Mall Manager Job Description
A mall manager is responsible for both the behind-the-scenes and customer-facing operations of a retail shopping center. A typical day may include negotiating a lease with a retailer, handling maintenance requests, or contracting security agencies. Additionally, the mall manager is the “face” of the mall, handling customer complaints and public relations.
Mall Manager Duties and Responsibilities
Because of the complexities of the job, mall managers hold many duties and responsibilities, both in management and in customer relations. Daily responsibilities vary, but mall managers are generally accountable for the following:
Hire Mall Staff
The mall manager is responsible for hiring various employees, including assistant management staff, maintenance employees, security staff, and custodial help. While individual retail locations hire associates specific to those stores, the mall manager hires the behind-the-scenes mall staff.
Research Local Economic Market
Generally speaking, the mall manager must understand the market in which the mall is located. A familiarity with which retail outlets will experience success within the shopping center will ultimately contribute to the success of the facility.
Coordinate Mall Employees
On a day-to-day basis, a mall manager is presented with challenges that require the coordination of staff. These challenges may take the form of coverage shortages, maintenance requests, the presence of law enforcement, custodial issues, or customer complaints.
Advertise and Market the Mall
While the individual stores within a mall are responsible for their own marketing, the mall manager must ensure the mall itself is represented. Marketing responsibilities may include events planning, community outreach, or advertising via mainstream media. The mall manager also creates an enticing environment to attract prospective tenants.
Manage Budget and Expenditures
The mall manager has a responsibility to ensure the mall’s expenditures fall in line with its budget. This may translate to salary budgets, rent negotiation, and reconciliation of financial reports.
A mall manager is familiar with contracts and with negotiation. The position requires the initiation of lease agreements as well as service contracts, and the mall manager can comfortably interpret and modify contracts to benefit all parties.
Mall Manager Skills and Qualifications
Successful mall managers communicate effectively, solve problems quickly, and collaborate with others both up and down the chain of command. Employers generally seek candidates who possess, at minimum, a bachelor’s degree and the following skills:
- Customer service – mall managers are required to interact with patrons on a daily basis and are adept at communicating with these customers in a friendly, professional manner
- Public relations – mall managers act as the public voice for a shopping center and therefore must frequently interact with the media, the local community, and even law enforcement
- Legal knowledge – while a legal background isn’t critical to this position, a mall manager must be familiar with contracts and even zoning ordinances
- Financial management – the mall manager is responsible for financial aspects of the retail shopping center, including rent collection, payroll, accounts payable to vendors, and budgeting
- Communication skills – a mall manager can effectively communicate with a diverse group of individuals, including property management, retail management, security staff, middle management, and more
- Computer experience – mall managers use computers to track inventory, record payroll, and perform other administrative tasks. Familiarity with the internet and wordprocessing is usually a requirement for the position
Tools of the Trade
Mall managers aren’t confined to a desk, and it maybe necessary to use the following equipment:
- Computer software (Word processors, spreadsheet software, payroll software, internet browsers)
- Transportation (Segways, electric carts)
- Retail hardware (scanners, point of sale equipment)
Mall Manager Education and Training
Because mall managers are responsible for performing such a diverse range of duties, it’s common for employers to require a bachelor’s degree or equivalent experience. Areas of study may include business administration, marketing, finance, and accounting. Preference is given to candidates who hold a master’s degree, and five or more years’ experience may be required.
Mall Manager Salary and Outlook
The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reports the median annual wage for a mall manager as $58,670. The position is categorized under property, real estate, and community association managers. Mall managers in the bottom 10 percent of the income range earn less than $29,500. Those in the highest 10 percent earn significantly more than the median, at $128,630.
The BLS projects a positive outlook for those interested in a mall management career. It’s predicted that employment will grow 10 percent through 2026.
Those interested in a career in mall management have a variety of resources available. The books, professional organizations, and websites on this list provide a starting point to explore the career:
Ask a Manager – management consultant Alison Green provides this resource to help managers in all industries become more efficient and effective at communication
High Output Management – Andrew S. Grove discusses the science of management as well as techniques to improve management skills, such as team building and productivity
International Facility Management Association – IFMA is a global network of facilities managers. The organization’s website contains helpful resources for mall managers
The Facility Management Handbook – this comprehensive resource covers information from zoning compliance to disaster recovery
Professional Retail Store Maintenance Association – while this organization primarily targets managers of individual stores, mall management professionals have found PRSM to be a helpful resource
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