Fact Checked

What Does a Store Team Leader Do?

B. Miller
B. Miller

In larger retail stores, management is often structured in such a way to provide additional responsibility and supervisory duties to individuals known as team leaders. A store team leader will often be responsible for running a specific department or even a whole shift of employees, and can have different duties depending on the nature of the store and the number of other employees that work there. This is a good opportunity for individuals who want to build a career in retail to gain management experience and practice supervising other employees; working as a store team leader often provides opportunities for promotions when more upper-level managerial positions open up.

Individuals who choose to become a store team leader, or who are asked to by a manager, will usually have worked their way up from a more entry-level position, such as a cashier or someone working in floor sales. This person may then become a head cashier or other type of supervisor, responsible for managing his or her peers. This is generally the first step in becoming a store team leader. In some retail environments, there is no difference between someone working as a head cashier and someone working as a team leader.

Many team leaders start out as cashiers.
Many team leaders start out as cashiers.

Typically, however, team leaders are more similar to department managers. This person might be responsible for maintaining a specific department in the store, which may include everything from creating the schedule, to ensuring that the shelves are properly stocked and placing orders for new merchandise. This person will generally also be responsible for providing motivation, encouragement, and direction to employees, and ensuring that they are following store policies and feeling positively about the corporate culture. In some cases, a store team leader might even be the person who hires and fires employees in the department, though more often this will usually require approval from a supervisor.

Good leaders can inspire their team through all types of situations and challenges.
Good leaders can inspire their team through all types of situations and challenges.

A store team leader will also often need to prepare regular reports to share with upper management and the other department managers in the store at regular meetings. He or she will typically have goals to meet, regarding things such as sales quotas or hours worked by employees in the department. For individuals interested in becoming store team leaders, many stores provide specific training programs for this position, and will offer this opportunity to entry level employees who are excelling in their positions. This is beneficial to the employee as well as the store, which then gets to groom employees to be the specific type of manager desired.

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Discussion Comments


Every big company's store team leader is a role like a department manager.


I work at a store that's not too large. But we do get very busy during annual sales and holidays. So during those times, the manager assigns team leadership to someone so that we can keep everything under control during very busy days.

I was the team leader last year during Christmas. It was a great experience for me because I got an opportunity to show my skills as a supervisor. My manager was very happy with me. I hope to do it again this year and hopefully this will help me get farther in terms of a career. I hope to be a store manager one day.


@stoneMason-- I don't think so. I'm not an expert on this topic but I think that a store team leader kind of fills in for other supervisors or managers when they're away. For big retail stores, it's impossible for a store manager to keep an eye on every department at the same time. So each department will usually have a team leader responsible for that area. Other times, the department manager is separate and supervises the team leader who might just be at the cashier or who might be supervising employees in one particular area.

So a team leader does not replace other supervisors or managers and it's all about team work. So the team leader isn't doing all the work.


It sounds like a store team leader is almost like a supervisor or a manager. If a store team leader is required to do everything mentioned in the article, then there won't be much left to do for the managers.

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    • Many team leaders start out as cashiers.
      By: Lisa F. Young
      Many team leaders start out as cashiers.
    • Good leaders can inspire their team through all types of situations and challenges.
      By: drubig-photo
      Good leaders can inspire their team through all types of situations and challenges.
    • Team leaders work to improve customer experience.
      By: Kadmy
      Team leaders work to improve customer experience.