Retail Manager

Business Strategy & Operations Abbey Road, London Req. UMG-5144


Job title: Retail Manager
Responsible to: General Manager
Department: Abbey Road Retail
Location of work: Abbey Road Studios


Music is Universal


It’s the passionate and dedicated team at Universal Music UK who help make us Britain’s leading music company. From A&R to finance, legal to digital, sales to marketing, Universal Music is the place to grow and develop your career within a truly commercial and innovative business that leads in everything it does.

Everyone is welcome to apply for our roles, and we are determined to ensure that no applicant or employee receives less favourable treatment because of gender, race, disability, sexual orientation, religion, belief, age, marital status, background, pregnancy or caring responsibilities. We also recognise the importance of diversity of thought within our teams and are fully committed to embracing the talents of people with autism, dyslexia, ADHD and other forms of neurocognitive variation.

We will always seek to make appropriate adjustments to recruitment, workplaces, and work processes to be fully inclusive to people with different needs and working styles. If you need us to make any reasonable adjustments for you from application onwards, including alternatives to the online form or to disclose a neurocognitive condition, please email [email protected]


The A Side: A Day in The Life

Abbey Road Studios is a globally recognised recording destination, celebrated as the most famous studio in the world.  The Studio’s core business incorporates music recording and post-production services, whilst also being a pilgrimage for music fans globally and a major tourist attraction in the capital, with an estimated footfall in the region of 325,000 every year.

The Abbey Road Studios store, in the building adjacent to the Studios, gives visitors a real flavour of the Abbey Road experience, selling a range of high-quality merchandise from Abbey Road Studios’ own product range, vinyl LPs and artist collaborations.

The role of Retail Manager offers the opportunity to join this world-renowned organisation and play a key role in this iconic business. The position offers an experienced retail manager the opportunity to run a small business unit, managing strategic planning, and overseeing the team’s delivery of product development, buying, multichannel operations, and marketing. It also offers the music lover the opportunity to curate the customer experience and provide international fans and pilgrims with a unique insight into The Studios, past, present, and future.


The B Side: Skills & Experience

The Retail Manager position offers the lead role in retail within the organization, involved across a broad spectrum of retail management. Tasked with optimising retail performance to deliver a compelling offering against key performance metrics, the role encompasses management of the following areas:

  • Team Management across operations, stock management and buying functions
  • Strategic Planning, Budget Ownership & Store Trading Performance
  • Financial Management, Reporting & Analysis
  • Delivery of a compelling & unique Customer Experience
  • Product Development and Visual Merchandising
  • Marketing and Promotion
  • Multichannel development – ensuring the shop and the e-comm site work in tandem

Retail Management


  • Deliver the commercial strategy, ensuring the shop meets its revenue targets and that the products on sale both reflect the Abbey Road Studios brand and appeal to visitors
  • Project, set and manage the annual retail budget, ensuring clear sales and margin targets. Monitor performance against these targets and key KPIs and troubleshoot issues to ensure income is maximised
  • Ensure that accounting and financial procedures are strictly adhered to and embed a culture of control and financial discipline.
  • Maintain a good knowledge and understanding of the retail market and in particular its relation to the arts and heritage world, feeding that knowledge into retail planning.
  • Oversee the visual merchandising, POS, layout and arrangement of the shop in order to maximise profit by monitoring sales


Retail Performance


  • Constantly review the trading data and respond as required to identify and communicate business critical issues
  • Prepare timely, accurate, and high-quality reports and analysis on current and longitudinal sales data, applying the output to short and long -term retail strategy.
  • Produce sales forecasts to inform stock management and the longer-term development of the retail strategy.


