beverage businesses.
- Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment, '2006-2014 Occupation Data' (prepared for Careers New Zealand), 2015.
- Statistics New Zealand, 'Retail Trade Survey: March 2016 Quarter', accessed July 2016, (www.stats.govt.nz).
- Statistics New Zealand, 'Census of Population and Dwellings', 2014, (www.stats.govt.nz).
Progression and specialisations
Retail managers may progress to more senior roles within the company, such as branch or regional retail manager.
Retail managers may specialise in a particular area of retail such as food, liquor, clothing, antiques or electronics.
Last updated 29 May 2017