As with other high-level retail positions, the role of a bookstore manager can be quite diverse. While there are no formal educational requirements, a high school diploma and prior experience in a retail environment are basic prerequisites, and a bachelor’s degree in business or management is highly beneficial. These managers, of course, should also have love for and knowledge of books and literature and be well-versed in management-level retail functions such as budgeting, maintaining inventory, accounting, cashiering, and management principles to efficiently run a bookstore and team of employees.
Bookstore managers operate in both large-scale chain stores and smaller, independent book shops and work with teams of sales associates while reporting to general managers or owners. Working hours can vary, and these managers may work longer hours around the holiday season to account for the influx in sales. An average shift may consist primarily of overseeing sales and customer service, though general responsibilities can be more expansive.
In addition to daily tasks, they are also responsible for establishing and enforcing store policies for both customers and staff, managing annual budgets and nightly accounting, submitting reports to record profits, ordering books and other merchandise, and hiring, training, and supervising all personnel. They may also handle customer complaints or concerns that cannot be resolved by the general staff, and depending on the store itself, some may help to set up in-store events to attract customers, such as book-readings or performances.
Bookstore Manager Tasks
Manage overall day to day operations of the store, including hiring, reviewing, and employee scheduling.
Assist in planning annual or specific budgets.
Develop rapport and make connections with the retail team and customers.
Set and track retail goals and objectives.