u-turn 25 birthday

Retail Operations Manager

[vc_row css=”.vc_custom_1557493932125{padding-top: 50px !important;}”][vc_column][vc_column_text css=”.vc_custom_1557493830897{padding-top: 50px !important;}”]

Job description – Retail Operations Manager


U-turn is a thriving non-profit that exist to give homeless people the skills to overcome homelessness. At U-Turn we believe in life after homelessness and we believe that with the right help, any individual can be helped to be gainfully employed.   Founded in 1997, we operate a phased rehabilitation programme to help people leave the streets for good.

The programme is very successful and we are grateful to report that 88% of our graduates maintain long-term open market employment. In the final phase of our rehabilitation journey, we have created social enterprises (currently using Retail as the main economic sector) that gives homeless people the opportunity to acquire vocational skills and work experience to prepare individuals for open market employment even as they invest in personal development such as building self esteem, confidence, interpersonal skills etc.

Our current retail operation consists of:

The retail supply team:

  • 1 Retail Supply Manager that manages and expands the supply chain of stock for our stores
  • 1 Laundry Manager that manages the clothing sorting, washing and distribution to the stores
  • 1 driver & a dedicated vehicle for collections and drop-offs
  • 1 laundry (washing machines, dryers, steamers, irons)
  • 103 clothing collection bins
  • Approximately 5-8 homeless champions that work in the laundry

The retail sales teams:

  • 1 Retail Operations Manager that is responsible for everything that happens after the clothing is delivered to the stores, i.e. store operations, growing sales, training participants, promotions etc.
  • 6 stores (5 training stores and 1 commercial store)
  • 1 homeless store that work on vouchers
  • 1 dedicated vehicle
  • Approximately 18-20 homeless champions that work in the shops

U-turn is also working on expansion plans to quadruple the number of participants in the U-turn programme. In 2019 we will be moving our laundry facility to a new, larger space, and are constantly looking to open new opening new stores. We are also looking to replicate the U-turn model across South Africa using a social franchise model.

The position – professionalism with purpose!

There is an opportunity for a person with strong retail skills and experience to join the U-turn team as Retail Operations Manager thus giving them the opportunity to apply their professional retail skills in a development setting. This position provides the ultimate combination of using your professional skills to build something of great purpose.

Reporting directly to the Chief Operations Officer, the candidate will apply their retail skills to run our six stores and grow both our profitability and market share even as the person collaborates with our Occupational Therapy team to equip people with the skills necessary to succeed in the open labour market. The ideal candidate would be happy to work in an organization with strong Christian motivations, display a passion to see people grow (i.e. to work developmentally) and apply solid business skills and experience to create professional solutions at U-turn. This is a full time position.

Key areas of responsibility

  • Manage and direct the U-turn retail operation to ensure that stores operate daily. This includes all stock management, people management, managing point of sale software, ensuring every store is following brand guidelines and using visual merchandising best practice and running the correct promotions at all times.
  • Analyze sales data to determine if store is meeting financial goals and implement plans to improve store performance including loyalty programmes, in-store promotions, product diversification.
  • Develop and deliver retail training to equip our retail staff & participants with credible retail knowledge. This includes selecting the curriculum, developing the training materials and delivering the training to staff and participants and / or fostering relationships with other retail training partners to achieve the same.
  • In collaboration with the head of rehab (i.e. the head of the therapy team), manage the HR issues & queries that pertain to participants and staff that work in the retail operations.
  • Maintain, update, and enforce safety and security procedures.


  • Business experience including relevant experience gained the retail/charity shop sector.
  • Experienced in managing a diverse (in terms of skill base and experience) team of people.
  • A track record of increasing and sustaining sales growth and profitability even in challenging market conditions such as the current economic climate


  • Excellent communication skills – verbal and written
  • Well developed interpersonal skills
  • Excellent organisational skills and ability to prioritise
  • A collaborative team player – concerned with the team success as well as individual performance
  • Visible Leadership skills – can motivate others to achieve
  • Ability to motivate, coach and develop people
  • Solution orientated, decisive by nature
  • Driver’s license

Personal Attributes

  • Self-starter – high energy levels, able to self direct their work to hit targets.
  • Positive and Enthusiastic
  • Resourceful
  • Strong professionally – credible with integrity
  • Good Listener – will challenge constructively and respond well to feedback

Next steps

Interested parties should submit a CV and motivational letter to info@homeless.org.za[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][vc_column][/vc_column][/vc_row]