Retail Manager

Occupation overview

Retail managers are responsible for delivering sales targets and a positive experience to customers that will encourage repeat custom and loyalty to the brand / business. It is a diverse role that includes leading and developing a team to achieve business objectives and work with a wide range of people, requiring excellent communication skills. Maximising income and minimising wastage are essential to the job and therefore individuals must develop a sound understanding of business and people management principles to support the achievement of the vision and objectives of the business. Retail managers champion the way for personal development, training and continuous improvement, encouraging their team to develop their own skills and abilities to enhance business performance and productivity.


  • Manage the customer experience, including remotely e.g. online, through ensuring the team deliver to customers a positive experience that benchmarks favourably to its main competitors and meets customer service objectives
  • Lead the team to achieve and exceed business objectives through forward planning, analysis and evaluation of own business area. Use sales and customer data to make sound and effective decisions which improve business performance
  • Manage the overall performance of the team to achieve financial targets taking into account the retail calendar year. Analyse reports to identify and determine key actions and recommendations. Produce and report on financial plans as required by the business, and identify and implement opportunities to increase profit and reduce waste
  • Provide clear direction and leadership to the team, giving open and honest feedback. Apply and adapt own leadership style to different retail situations and people to achieve the desired outcome
  • Communicate marketing objectives to team members and drive results. Analyse and evaluate the impact of marketing activities e.g. sales and customer feedback, and report the outcomes to senior management with relevant recommendations
  • Establish clear communication objectives, lead communications in a style and manner that is relevant to the target audience and achieves an effective result for the business
  • Manage the team to achieve sales targets through regular monitoring of performance against results, identifying high and low performance products / services and taking timely action to find and implement appropriate solutions
  • Analyse and interpret product / service sales information and use it to make recommendations for future planning e.g. of staff and resources, ideas for new initiatives. Research and demonstrate new products / services or initiatives to the team
  • Ensure the team carry out activities in line with business and brand values that actively market the business, support competitiveness and help meet business objectives. Identify possible risks to brand reputation and take action to prevent or minimise their impact
  • Ensure effective merchandising set up, monitoring and maintenance in own area of business. Measure the impact of merchandising on sales and report the outcome to colleagues and senior managers, providing recommendations for improvements, and implementing changes within own remit
  • Monitor the stock management system to minimise the cost of damage to stock and the loss of stock to the business. Ensure audit compliance and react quickly to results to maintain business standards and stock requirements
  • Ensure technology is sourced, located, available, maintained and secured in line with business needs; oversee the use of technology in line with business policy, identify and make recommendations for improvement
  • Work with team members to maximise their potential and achieve organisation’s objectives. Implement effective and accurate training on products, services and legislation governing sales, such as age restricted products, trading standards and weights and measures
  • Recruit the right people into the right job, monitor team performance and recognise excellence, effectively manage performance that is below standard
  • Manage and continuously review adherence to legislation and regulations / policies for due diligence; handle audits and regulatory authorities such as the Environmental Health Officer appropriately
  • Implement business policy on diversity, ensuring team are aware of and know how to work effectively with colleagues customers and other stakeholders from wide range of backgrounds and cultures



  • Understand key drivers of customer journeys and how managing positive customer experiences increases sales, customer spend and loyalty, and the resulting financial impact on the business
  • Understand the vision of the business, its competitive position and own role and responsibility in the delivery of business objectives. Understand the market in which the business operates and how this impacts on the products / services it offers
  • Understand the key drivers of profitable retail performance and the relationship of forecasting to the retail calendar; know how to analyse and use information for forecasting, and how to report on financial results. Identify the impact of different types of costs on the business and understand how to make effective use of resources
  • Understand different leadership styles used in retail businesses and when to use them effectively to motivate and inspire the team to do their best
  • Know the key factors influencing a marketing plan such as product launch and life cycle, pricing, discount and special offers and ways of marketing via physical and other media. Understand how own business has formed marketing plan and how own role can best utilise marketing strategies to address demand throughout the retail calendar
  • Understand how to communicate and cascade information effectively at all levels and to a diverse audience. Know how to identify the information required for decision making, how it should be gathered and reported internally and externally
  • Understand how to set sales targets that are challenging but realistic and how to lead team members to achieve sales targets, maximising opportunities and reducing potential threats to sales across the retail calendar
  • Keep up to date knowledge of product ranges, brand development, promotions, current and future trends. Understand how to analyse, interpret and share information and brief relevant stakeholders on products and services
  • Understand the importance of upholding brand reputation, how brand reputation can become compromised and the impact on the business, and how threats can be managed. Identify the impact of social media on the industry and how it is used in own organisation
  • Understand key features of merchandising and how these link with the business’ merchandising plan to achieve sales targets. Know the particular requirements of related activities such as seasonal peaks and troughs over the retail calendar year
  • Understand how to manage an effective stock control system; recognise the financial implications to the business and own responsibility to manage stock to meet sales targets, marketing activities and business objectives
  • Understand the technology requirements of the business and how to manage them to achieve effective and efficient retail operations and service; identify commonly used and emerging technology in the retail industry and identify its current and potential impact on the business
  • Identify a variety of ways to inspire and motivate team members, how to positively influence their approach to work and how to pass on knowledge and experience. Understand the importance of, and process for, ensuring team members’ and own development
  • Know how to recruit, retain and develop the right people for the right roles. Know the key theories of performance management and how to apply them to retail teams using own organisation’s tools and protocols to support them
  • Understand environmental, legislative, corporate, data protection and social responsibilities relating to retail businesses
  • Understand how local demographics impact on business, customers, staff and products and how this impacts the business policies on diversity and equal opportunities



  • Champion the brand and work closely with team and management to ensure brand reputation is upheld at all times
  • Adapt merchandising principles to own environment, store configuration, local needs and sales patterns
  • Take ownership of stock management systems to meet current and projected business needs
  • Drive efficiency in the implementation and use of new opportunities in technology for retail that will provide benefits to the business
  • Help team members balance work and life priorities, realise their potential and see the benefits of self- development and improvement. Demonstrate commitment to self-improvement, championing a culture of continual development and progression
  • Orchestrate effective team dynamics, build effective relationships that select the right person for the right task, recognise individual styles and preferences and use these to build a strong team
  • Be accountable, advocate and adhere to the importance of working legally in the best interests of all people
  • Instil values which embrace the benefits of working in a culturally diverse environment


Entry Requirements

Employers will set their own entry requirements, but it is expected that the individual would have worked within a supervisory role to start on this apprenticeship standard.



Based on the entry requirements the minimum duration for this qualification is 12, but will typically be 18, months to complete

Professional Qualifications / Recognition

Progression from this apprenticeship would be into a retail store manager, senior retail manager, or area manager position


This apprenticeship standard is set at level 4.



Originally published on, this information has been re-used under the terms of the Open Government Licence.


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