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Working as a Retail Manager [NOC 0621]

Job Description

Retail managers are responsible for the day-to-day running of stores or departments.

As a retail manager, you perform the following duties:

  • manage staff
  • study market research and trends to find out about consumer demand and your competition
  • study your clientele in order to understand what merchandise sells best
  • set price and credit policies
  • buy merchandise to sell
  • develop and undertake marketing strategies
  • plan budgets
  • settle customer complaints
  • decide staffing needs and hire staff

Source: WorkBC Career Profile 0621

Industry Overview

The retail and wholesale trade is the largest employer in BC. You can expect to find a growing number of job opportunities for retail managers.

The retail trade includes everything from small corner stores to large department stores. The unemployment rate in this industry is low.

Job Outlook in BC

Retail and Wholesale Trade Managers (NOC 0621)

job outlook for retail and wholesale managers

Chart from WorkBC

The Employment Outlook for BC provides job openings projections for retail managers in BC regions:

Region 2010 Estimated Employment 2015 Estimated Employment Avg Annual % Change, 5 yrs, 2010 to 2015
Vancouver Island 10,190 10,620 0.9%
Lower Mainland /Southwest 29,740 32,550 1.9%
Thompson-Okanagan 6,760 7,070 0.9%
Kootenay 1,880 2,120 2.5%
Cariboo 2,100 1,980 -1.1%
North Coast & Nechako 1,100 1,150 0.8%
Northeast 900 880 -0.5%

Source: Regional Employment Projections, BC Stats. Projections for development regions. [accessed October 2014]

You can learn more about working as a retail manager in BC from:

Types of Employers

Retail managers are employed in a wide variety of establishments, including:

  • small, medium and large retail stores
  • businesses selling anything from clothing to vehicles to household products, and more

Some retailers sell their products online, and do not have a store-front outlet.

You may also be self employed and own and operate your own store.


The average annual salary for retail managers in BC is between $53,000 and $66,000. Your earnings vary according to your experience, location, and type of employer. For example, large department stores may pay more than small independent stores.

Some stores also pay a commission, so in addition to a salary, you may get a percentage of each item sold.

Job Bank Canada provides hourly wages for retail managers in BC Regions:

retail manager regional wage

Chart from Job Bank Canada, Wage Reports
Sources: Career Cruising database (Profile for Retail Salesperson), WorkBC Career Profile

Skills, Education and Experience


  • excellent customer service skills
  • strong problem-solving and organizational skills
  • ability to make decisions
  • ability to motivate and lead staff
  • ability to work under pressure
  • good written and oral communication skills
  • good math skills, basic accounting and/or bookkeeping skills
  • excellent interpersonal skills
  • good personal grooming

Education and Experience

To work as a retail trade manager you usually require:

  • completion of secondary school
  • previous work experience in the retail industry


This occupation is not regulated in British Columbia.

There are no formal requirements to work as a retail manager. However, helpful qualifications include:

  • a university degree or college diploma in business administration or a related field
  • courses in business and social sciences
  • several years of related retail sales experience at increasing levels of responsibility
  • on-site training – in smaller companies this may mean being guided by a supervisor, and in large retail chains being involved in formal training sessions

Source: WorkBC Career Profile

Finding Jobs

You’ll find job advertisements in local newspapers, trade journals, and electronic sources, as well as through professional associations’ publications.

Local Newspapers

You can look at the Vancouver Sun & The Province at Vancouver Public Library for free. Check the job postings daily, the careers section in the Vancouver Sun on Wednesdays and Saturdays and in The Province on Sundays.

Job White Pages

  • Available online or in print at the Central Library
    NOTE: You can only access this database from the Central Library or VPL branch libraries. Access is NOT available from home or outside the Library.

Online Job Postings

    Find jobs posted on a multitude of company career sites and job boards

Professional Associations’ Career Resources

Identifying the Right Position

When you browse job advertisements, you’ll find a range of different job titles that are relevant.

For retail managers, look for these related job titles (from NOC code 0621):

  • Area Manager, Retail
  • Clothing Store Manager
  • Customer Service Manager – Retail
  • Department Store Manager
  • Merchandise Manager
  • Retail Sales Manager
  • Service Manager – Retail
  • Store Manager

From NOC 0621

Creating a List of Potential Employers

You can use directories to produce lists of potential employers in the Lower Mainland or BC. Contact them directly to find out if they’re hiring.

  • Directory of Retail Chains in Canada (shows BC outlets)
    Available at the Central Library, C380 D5983
  • Reference Canada
    Click on “Start Search” beside Canadian Businesses, then select the “Advanced Search” button.
    Select both “Keyword/SIC/NAICS” under Business Type and “City” under Geography.
    In the top search box enter “retail” and click LOOKUP.
    Select the appropriate headings.
    Lower down, select the Province, choose the cities, and click the “View Results” button.
    NOTE: You can access this database from a Library computer. If you are using a computer from outside the Library, you will need a Vancouver Public Library card to login to this database. After clicking on the database name, you will be asked to enter your library card number and PIN (usually last four digits of your telephone number).

Applying for a Job

In Canada, employers usually expect to receive a resume or curriculum vitae and a cover letter. These should identify the position you are applying for and summarize your relevant experience.

Use the library catalogue to find books on writing resumes and cover letters specific to your industry.

To learn about applying for jobs in Canada, see the following:

Getting Help from Industry Sources

Industry Associations

Associations for professionals in the retail industry can provide information and assistance. Registration and fees are required for membership.

    Represents independent retailers and their suppliers in BC and Alberta

Industry Journals

Search the Vancouver Public Library catalogue for journals related to your profession or browse this journal online: