Retail Area Manager – Charity

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Closing date: 10/03/2024
Disability Confident Employer

Willow Foundation

This is an exciting time to join Willow Retail, as we continue with our expansion plans in 2024 and beyond.  We currently have 7 stores across Hertfordshire, with one in Bedfordshire.  There is plenty of scope for the Area Manager to really make a difference to our retail operations and ultimately, to provide more Special Days, Treats and Breaks for our beneficiaries, aged 16-40.

Job Purpose

To assist and deputise for the Head of Retail, supporting all areas of that role, as well as the Charity Shop Managers (CSM) in order to achieve maximum retail efficiency, drive sales, control costs and achieve the budgeted net profitability.  This will include the successful recruitment of staff and volunteers as well as their training and motivation, an understanding of stock control and rotation, a knowledge of marketing and promotions, the maintenance of all shop systems and processes and the management of all procedures necessary to achieve the required goal whilst reinforcing the values of the charity.

Key Responsibilities include but are not limited to the following: 

  • Assisting with the implementation of operation actions required to maximize income and profit and identifying and taking action to resolve any areas of underperformance.
  • Ensuring that all managers and assistant shop staff are fully trained and are equipped to train and motivate paid and voluntary staff
  • Ensuring that all managers and staff understand and deliver Willow’s aims, principles and objectives.
  • Ensuring that all managers and staff in Willow shops understand and implement the charity’s operating procedures and comply with all aspects of employment, trading standards and health and safety legislation at all times, including ensuring that risk assessments are undertaken regularly, and remedial actions taken.
  • Working closely with colleagues in other areas of the charity e.g. Comms, Community Fundraising, Major Partnerships and Events, to ensure that all opportunities for retail are maximized and supported.
  • Presenting to customers and supporters a positive image of Willow through excellent retail practices
  • Helping to ensure that sales and gift-aid opportunities are maximized, creating greater profits to fuel the charity
  • Being part of the new shop roll-out team
  • Being available to reasonably support and deputise in other retail functions, as required.
  • Caretaking the Charity Shops in the absence of the permanent Shop Manager or Assistant Shop Manager.
  • Helping a Shop Manager in the event of a severe sales staff shortage in a branch.
  • Ensuring stock rotation in the absence of a driver.
  • Attending all meetings necessary to promote and improve the running and efficiency of the retail department

 General Responsibilities

  • To ensure all duties are carried out in such a way that support Willow’s equality and diversity policies.
  • To promote a health and safety culture within the workplace, observing all health and safety rules and procedures and attend training courses as required
  • To ensure that essential information of a sensitive or personal nature is not disclosed to or discussed with inappropriate persons.
  • To ensure all information is maintained in accordance with GDPR
  • To manage personal resources and own personal development
  • To undertake other duties, commensurate with the post as required

Travel Requirements

  • To visit shops in the Willow network on a regular basis, to attend meetings at HO, to attend Shop Managers Meetings and training sessions as required.  Our current shops are located in: Welwyn Garden City, Hatfield, Stevenage, Hertford, Letchworth Garden City, Hemel Hempstead and Biggleswade.




  • Good understanding of retail operations
  • Good understanding of management and motivation of staff and volunteers
  • Good understanding of the financial key performance indicators
  • Good understanding of stock procurement and management
  • Understanding of trends and best practice in charity retail
  • Good understanding of retail gift aid and related processes
  • Ability to plan, prioritize and organize
  • Good understanding of health and safety and trading standards
  • An affinity with Willow’s objectives and activities

Key Skills

  • Accurate, conscientious and self motivated
  • Ability to work on own and use initiative to make decisions
  • Good communication skills at al levels
  • Good understanding of marketing and promotions
  • Creative e.g. visual merchandising, marketing
  • Ability to motivate, engage and develop teams to deliver results
  • Good business acumen
  • Good understanding of finance – profit drivers; cost control etc.


  • GCSE Maths and English or equivalent literacy and numeracy skills
  • Proven experience of managing a team in a retail or charity sector
  • Experience of working within the voluntary sector
  • Experience of delivering training to staff is desirable

Personal Attributes

  • Self starter – high energy levels
  • Positive and Enthusiastic
  • Resourceful
  • Strong professionally – credible with integrity
  • Good Listener – will challenge constructively and respond well to feedback


  • Mobility – the job entails frequent and extensive travel
  • Working knowledge of Retail, H.R and Health and Safety legislation
  • Must be able to use MS Office applications – Word, Outlook, and Excel to a competent standard
  • Some Saturday and Sunday working is required