So you’ve worked hard in retail and even though you’ve earned your stripes as a store manager you’re still itching for a bigger challenge, so where can you go? Well a job as an area manager could be the step up that you’re looking for.
You’re certainly never going to be bored in this job, with plenty of responsibility at your feet, including looking after your team and keeping them happy.
So, what will I actually be doing?
As an area (or regional) manager, you'll have overall responsibility for a number of stores in an allocated area. You’ll be responsible for staff and you’ll work closely with other senior managers and department managers.
Your duties will include:
- Setting sales targets
- Maximising sales and profitability
- Providing your team with a stimulating and supportive environment
- Maintaining and increasing standards of customer service
- Driving team performance
- Controlling the training and development of your staff
The nitty gritty
In terms of working hours, officially, you’ll be working average office hours Monday to Friday, but like every job, there are bound to be days when you’ll need to put in extra time.
You certainly won’t be tied to your desk as an area manager. Darryl Lewis, area manager for Vue Cinemas oversees the smooth running of 70 cinemas in UK and says "there is a lot of travelling" involved in his job, spending two to three nights away from home each week.
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Money, money, money
Area managers can earn between £25k and £50k plus there are often benefits, bonuses and commission for meeting targets.
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The good points...
"This is a stimulating job where you act as a role model, take full operational responsibility for your specific product lines and the credit for a job well done," say retailchoice.com. "When you've cracked that, you can look forward to becoming a retail director."
In terms of career development you couldn’t work for a better sector, as retail is the fastest growing industry in the UK and there are plenty of opportunities for ambitious area managers who are looking to step up to a retail director job or move into senior management.
...and the bad
As there’s lots of travelling in this job, you could be spending plenty of time away from home. Plus if you're not great under pressure, you might want to consider another career.
Is there study involved?
Previous experience in a managerial role is essential if you want this role. Employers will also look for candidates educated to at least Level 3 (A Level or equivalent). Vocational qualifications that will give you an advantage are:
- Level 4/5 foundation degree in retailing
- Degree in retail management, business or marketing
Need additional qualifications? Find a course at our Learning Zone
OK, I'm interested... But is it really the job for me?
If you’re a chatterbox, this is ideal for you as great communicators with creative flair and finely-honed time management skills will be at an advantage in this job.
Great leadership skills are also a bonus as you’ll need to be able to inspire and motivate lots of people. Other skills that will be to your advantage are:
- The ability to work under pressure
- Confidence, drive and enthusiasm
- Decision-making ability and a sense of responsibility
- Planning and organisational skills
- Commercial acumen