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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. Retail managers are among the high demand occupations in the province, with more than 20,500 job openings forecast to 2028.

The retail trade includes everything from small corner stores to large department stores.

Job Outlook in BC

Retail and Wholesale Trade Managers (NOC 0621)

forecasted average employment growth rate, job openings, composition of job openings for 2018 to 2028

Chart from WorkBC

WorkBC provides job openings in BC from 2018-2028:

Region Employment
in 2018
Average Annual Employment Growth Expected Number of Job Openings
Vancouver Island 9,480 1.0% 3,910
Lower Mainland /Southwest 37,780 0.7% 12,250
Thompson-Okanagan 6,400 0.5% 2,280
Kootenay 2,060 0.7% 790
Cariboo 2,070 0.5% 550
North Coast & Nechako 1,140 1.2% 410
Northeast 990 1.3% 370

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:

  • Career Cruising [profile for Retail Salesperson]
    Available from the VPL Digital Library | Explore our Digital Library page

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 median annual salary for retail managers in BC is $58,397.  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.

In BC regions you can expect to make:

hourly salary - low, median and high; for BC regions

Chart from Job Bank Wage Report [Search 0621]

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
  • 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, or courses in business & 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 at or in print at the Central Library
    Access at VPL locations only

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
  • Service Manager – Retail
  • Store Manager

Source: 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 SEARCH.
    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 that identifies the position you are applying for and summarizes 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.

Industry Journals

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