Department store manager


Department store managers organise and control the operations and staff of establishments which provide retail services.

Other titles

The following job titles also refer to department store manager:

department store general merchandise manager
manager in department store
department store general store manager
department shop manager
trainee department store manager
senior department store manager
outlet store manager
general retail manager
graduate trainee department store manager
assistant department store manager
retail sales manager

Minimum qualifications

Bachelor’s degree is generally required to work as department store manager. However, this requirement may differ in some countries.

ISCO skill level

ISCO skill level is defined as a function of the complexity and range of tasks and duties to be performed in an occupation. It is measured on a scale from 1 to 4, with 1 the lowest level and 4 the highest, by considering:

  • the nature of the work performed in an occupation in relation to the characteristic tasks and duties
  • the level of formal education required for competent performance of the tasks and duties involved and
  • the amount of informal on-the-job training and/or previous experience in a related occupation required for competent performance of these tasks and duties.

Department store manager is a Skill level 3 occupation.

Department store manager career path

Similar occupations

These occupations, although different, require a lot of knowledge and skills similar to department store manager.

accommodation manager
call centre supervisor
ICT help desk manager
retail department manager
hospitality entertainment manager

Long term prospects

These occupations require some skills and knowledge of department store manager. They also require other skills and knowledge, but at a higher ISCO skill level, meaning these occupations are accessible from a position of department store manager with a significant experience and/or extensive training.

brand manager
technical sales representative in agricultural machinery and equipment
technical sales representative in chemical products
technical sales representative in electronic and telecommunications equipment
technical sales representative in hardware, plumbing and heating equipment

Essential knowledge and skills

Essential knowledge

This knowledge should be acquired through learning to fulfill the role of department store manager.

Product comprehension: The offered products, their functionalities, properties and legal and regulatory requirements.
Company policies: The set of rules that govern the activity of a company.

Essential skills and competences

These skills are necessary for the role of department store manager.

Create solutions to problems: Solve problems which arise in planning, prioritising, organising, directing/facilitating action and evaluating performance. Use systematic processes of collecting, analysing, and synthesising information to evaluate current practice and generate new understandings about practice.
Plan marketing strategy: Determine the objective of the marketing strategy whether it is for establishing image, implementing a pricing strategy, or raising awareness of the product. Establish approaches of marketing actions to ensure that goals are achieved efficiently and over a long term.
Perform multiple tasks at the same time: Execute multiple tasks at the same time, being aware of key priorities.
Implement marketing strategies: Implement strategies which aim to promote a specific product or service, using the developed marketing strategies.
Manage budgets: Plan, monitor and report on the budget.
Manage staff: Manage employees and subordinates, working in a team or individually, to maximise their performance and contribution. Schedule their work and activities, give instructions, motivate and direct the workers to meet the company objectives. Monitor and measure how an employee undertakes their responsibilities and how well these activities are executed. Identify areas for improvement and make suggestions to achieve this. Lead a group of people to help them achieve goals and maintain an effective working relationship among staff.
Monitor shelves loading: Monitor the loading of products on shelves; ensure that items are placed correctly and in a timely fashion.
Plan marketing campaign: Develop a method to promote a product through different channels, such as television, radio, print and online platforms, social media with the aim to communicate and deliver value to customers.
Implement sales strategies: Carry out the plan to gain competitive advantage on the market by positioning the company’s brand or product and by targeting the right audience to sell this brand or product to.
Set sales promotions: Reduce the selling price of products, in order to maximise revenue at various periods of the year.
Manage the store image: ensure the store’s concept is properly advertised through different channels, and that the image is consistent with the product display and staff behaviour.
Have computer literacy: Utilise computers, IT equipment and modern day technology in an efficient way.
Build business relationships: Establish a positive, long-term relationship between organisations and interested third parties such as suppliers, distributors, shareholders and other stakeholders in order to inform them of the organisation and its objectives.
Provide customer follow-up services: Register, follow-up, solve and respond to customer requests, complaints and after-sales services.
Train employees: Lead and guide employees through a process in which they are taught the necessary skills for the perspective job. Organise activities aimed at introducing the work and systems or improving the performance of individuals and groups in organisational settings.

Optional knowledge and skills

Optional knowledge

This knowledge is sometimes, but not always, required for the role of department store manager. However, mastering this knowledge allows you to have more opportunities for career development.

Characteristics of products: The tangible characteristics of a product such as its materials, properties and functions, as well as its different applications, features, use and support requirements.
Health, safety and hygiene legislation: The set of health, safety and hygiene standards and items of legislation applicable in a specific sector.
Employment law: The law which mediates the relationship between employees and employers. It concerns employees’ rights at work which are binding by the work contract.
Characteristics of services: The characteristics of a service that might include having acquired information about its application, function, features, use and support requirements.

Optional skills and competences

These skills and competences are sometimes, but not always, required for the role of department store manager. However, mastering these skills and competences allows you to have more opportunities for career development.

Set up pricing strategies: Apply methods used for setting product value taking into consideration market conditions, competitor actions, input costs, and others.
Coach team on visual merchandising: Coach sales team on in-store visual merchandising; help employees to interpret guidelines; train employees in effective execution of visual concept.
Recruit employees: Hire new employees by scoping the job role, advertising, performing interviews and selecting staff in line with company policy and legislation.
Define brand identity: Define the characteristics of a brand. Identify what the brand stands for. Develop a strong brand perception both internally and externally.

Supervise brand management: Supervise the promotion of a particular brand of goods, by liasing with the appropriate departments.

ISCO group and title

1420 – Retail and wholesale trade managers





  1. Department store manager – ESCO
Last updated on August 8, 2022

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