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7 essential skills of every retail manager 

3 min read

The role of a retail manager is to run a store successfully, be it online or physical. They are responsible for every aspect of day-to-day supervision of retail outlets, which includes sales, staff, stock and resources management.  

To be successful in this role, every retail manager should have these 7 essential skills: 


The best retail managers are those who knows how to handle a team. Aside from this, one must know how to assess other people strengths and identify areas of opportunities. This is the most essential of all skills since you’ll leading a team to achieve a specific goal. You also need to create a team environment where every member is comfortable in working together.  

As a leader, you are also expected to have the ability to make decisions which is crucial to your store. You need to evaluate information and weed through what is important and what is not so that you can make the right decision. Being a manager, you are expected to make a decision that is best for both the company and the employees. 

Apart from decision-making, a great manager also needs to know how to motivate employees. You need to inspire your team to give their best. Not only you need to motivate people to work, you also need to motivate them to sell.  


According to this study, only 7% of communication are words. To be an effective in communication, you must combine with words with body language, facial expression and tone of voice. Since you’ll be directing meetings and need to confront a variety of situations, having good communication skill is necessary.  

Aside from communication your points in different scenarios, you must also learn how to listen. This ability is an essential part of communication. The best managers are not only those who can convey a message but those who knows how to listen to those around them. This skill is also needed  

Customer service 

Retail management doesn’t only involve handling employees but also customers. Since retail is all about making sure that every customer has an excellent experience, this skill is essential for every retail manager.  You need to take in consideration your customers’ welfare to be effective in this role. 

Business development skills 

A manager should be analytical, creative, target-driven and very much a people person. You should have an eye for areas of improvements and talent to create new opportunities for growth. This skill is necessary since you’ll also be hiring the best associates and training them. You will need to use analytical skills to understand the market achieve the company’s overall goals.  


Since a retail manager handles employees and customers, multi-tasking is a needed skill. You must know how to oversee your team, making sure that everyone is performing their tasks while prioritizing different projects. To be the best, you must know how to multi-task and balance priorities without losing productivity.  


Retail is fast-moving industry and it takes a lot to stay on top. Successful retail managers are organized and good troubleshooters. You need to be good at planning to properly reach your goal with the team. There’s a lot going on in this position and being able to sort out different task is a must. Multi-tasking is also needed for this skill. 

Sales experience 

Sales skills are essential for majority of sales positions, whether it’s an associate or managerial position. Even though you won’t be entirely focused on sales, it’s still a needed skill. It’ll help you train your associates better and will help you with the business development side. 

These skills are essential on top of most basic expectation to perform daily tasks and to be on-time every day. 

To learn more about how to drive your people and upskill as a retail manager, join us on 8-9 October in Melbourne for the people event truly serving the retail sector: People Leaders in Retail. Make the most of your greatest assets and unleash the power of your people with our insights! Learn more about this event here. 


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