Retail Store Co-Managerial Position: Looking for Pros & Cons
February 16, 2017 3:04 PM   Subscribe

Job offer is imminent and through the grape vine I've heard that the General Manager is interested in a Co-Manager type situation. What are the pros and cons of two people managing a small retail store? Do you have any experience with such a situation and if so how did it turn out?

Really I'm searching for a possible positive spin or silver lining because the idea of co-managing sets off so many red flags for me. I knew this position would be coming up and was prepared for either a job offer or to be passed over, however I was not prepared for this!
posted by anonymous to Work & Money (5 answers total)
Like, co-managers on the floor at the same time, covering the same people? Hells no. That's asking for some alpha-dog bs to go down. Now, co-managers that are on the floor for different shifts is pretty typical.
posted by Thorzdad at 3:11 PM on February 16, 2017

"Co-manager" sounds like the job title they give you to distract you from the fact that you'll have all the responsibility, none of the power, and certainly nowhere near the salary that the General manager has. You'll also be the convenient scapegoat when things go wrong, assuming that you aren't being hired for that sacrificial role to begin with. And like Thorzdad says, if you guys are on the sales floor at the same time, there can really only be one manager, and it won't be you. Unless things go wrong, and then suddenly you'll be the one who was in charge.

I'd want to know the clear distinction of duties, and also what kind of authority you'll actually have to go with the responsibility they're trying to foist off on you. I think the red flags that you're seeing are a good sign to really be careful with this offer.
posted by ralan at 3:42 PM on February 16, 2017 [2 favorites]

Is this a chain store? If so, "co-manager" is a specific, legit job title that means something different from GM. It's a managerial position that generally would not have direct reports, would have less responsibility than the GM, and specific duties like ownership of hiring or training or merchandising.

If this is a small one-off store and they are offering a Co-GM position - it really depends on the person and the environment. This could be totally successful with the right person, if you are treated as a true equal.
posted by marmago at 4:41 PM on February 16, 2017 [1 favorite]

I kind of agree with the statement that you'd get more responsibility for not-so-great pay and without real authority. The place I work in is a small chain and it seems like Assistant Managers get kind of screwed. One of them seems pretty unhappy in his position; I notice he tends to argue (gently, but still) with his boss a lot and seems frustrated with his status.

Also they do work the same shift simultaneously sometimes and it does get confusing at times as to who the ultimate authority is.
posted by GospelofWesleyWillis at 12:13 PM on February 17, 2017

Co-manager is used in food and retail sometimes instead of assistant manager, just as shift manager can be used instead of supervisor.
posted by mikek at 8:31 PM on February 17, 2017

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