Team Management


  • Maintain a strong, knowledgeable and commercial retail team through effective recruitment, induction, appraisal and disciplinary processes.
  • Develop and motivate the team to deliver the highest customer service and product development by setting clear objectives and ensuring development paths are defined and met.
  • Regularly review the performance and operation of the retail team in order to continuously improve the visitor experience and maximize sales and margin


Retail Marketing & Communications


  • Demonstrate passion for the Studios, communicating in depth knowledge of the Studios’ story and how this relates to the retail range –to drive product development, build sales and support the customer experience
  • Maintain an up-to-date knowledge of the events and marketing programme of the Studios and understand the link between the Studios and the products in the shop
  • Use this knowledge to develop a programme of marketing, PR and in-store promotions (in collaboration with the Marketing department) that maximises sales opportunities and customer engagement
  • Benchmark Abbey Road Studios retail against other relevant retail offers, in the sector and beyond, including products, prices, displays and promotions


Multichannel Development


  • Working with Digital team to develop an integrated retail offer, ensuring the e-commerce store and shop systems are coordinated in terms of product, marketing and promotion
  • Work closely with the Marketing Team in developing the web as a marketing tool to increase shop and website traffic




  • Source and scope out new revenue initiatives and project manage to completion
  • Be aware of and comply with Abbey Road Studios’ policies and procedures
  • Initiate, oversee, develop and maintain relationships with key stakeholders
  • Establish relationships with peer organisations and other retail outlets in the Arts and Heritage sector to build a support network and get new ideas


Key Results Areas


  • Achieve key performance goals as set by Abbey Road Studios’ General Manager, including annual sales and profit targets within agreed budget levels
  • Meet key performance indicators including ATV, UPT, conversion, margin, product time to market, and shrinkage
  • Develop and implement the annual retail plan to deliver sales targets and product pipeline
  • Ensure the products are of appropriate type and quality, are supplied at best terms, that stock is at optimum levels and write offs are minimised
  • Work with the Marketing team to keep customers informed and maximise return visits to store or to the website
  • Ensure regular, timely, accurate and relevant reporting to track performance against strategy budgets and inform ongoing product and sales strategy
  • This job description sets out the key responsibilities and tasks of the post and is not exhaustive. It may alter with the changing needs of the business. This job description may be reviewed and updated annually


Person Specification


  • Strong numeracy skills ranging from interpretation of retail data to management reporting and budgeting
  • Proven record of achieving commercial targets and of maximising sales and profitability
  • Articulate and confident in verbal and written communication across multiple internal departments & stakeholders
  • Proficient in creating, managing and delivering detailed critical paths and objective-driven performance plans
  • Excellent organisation, administrative and negotiation skills with the ability to use own initiative, think creatively and proactively problem solve
  • A strong track record in retail store management, ideally with experience of corporate and entrepreneurial environments
  • Experience of translating vision/broad strategies into specific targets and tasks
  • Commercial knowledge and awareness, including the ability to retain and disseminate commercial data and of working with P&L accounts, budgeting and forecasting
  • Demonstrable experience of recruiting and effectively managing teams across all elements of a retail business, including performance management and skills training
  • Experience of product range development, and the procurement of goods and services
  • Good understanding of marketing planning and promotional campaign management




  • Proven senior retail management experience within the cultural brand and/or tourism sectors
  • Strong computer skills, specifically Excel, Word and report generation
  • Bachelor’s degree in relevant field preferable
  • Experience of door counter systems such as IPSOS, and latest till systems such as Eurostop an advantage.
  • Previous experience of working with or managing an e-commerce store preferable


Bonus Tracks: Your Benefits


  • Group Personal Pension Scheme (between 3% and 9%)
  • Private Medical Insurance
  • 25 paid days of annual leave
  • Interest Free Season Ticket Loan available
  • Holiday Purchase scheme
  • Dental and Travel Insurance options
  • Cycle to Work Scheme
  • Salary Sacrifice Cars
  • Subsidised Gym Membership
  • Employee Discounts (Reward Gateway)


Just So You Know…


The company presents this job description as a guide to the major areas and duties for which the jobholder is accountable. However, the business operates in an environment that demands change and the jobholder's specific responsibilities and activities will vary and develop. Therefore, the job description should be seen as indicative and not as a permanent, definitive, and exhaustive statement.