Retail Team Leader

Occupation overview

Retail team leaders are a critical support to managers, delivering exceptional customer service and a positive experience to customers, and may have to deputise for managers in their absence. The role is dynamic and in one day can involve a variety of different functions. Most significantly retail team leaders guide and coordinate the work of the team to complete tasks, identify and explore opportunities that drive sales, ensuring team members maintain business standards in relation to merchandising, service and promotional activities, in line with procedures. Retail team leaders gain the most of their team on a day to day basis, ensuring they are fully trained and work effectively and to the best of their ability.


  • Monitor customers’ enquiries and service requirements; coach and support team members to use appropriate methods e.g. face to face or remote such as on-line facilities, to deliver consistent and exceptional service that provides customers with a positive experience
  • Work with the team to maintain brand / business standards at all times and identify and address any potential risks according to business procedures
  • Support the achievement of financial targets by planning and monitoring resources. Use resources effectively and efficiently to meet expected demand. Oversee the areas that impact on financial performance in own area of the business in line with business procedures
  • Use available information to coordinate the work of the team so that the right people and resources are in the right place at the right time to ensure consistent brand / business standards are delivered. Deputise for line manager within limits of own authority
  • Support the team to ensure they understand and engage in the marketing activities and plans of the business and help ensure that customers have the best possible experience
  • Adapt style of communication according to the audience, monitor the effectiveness of and encourage excellent communications across all operations that achieve the best result for the business including verbal, written and on-line communications
  • Communicate sales targets to the team and support them, recognising and acting on opportunities to maximise revenue, for example through link selling and drawing customers’ attention to promotional offers
  • Maximise opportunities to increase sales by ensuring team know and understand the features, benefits, unique selling points and other relevant information relating to products, product ranges and services offered by the business
  • Ensure team replenish and maintain merchandising according to business requirements, the retail calendar and local needs e.g. geographical, topical or weather based
  • Ensure team complies with stock procedures to minimise stock damage or loss, maximise income and comply with legal requirements; and take appropriate action to sell stock that is near the end of its product, promotional or shelf life
  • Oversee the appropriate use of technology in line with business policy and follow the appropriate procedures to deal with service issues
  • Plan, organise, prioritise and oversee own and team members’ activities, supporting their induction, training, development and coaching, and delegating tasks fairly and appropriately to meet business objectives
  • Lead the team on a daily basis, setting targets and reviewing progress against them. Motivate team members, provide coaching and on job training. Identify conflict within the team and work to resolve this with support from others
  • Ensure self and team always comply with legal requirements, respond quickly to identified risks and ensure they are dealt with in line with business procedures and reported to the appropriate member(s) of the management team
  • Ensure team members are aware of and follow business policies relating to diversity. Make reasonable adjustments as required for customers or team members


  • Understand the customer profile of the business, their purchasing habits across a retail calendar year and how to meet and exceed their needs. Know the best ways to drive the team to increase sales, secure customer loyalty and attain business targets
  • Understand the purpose of the business including its vision, objectives and brand / business standards, how they compare to its competitors and how own role, and the team, help to achieve them
  • Understand how own actions and those of the team can contribute to the overall financial performance of the business by increasing sales e.g. through product positioning, and minimising costs through effective stock control and prevention of theft
  • Understand how to organise the team on a daily basis to achieve objectives, and recognise the importance of contingency planning to meet business requirements; know limits of authority when deputising for line manager
  • Understand how the brand / business is positioned externally, particularly in relation to local and online competitors and how its products / services meet consumer trends. Understand how own actions, and those of the team can impact on customers’ perception of the brand / business
  • Understand how to support effective communication, quickly determining the situation and needs of individuals and how to respond in the most appropriate way using a variety of techniques and methods, for example face to face and / or remotely to include on-line
  • Understand the factors which can determine and affect sales and promotions throughout the retail year and how to coordinate and implement them to support business objectives
  • Know and promote the features and benefits of products / services, their unique selling points, the skills required to sell them, where items fit into product ranges, associated products and services, where to find detailed information if required and other relevant information such as delivery lead time, accessibility and source
  • Know methods of merchandising throughout the retail operation, including point of sale, the retail calendar and local needs e.g. geographical, topical or weather based
  • Understand the principles of stock control from sourcing to sale / supply. Understand the management of stock levels, security, restrictions (e.g. age restricted products), wastage and effective systems for recording them
  • Understand how current and emerging technologies support retail operations and sales whether customer facing or remote, and how best to operate them to achieve an efficient and effective service
  • Understand the knowledge, skills and behaviours required of self and others to develop a high performing team in the business. Understand team dynamics and the importance of enabling team members to appreciate their role in the wider organisation and in meeting business objectives
  • Know how to identify and develop excellent team performance. Understand how the performance of the team contributes to the overall success of the business
  • Understand the importance of business compliance to legal requirements and supporting the team to operate in line with business policy and procedures
  • Understand how to work with and support people from a wide range of backgrounds and cultures and the business policy on diversity



  • Act as a role model to champion excellent customer service by always looking to improve customers’ experience through a welcoming and professional approach which builds strong customer relationships
  • Demonstrate personal responsibility for meeting the objectives of the team and the business
  • Demonstrate commercial awareness and act responsibly and with integrity to protect the financial position of the business
  • Display decisive thinking when making decisions that are in the best interest of the business. Use sound judgement; take prompt action in the case of problems relating to resources
  • Proactively seek to understand local consumer trends, competitors’ offers and promotions, and customer needs and expectations, report to manager, seek feedback and take action in area of responsibility
  • Demonstrate positive verbal and body language using concise and clear methods of communication, taking on board other peoples’ points of view and responding in a way that is considerate to the audience
  • Proactive in looking for cost effective sales opportunities and ways to enhance revenue
  • Promote all products and services confidently, demonstrating excellent knowledge and understanding of them
  • Communicate and encourage the merchandising principles, standards and commerciality to the team
  • Take a proactive approach and lead the team to effective stock management, ensuring stock is accessible and available in line with quality requirements, where and when needed
  • Is an advocate for the effective and efficient use of technology
  • Take responsibility for own performance, learning and development. Develop positive relationships with team members, embracing new and better ways of working
  • Positively and confidently challenge poor performance and reward excellent performance in line with business procedures
  • Be responsible, advocate and adhere to the importance of working legally in the best interests of all people
  • Operate in an empathic, fair and professional manner with all individuals regardless of background and circumstances


Entry Requirements

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



Based on the entry requirements the minimum duration for this qualification is of 12 months


Professional Qualifications / Recognition

This apprenticeship standard is set at level 3.

Progression from this apprenticeship could be into a junior retail management position.



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


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