Retail Operations Managers are responsible for the daily activities of a business selling actual products (as opposed to services or ideas). These positions may be at the top of a large retail chain or in a small privately-owned specialty store. In any case, the Retail Operations Manager is responsible for ensuring that the company is profiting. He or she will deal closely with finances, customer service, personnel, and sometimes also with marketing and PR.
Unlike many other OM fields in sales, a Retail Operations Manager always deals with the sales of an actual product rather than, for example, services. Dealing with physical goods means certain job tasks like product control, delivery, packaging, and merchandising. This position requires extensive customer service and leadership skills.
Day in the Life
The jobs requirements of both large and small retail operations are essentially the same – to ensure profits by overseeing business aspects like customer service, sales, marketing, etc. The difference between working in a large and small operation is in how much hands-on experience you will have. Heads of large chains will hire other managers for the departments. In this case, you can expect to spend time analyzing financial data, customer service reports, and overseeing managers. You will probably have an office where you will spend lots of time talking to employees. In small retail stores, Retail Operations Managers will be involved in these departments themselves. You may work on the sales floor with your team; run training seminars, hire and fire employees, and stock merchandise. Expect to spend a lot of time on your feet. Retail Operations Managers usually have rotating schedules at work 40 hours a week.
Retail Operations Managers are great leaders with good communication skills. They must be great sales people and will speak with authority. In addition to these type B personality traits, a Retail Operations Manager must also be great at multitasking and organizing the various aspects of a retail outlet.
Generally, Retail Operations Managers have bachelor’s degrees. However, experience is the most important aspect in obtaining this position. They usually have worked several years in retail sales and have shown great skills in both sales and customer service. People with just a high school diploma can get lower-level positions in a retail store and work themselves up to higher managerial positions.
Rate of Pay
The rate of pay for a Retail Operations Manager varies depending on the size of the store being overseen. Salaries range from around $38k to $62k yearly with the median salary at $53k. Retail Operations Managers can usually expect bonuses or commissions as well.
The businesses hiring Retail Operations Managers tend to be larger companies with chains of stores throughout a region. There are also lower-paying positions in small, privately-owned operations as well as competitive positions at the top of retail chains. The size of the retail operation being managed depends considerably on the candidate’s experience level.