What Makes a Great Retail Manager – Infographic

What Makes a Great Retail Manager

What Makes a Great Retail Manager?

It’s no coincidence that your best managers are great at what they do. Top performing managers share distinct personality traits that make them successful store leaders.

So what does it take to be great?

Here are the 8 most important job competencies for retail managers:

Decisive Judgement

Because working in retail means responding to the needs of customers and staff members in the moment, managers need to be able to make quick decisions. When faced with choices, great managers consider alternatives and outcomes, and take responsibility for their actions.

Driving for Results

Great managers know how to align their team around a common vision and achieve results through others, instead of trying to do it all themselves. To do that, they need to set realistic expectations, push through setbacks, and encourage team members to perform at their best.

Customer Focus

While good managers know customers are important, great managers have an innate desire to please and can skillfully anticipate the needs of others. Great managers genuinely care about solving problems and leaving a positive impression.


Whether they are dealing with a manufacturer recall or the chaos of a Black Friday crowd, managers must remain professional and keep their cool in stressful situations. Great managers stay positive and make the best of whatever challenge they’re faced with.

Persuading to Buy

Persuading to buy means connecting customer needs with the right product or service. Great managers can quickly identify pain points, and know their market well enough to answer questions, compare products or services, address objections, and recommend the best solution.

Managing Others

Managing others is what the manager role is all about. Great managers are encouraging, honest, and objective when dealing with team members, and they direct the team’s activities in a way that accomplishes goals and holds everyone accountable.

Motivating Others

Great managers lead by example, and they inspire passion in others by being passionate themselves. They actively convey enthusiasm and motivate team members to perform well by demonstrating the greater purpose and value of good work.


Negotiation isn’t about winning, it’s about finding the best outcome for everyone involved. Great managers know how to persuade customers to buy, but they also know how to provide real value and reach a buying decision without the risk of buyer’s remorse. 

With strength in these areas, managers will do more than move inventory and maintain sales year-over-year. They’ll turn mediocre stores into top performers, or take the flagship to all-new heights.