Growth Trends for Related Jobs
Counter managers lead a team of workers in a retail department. A "retail counter" is a department where customers purchase packaged or custom-made goods prepared by employees. Supermarket delis and bakeries as well as department store makeup counters are common work environments.
The manager directs the work of a team or group of assistants. In a supermarket, the counter team processes products, packages them, interacts with customers and prepares custom orders. The manager trains new employees on the different responsibilities and the equipment used. At a meat counter, the manager must train workers on safe use of meat-cutting equipment. A cosmetics counter is sales-driven. The manager coaches new sales representatives on different products, as well as on how to consult with customers. Developing and monitoring sales staff is a primary leadership role. The counter manager often plays a hands-on role in selling as well.
Counter managers also tackle several administrative responsibilities. They order inventory and supplies. In a supermarket, managers order ingredients, food and paper products used for service and packaging. The counter manager also maintains relationships with key suppliers. At a cosmetics counter, the manager orders new beauty products and builds relationships with suppliers. Cosmetics counter managers also play a role in marketing to attract new clients. Hiring and firing staff, scheduling and equipment maintenance are additional administrative duties of counter managers in any environment.
While business classes or a degree may expedite your ability to land a counter manager position, no formal education is required. The normal path to counter manager is through experience in a counter assistant or representative role. At a food or deli counter, an assistant who learns all roles in the department and performs well for a few years can become a manager. A cosmetics counter manager must establish herself as a successful sales rep or consultant for a few years. She must also demonstrate elite customer service and leadership skills.
Advancement Opportunities and Pay
Counter manager is typically the highest position within a department. The first step in promotion is often taking on a higher-volume store. Successful cosmetics counter managers may become district, area and regional managers. Supermarket or general merchandise counter managers may move up to store-level management positions. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics didn't isolate the counter manager role, but it did indicate an average annual salary of $41,450 as of May 2013 for "first-line supervisors of retail sales workers." Cosmetics counter managers may receive sales commissions and bonuses for their team's performance.