How To Become a Retail Manager

become a retail managerMost people who start working in retail begin their career at the bottom of the ladder. Whether it’s a stocking, cashiering, bagging, cleaning, or general customer service role, everybody has to start somewhere. But if you have been stuck in the same role for a long time, stop being complacent and take action. There are many opportunities to advance in the retail industry, so follow along and use some of these hints to get a better job and earn some extra money week by week.

Tips to Advance to Retail Management


You need to get the reputation of someone who values coming into work on-time every time you are scheduled for a shift. You make yourself look bad when you are late, because it shows that you lack commitment to your organization. It also effects your entire team, because if you are not there to cover your responsibilities, someone else will likely have to do them. This can tarnish your reputation in the workplace, and label you as someone who does not care. Be that person who is always on-time, and never has an excuse about why they were late. Also, try to cut back on the sick days you take. Sometimes you may be too sick to come into work, but if you are frequently calling in, your managers will start to question your commitment. So, if you are thinking about calling in sick for a mental health day, you should probably rethink this decision from a long-term perspective. Be that person who is always present for the shift and on-time. This is the first step in gaining recognition from management and advancing through the ranks of your retail position.

Customer Service

As long as you find yourself working on the sales floor, it does not matter if you are a stocker, cleaner, or even a mechanic. You need to focus on customer engagement. Be as friendly as you can, and help people find what they need. Management will notice. If you consider yourself an introvert, work on your customer service skills, because it will help you in the long run. Focus on making the customer happy, and pay attention during your next employee review, because you will pass the customer service section with flying colors and march onward to a position in management. In retail, customer service is one of the most important talents that an employee can have. This industry relies on happy repeat customers, and if you go out of your way to find what they need and make them happy, they will surely return to your store and tell all their friends about the positive experience they had. This is how retail works, so hone your customer service skills and help people find what they need.

Just Ask

If you want to become a manager, let people know it! Don’t sit idly by while others around you have the chance to move up in the organization. Talk with your current managers, and ask how they advanced. Tell them that you are interested in taking on more responsibility, and that although you enjoy your current role, you will be more valuable to the company if you become a manager. They will surely notice, and next time a position becomes available, your name will come up. Even if you don’t land the next promotion, it will at the least align you for a position down the line. Once you notify them of your goals and interests, continue to work hard and be on-time.

If you’ve been working in retail for a while and you think that you would make a good manager, follow these steps and work towards your goals. Don’t be complacent in your current role, because if you are, management will read you as someone who does not want to advance with the company. Set your goals high and try to achieve them. Plus, it’s always nice to take home some extra pay every week. It could drastically improve your lifestyle and that of your family.  

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Matthew Welch

Jobdiagnosis blog author Matthew Welch is an SEO strategist and content marketer from Boston, MA. Read blog content relating to job search by Matthew Welch.

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