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Retail sales supervisors oversee the sales people, cashiers, stock clerks, order fillers, customer service representatives and other related employees. They create work schedules and assign duties to employees. Interviewing and hiring workers is also part of the job. They also ensure the workers have been properly trained. In addition, retail sales supervisors make sure that customers are satisfied with the products and services provided.

Some in the profession deal with budgeting, accounting and purchasing tasks. The responsibilities given to retail supervisors vary depending on the type and size of the business. In large stores, sales supervisors are typically given one department to oversee and are known as department supervisors. They create and implement objectives and policies for their specific department. In addition, they organize activities with other department supervisors. Regarding small or independently owned retail stores, retail sales supervisors often oversee the entire operation of the business or store.


  • Make sure customers receive good service
  • Ensure customers are satisfied with their purchased items
  • Handle customer complaints
  • Answer customer's questions
  • Oversee the cleaning and organizing of shelves, displays and stockrooms
  • Examine sales and inventory records
  • Coordinate sales promotions
  • Create good public relations
  • Make sure goods are not outdated
  • Create merchandising techniques

Job Characteristics

They typically have offices within the store. However, sales supervisors spend a large amount of time on the sales floor overseeing the activities of employees. They usually work at least 40 hours per week. Often working additional hours, especially during busy shopping seasons and during major sales is required. They're typically required to work some evening and weekends. Also, work schedules can change on a weekly basis. Occasionally they must fill in for other employees.

Important aspects of the profession include being decisive, being sales-oriented, having good communication and motivational skills and getting along well with all types of people. They also need patience and understanding when dealing with customers. Retail sales supervisors should have good computer skills since inventory control systems, cash registers, contracts and sales quotes are all computerized.

Employment Outlook

The employment of retail sales supervisors is projected to grow by 4% from 2006 to 2016, which is slower than the average for all occupations. Internet sales of goods may lower the demand for retail sales employees which will reduce the need for supervisors. The growth rate will also depend on the growth rate of each specific industry.

In 2006, there were approximately 1,676,000 retail sales supervisor/manager jobs. About 37% were self-employed and most of this group owned their own store. Approximately 44% earned wages and salaries. The salaries of retail sales supervisors depends on several factors such as the level of responsibility, the size and type of the company and the length of service.

The median annual earnings for salaried supervisors in 2006 was $33,960 which includes commissions. The highest 10 percent earned over $59,710 and the lowest 10 percent earned less than $21,420.

Education, Certification, and Licensing

The educational requirements for the position depend on the preferences of the employer. Some retail supervisors begin their careers as salespersons, customer service representatives or cashiers. Some in the profession have bachelors's or associate degrees in subjects such as marketing, business, liberal arts or management. Useful college courses include accounting, business, sales, communications, management and marketing. A large number of college students seeking to enter the profession take internships at retail stores.

Typically, employers hire supervisors that have sales experience. Numerous retail chains provide training programs which include classroom learning and on-the-job training. Sometimes sales supervisors are provided with training for one particular department or in some cases, training is included for several different departments. Retail franchises typically offer comprehensive training in areas such as marketing, budgeting, purchasing, management and human resource management.

In addition, those with experience and good leadership and motivation skills have opportunities to become assistant managers and managers. A college degree also helps retail sales supervisors advance in their careers. Also, advancement typically occurs faster in large retail chains. However, sometimes supervisors in big retail chains need to relocate in order to advance in their careers. Retail sales supervisors also have opportunities to acquire marketing, advertising, public relations and promotion manager jobs.


Major Employers

The primary employers of retail sales supervisors are department stores, grocery stores, clothing and clothing accessory stores, motor vehicle and parts dealers and building materials and supplies centers.

Schools for Supervisors Of Retail Sales Workers are listed in the Browse Schools Section.

Metro Areas Sorted by Total Employment for
Supervisors Of Retail Sales Workers

Listed below are the 10 largest metro areas based on the total number of people employed in Supervisors Of Retail Sales Workers jobs , as of 2017

Metro AreaTotal EmploymentAnnual Mean Salary
Los Angeles-Long Beach-Anaheim39,350$43,830
Dallas-Fort Worth-Arlington27,650$49,250
Miami-Fort Lauderdale-West Palm Beach25,470$47,880
Houston-The Woodlands-Sugar Land21,470$46,100
Atlanta-Sandy Springs-Roswell20,930$43,480
San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward14,230$49,610
Tampa-St. Petersburg-Clearwater12,820$45,240

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Total employment and salary for professions similar to retail sales supervisors

Source : 2017 Occupational Employment Statistics, Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, BLS.gov

Most Popular Industries for
Supervisors Of Retail Sales Workers

These industries represent at least 1% of the total number of people employed in this occupation.

IndustryTotal EmploymentPercentAnnual Median Salary
Department And General Stores229,43020%$30,550
Clothing Stores156,43013%$34,510
Grocery Stores147,97013%$34,870
Hardware And Garden Stores94,8108%$37,730
Auto And Auto Parts Dealers84,7607%$53,000
Gas Stations78,8907%$30,470
Miscellaneous Retail Stores61,3305%$33,190
Book And Hobby Stores56,1905%$33,730
Applicance Stores41,4803%$40,010
Furniture Stores33,4902%$44,480
Rental And Lease31,7902%$35,600
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Numbers in parentheses are counts of relevant campus-based schools in the state; online schools may also be available.

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