By H. Fields Grenée
Its three minutes before six o’clock in the morning. Gazing out the locked front doors at the small crowd gathering to take part in the traditional after holiday sales – you prep yourself for what is sure to be a hectic day.
Yet beyond the customer purchases, disputes and sales floor reorganization – is another layer in your seasoning as a retail store manager. This is your profession, not just a job.
“Working in retail is a huge personal sacrifice that some people do not always realize,” says Victoria Staten, vice president of Established Brands. “In retail, you often have to be at the store the day after a major holiday at three or four in the morning which prevents you from being able to celebrate the way everyone else does, because you have to be on point early the next day.”
“Also the busiest days in retail are Saturdays and Sundays. So, if you don’t want to work weekends, you won’t be able to advance in your career,” she points out.
Staten knows firsthand about such trade-offs. During her twenty plus years in the fashion industry; working both on the wholesale and retail side, she has been tapped for management positions at Kenneth Cole, acted as former Group Vice President at New York’s
fashion house and now is an international expert in baby appeal.
This was all made possible through years of retail experience. Driven by her interest in clothes; accessories in particularly, she got her first job at a retail store inside a mall in high school and continued to work her way up the chain.
Sales Managers usually plan and direct the day-to-day operations of a retail store. They also develop strategies to improve customer service, drive store sales, forecast staffing needs, develop a recruiting strategy and increase profitability. Most importantly, they are the ones to ensure that customer needs are met, complaints are resolved, and service is quick and efficient.
For this, average salaries range from $28,000 to $40,000 for store managers. Levels ratchet up to $33,500 to $49,500 annually (in addition to a percentage of store sales) for mid-to-upper level in-store managers with five to nine years experience. Furthermore, managers: in-store or district with 15 or more retail industry years of experience can easily break the $70,000 mark, according to survey analysis from glassdoor.com, an online site that provides an inside look at jobs and companies.
A breakdown of these numbers showed that Retail Store Managers at The Limited stores received $49,833 compared to $38,480 for Assistant Retail Store Managers at Old Navy locations.