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The vast majority of large and small shopping outlets will be run by a retail manager. Their day to day responsibilities are varied and largely depend on the type and size of the outlet they manage, but their objective remains the same: to ensure the smooth running of a shop or store, to maximise sales and to keep outgoing costs to a minimum.
In small stores, the manager might also work as a sales assistant ‘on the shop floor’, dealing directly with customers. In larger shops and retail chains the manager will typically have less frequent contact with the general public apart from in exceptional cases, such as if a customer wants to make a complaint or suggestion.
All staff in the shop will work under the supervision of a manager, whose job it is to oversee hiring, train new employees and develop and motivate existing ones. It is their responsibility to ensure that their staff provides the best possible customer service and that working conditions not only meet standards of health and safety and security, but also that the shopping experience for potential consumers is flawless both in terms of aesthetics, i.e. shop layout and displays, and in service provided.
They oversee stock intake working closely with fashion buyers and, in the case of smaller or specialist outlets, might work directly with suppliers and designers. They also work on the budgets, analyse sales figures and forecast volumes of sales and customer demand in consideration of ordering the right amount of stock, maximising sales and minimising expenditure. To do this, the manager will need a broad understanding of fashion and buying trends and will need to monitor the activity of competitors.