Clothing store managers are responsible for supervising sales staff and ensuring customer satisfaction. They also interview and hire new employees, provide training and draw up staffing schedules. Retail is a low-paying field in general. As the Bureau of Labor Statistics points out in an industry profile, many part-time and less experienced workers hold retail jobs. However, retail managers make more than sales staff and are sometimes expected to have higher levels of education.
Sales Staff vs. Supervisors
If you enjoy fashion, like working with customers, thrive in a fast-paced environment, but are less than thrilled about the salaries in retail, you can make a reasonable living by moving out of front-line sales and into management. According to 2010 data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, retail salespeople make £16,250 per year on average, and salaries fall anywhere between £10,478 and £25,070. In comparison, managers earn £25,928 annually, with a salary range between £14,553 and £39,585. Managing a store keeps you in the work setting you enjoy while providing you with a high enough income to stay comfortable.
Salaries by Employer Type
Overall salary statistics from the Bureau average incomes across the retail sector, although jobs in apparel stores pay close to the general average. Information for 2010 shows that managers in clothing stores make £12.50 per hour, or £26,052 per year on average. Managers in closely related work settings tend to earn less. In department stores, the mean hourly wage is £10.30 hourly, or £21,547 per year. Managers at general merchandise stores that may sell some clothing items make £10.0 per hour, equivalent to £20,917 annually. Supervisors in shoe stores fair a bit better, taking home an average of £11.60 per hour, or £24,316 per year.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, some states pay higher retail manager salaries than others. Rhode Island, New Jersey and New York are the top three paying states. Parts of New York and New Jersey have the highest level of retail employment in the country, making this region a hot spot for job seekers. The mean hourly wage in Rhode Island is £14.40 per hour, or £29,991 per year. New York and New Jersey aren't far behind. New Jersey retail managers earn £29,978 annually, while New Yorkers make £29,620.
Tips for Finding Work
Although there are no formal education requirements for working in clothing retail management, a degree can help you get started. Consider an associate or bachelor's degree in the arts, social sciences or business. College graduates can start management training programs without much prior experience. If you want to work in retail without postsecondary education, strive to get experience working as a sales associate. With a few years of retail expertise under your belt, moving into management will be easier.
- Bureau of Labor Statistics: Clothing, Accessory, and General Merchandise Stores
- Bureau of Labor Statistics: Sales Worker Supervisors
- Bureau of Labor Statistics: Occupational Employment and Wages, May 2010, First-Line Supervisors of Retail Sales Workers
- Bureau of Labor Statistics: Retail Sales Persons
- Bureau of Labor Statistics: Occupational Employment and Wages, May 2010, Retail Salespersons