University of Waterloo

Area Manager, Retail

Requisition ID 2021-6654
Job Category
Student Services
Employment Type
Time Type
Hiring Range
$57,962 - $72,453


The Area Manager, Retail is accountable for the delivery of effective operations and strategic oversight of multiple retail units (2-3) owned and operated by the Waterloo Undergraduate Student Association. The retail units see multi-million dollars in annual revenues with hundreds of customers serviced daily while campus is operating. The retail business units include but are not limited to used bookstores, convenience stores, pharmacy, general store, apparel, health, and beauty service and more.


The position will work with senior management to develop annual business plans to help ensure successful business results for their assigned units. The Area Manager, Retail will oversee the personnel and supervisory layers of each business unit and provide leadership to their outlets to help ensure positive member satisfaction and financial outcomes.


This role is contingent on funding.


Strategic management

  • Sets annual objectives through a strategic plan by developing, implementing and evaluating business strategies consistent with the organization’s vision, mission and long-range plan

  • Creates annual budget for operations including capital expenditure proposals; working with the  Commercial Operations Manager and Senior Management to administer annual budgets and implementing and administrating effective operating policies and procedures

  • Responsible for all routine day-to-day management decisions; inventory management, sourcing new items, auditing operations, and floor management

  • Accountable for ensuring core business processes within outlets are conducted accurately and efficiently; including scheduling, ordering, cash controls, merchandising and processing transactions

  • Ensures operations are in compliance with Health & Safety laws, WUSA’s and University of Waterloo policies, procedures and visions

  • Implements systems and processes to establish and maintain records for the operating unit

  • Ensures all equipment is maintained and replaced as required


Effective Retail Performance using Financial Management and Planning

  • Prices all products consistent with gross margin targets

  • Orders goods on a timely basis and ensure store is adequately and appropriately stocked

  • Processes all invoices to ensure accuracy of product, pricing and quantity purchased

  • Creates and monitors annual strategic plans and budgets for outlets in conjunction with the Commercial Operations Manager

  • Reconciles inventory received to purchased orders and performs corrective steps if required

  • Provides weekly sales & labour and operations report to Commercial Operations Manager

  • Responsible for establishing and achieving margins and labour costs as per budget

  • Accountable for all financial targets of outlets set out in budget/ strategic plans and reporting on any variances on a month to month basis to the Commercial Operations Manager

  • Financial management, reporting & analysis for budgeting, sales & profit purposes. Forecasts sales, summarizes and produces reports


Staff Management

  • Provides daily correspondence and direction to supervisors to ensure outlets and shifts are operating to set standards

  • Ensures all staff are properly trained to focus on the provision of friendly and professional service consistent with the overall operating philosophy of WUSA & UW policies and procedures

  • Reviews and authorizes bi-weekly payroll including reconciling schedules to labour reports and investigate and report any variances

  • Initiates and conducts termly performance evaluations to all employees

  • Ensures staff provide outstanding customer service

  • Hires, trains and evaluates a casual/student part-time staff group with a very high turnover rate; including performance management and discipline when needed


Relationships and Collaboration

  • Establishes and maintains strong partnerships and relationships within UW community as well as other post-secondary institutions and third-party vendors to ensure best practices are being implemented

  • Ensures regular feedback and communication with students to determine product offerings, hours of operation and service levels

  • Collaborates with Accounting to ensure retail areas comply with WUSA’s cash controls, sales are being recorded accurately and customer cheques are printed in time for customer pickups

  • Meets regularly with Marketing Specialist to review upcoming promotions, hours of operations, hiring campaigns, and ensuring products sold are relevant to student trends/ demands

  • Acts as key point of contact for retail operations and maintains positive relationships with all vendors

  • Demonstrates ability to interact with and support students


Customer Service

  • Commits to positive interactions with all internal and external customers and provides appropriate level of assistance regardless of situation or location

  • Ensures that all customer inquiries are handled in a professional, timely manner; and in cases when customers should be redirected to other staff, the incumbent will ensure that the redirection is complete and that the customer is not left without service

  • Ensures service excellence is a key foundation within operations


  • Completion of a University Bachelor’s degree in a related field, or equivalent education and experience
  • Minimum of 3+ years in retail management with high volume operations

  • Supervisory experience in a business or post-secondary environment related to customer service operations is preferred

  • Demonstrated experience negotiating product purchases, with accountability for meeting margin and pricing targets

  • Previous experience developing, implementing and evaluating business strategies

  • Outstanding customer service skills, excellent organizational skills, attention to detail, and strong administrative abilities

  • Must have excellent interpersonal, leadership and written & verbal communication skills

  • Proven ability to lead a shift-based team and manage performance

  • Business acumen and analytical skills, critical thinking, demonstrates relationship-building skills

  • Ability to effectively work in a high-volume retail operation with proven good judgement and excellent problem-solving skills
  • There may be varying hours or schedules, including but not limited to extended weekend hours, weekday extended hours with varying volumes of work at different times of year

Equity Statement

The University of Waterloo is committed to implementing the Calls to Action framed by the Truth and Reconciliation Commission. We acknowledge that we live and work on the traditional territory of the Neutral, Anishinaabeg and Haudenosaunee peoples. The University of Waterloo is situated on the Haldimand Tract, the land granted to the Six Nations that includes six miles on each side of the Grand River.


The University values the diverse and intersectional identities of its students, faculty, and staff. The University regards equity and diversity as an integral part of academic excellence and is committed to accessibility for all employees. The University of Waterloo seeks applicants who embrace our values of equity, anti-racism and inclusion.  As such, we encourage applications from candidates who have been historically disadvantaged and marginalized, including applicants who identify as First Nations, Métis and/or Inuit/Inuk, Black, racialized, a person with a disability, women and/or 2SLGBTQ+.


All qualified candidates are encouraged to apply; however, Canadians and permanent residents will be given priority.


The University of Waterloo is committed to accessibility for persons with disabilities. If you have any application, interview, or workplace accommodation requests, please contact Human Resources at or 519-888-4567, ext. 45935.


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