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Executives must know how to juggle responsibilities

Published on Thursday, 21 Oct 2010
Illustration: Bay Leung

Executives eyeing the job of a retail sales manager should be prepared to juggle a myriad of responsibilities - from setting and meeting sales targets, and supervising and training frontline staff, to managing disputes on the shop floor.

Jennifer Wong, manager for sales, marketing and retail at Links Recruitment, says a retail sales manager oversees any number of retail stores for a brand with an eye on boosting sales and improving efficiency.

Their tasks include analysing and generating sales and performance reports and budgets, deploying staff, managing stock inventory and keeping the stores alluring  to customers.

"Candidates must have good management skills, since they will be supervising often large numbers of people across different locations and maintaining team morale," Wong says. "They also need to be precise, analytical and good at numbers in order to make [accurate sales] predictions and ensure that all the stores achieve the targets."

Wong adds that working hours can be "very long" and candidates may be required to work at the weekend.

Working on the shop floor as a sales associate is the typical starting point of a retail sales manager's career. Young people who are interested in becoming a sales associate will have to be Form Five or Seven graduates.

High-performing sales associates and senior sales associates can be promoted to store management positions, such as assistant store managers. How long that takes depends on the individual's performance and company policy.

Sales executives who are experienced in people management and store operation and sales could move into a back-office position, such as that of a retail sales executive or manager.

While international brands may prefer hiring retail sales managers with a degree or diploma qualification, they will also be taking into account a candidate's experience in retail, track record in sales, and analytical, communications and management capabilities.

Retail sales managers are paid between HK$30,000 and HK$50,000 a month, excluding bonus.

Skills set

  • Communication skills
  • Leadership qualities
  • Analytical capabilities
  • Time and task management
  • Business savvy
  • Numbers oriented

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