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Companies that run several retail stores in a region hire retail district managers to oversee the stores’ everyday operations. These managers coordinate the movement and distribution of goods, handle the stores’ staffing needs and maintain contact with the head office. This career is suitable for individuals with strong management skills and who enjoy a job with lots of travel.
Doing the Work
Because the work of a retail district manager typically involves working across several stores in an expansive area, time-management skills are an asset. They must be able to adhere to daily schedules and visit all the stores within a certain time period. Retail district managers also need good customer-service skills to interact with customers in a friendly manner, and leadership skills to keep employees motivated and resolve workplace conflicts. Strong communication skills are also essential, because they may need to share operational information with store supervisors or managers on a daily basis.
The primary duty of a retail district manager is to increase the operational efficiency of the stores under his management. He reviews the operational reports for all stores to determine their needs. When a store is understaffed, for example, the retail district manager coordinates the hiring and training of new employees. He also maintains contact with suppliers or manufacturers to ensure that products are delivered to the stores on time. In cases where the stores have a common warehouse, the retail district manager manages the distribution of goods to each store.
Retail district managers resolve complaints that cannot be addressed by store supervisors or managers. For example, when a regulatory agency raises concerns over a chain of restaurants’ compliance with sanitation standards, the retail district manager has a duty to investigate and respond to the issue. These managers also resolve customer complaints, determine customer demand for specific products and services, approve discounts for products and services, and direct sales and marketing activities.
To become a retail district manager, you typically need to earn a bachelor’s degree in business. Some companies, such as those running restaurants, may require degrees in hotel management. Because employers require vast retail management experience, prospective retail district managers often work in entry-level positions for some time to gain job experience. Retail district managers looking to occupy executive positions in business firms can pursue a master’s degree in business administration or strategic management. In 2014, retail district managers earned an average salary of $104,000 a year, according to Simply Hired.
Based in New York City, Alison Green has been writing professionally on career topics for more than a decade. Her work has appeared in “U.S. News Weekly” magazine, “The Career” magazine and “Human Resources Journal.” Green holds a master's degree in finance from New York University.