Job Description:

Shopkeepers manage their own stores or run a store on behalf of a retail chain.

Job Category:
Retail & Consumer

What you will do:

You’ll usually have overall responsibility for a store.

Your day-to-day duties could include:

  • taking payments, giving change and wrapping purchases
  • answering customers’ enquiries and giving advice about products
  • listening to customers’ needs and requests, which can indicate new sales opportunities
  • calculating takings and wages
  • depositing cash at the bank, book-keeping and stocktaking
  • ordering stock from wholesalers, manufacturers, agents and importers

You’ll also need to keep up-to-date with your competitors’ prices and products, and regulations covering trading and running a business.


You’ll need:

  • business management skills
  • to be able to use a computer and the main software packages competently

As well as:

  • customer service skills
  • patience and the ability to remain calm in stressful situations
  • the ability to accept criticism and work well under pressure
  • the ability to work well with others (teamwork skills)
  • leadership skills
  • to enjoy working with other people
  • the ability to sell products and services
Illustration of employee looking at workspace

Entry Requirements:

To become a shopkeeper, there are no specific subjects that are required, as this profession doesn’t typically have strict educational prerequisites. However, having a good foundation in certain subjects can be helpful for running a business effectively. Here are some subjects to consider:

  1. Mathematics: Strong math skills are essential for managing finances, inventory, and sales. Understanding financial concepts, like budgeting and profit calculations, is crucial.
  2. Business Studies: While not a mandatory subject, taking business studies can provide valuable knowledge about running a business, including marketing, customer service, and basic accounting principles.
  3. Economics: An understanding of economic principles can help you make informed decisions regarding pricing, supply and demand, and the overall financial health of your store.
  4. ICT (Information and Communication Technology): Proficiency with computer software and online tools can help with managing inventory, processing sales, and setting up an online presence for your shop.
  5. English: Strong communication skills are vital for interacting with customers and suppliers, as well as for managing written records and documents related to your business.

Post School

There are no set entry requirements.

Experience of shop work, sales, administration or management might be useful.

You could take a short course in accounts or on how to start a business to help you find work.

You might need financial backing in order to set up a business.

You could also get into this job through a retail apprenticeship.

Working Hours and Environment:

You’re likely to work long hours, including evenings and weekends.

The work can involve standing for long periods, and lifting and carrying stock.

Career Path & Progression:

You could buy a franchise, or, with experience and an established brand name, you could expand or improve your premises or buy another shop.