A retail front-end supervisor is responsible for ensuring that the store provides proper customer service. The front end is the area where all merchandise is displayed and where the supervisor manages a team of sales associates. The minimum education requirement is a high school diploma, but competition for front-end supervisory positions is high.
The front-end supervisor is responsible for communicating customer inventory needs to the back-end supervisor. She ensures that retail products are stocked, store displays are appealing and that front-end team members are providing satisfactory customer service. The personnel duties of the front-end supervisor often include hiring and training of new employees. The supervisor typically maintains work records and plans weekly work schedules. In many cases, she's responsible for a monthly inventory check. The front-end supervisor also responds to customer inquiries, orders and complaints. Sometimes she helps with purchases
A front-end supervisor must have excellent communication skills to direct staff, implement store policies and serve customers. Superior teamwork and management skills are also a must.
Education and Experience Requirements
In most cases, a high school diploma is the minimum academic credential, but significant retail experience is usually necessary to advance to a supervisory position. Because job competition is high, employers often give preference to candidates with a college degree and previous experience. The strongest job candidates have diverse retail experience, including cashier, salesperson and customer service representative.
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics projects a 3 to 5 percent increase in jobs for front-end supervisors between 2012 and 2022, according to O*Net Online. The exact rate of increase largely depends upon the particular retail industry. By way of comparison, the BLS predicts an average growth rate of 11 percent for all occupations during the same decade.
The average hourly wage for a front-end retail supervisor was $19.93 as of 2013, according to the BLS. This is equivalent to an annual income of $41,450. However, supervisor wages vary with the type of retail outlet. General merchandise stores, the largest employer, paid an average of $35,240 annually in 2013, while grocery stores paid $40,810 in average annual wages. In clothing stores, supervisors averaged $41,350 per year.