Visitor Services & Retail Manager - Ford House

Compensation: $35,000-50,000

The Visitor Services & Retail Manager is responsible for management of the admission desk and The Shop at Ford House. This includes, but is not limited to: day-to-day operations and scheduling, supervision of all Visitor Services Associates, management of merchandising and buying, and the maintenance and monitoring of budgets, inventory, and sales. This position is accountable for the success of the retail operation; the manager must drive sales and profitability while providing the highest level of service to visitors. The Visitor Services & Retail Manager is responsible for developing a collaborative team that creates positive experiences through friendly conversations, promotion of events and services, and sales of membership, merchandise, and tickets.


  • Communicate with a variety of visitors with diverse abilities and backgrounds. Engage visitors and promote the institution’s mission and brand through positive onsite experiences in the Visitor Center.
  • Ensure all visitor services staff meet the evolving needs of visitors, provide the highest level of visitor service, and help explain, interpret, and enforce guidelines and policies.
  • Collaborate with the Director of Visitor Experience to serve as an advocate for accessibility. Observe and recommend options to make the environment more inclusive.
  • Develop a collaborative team through the recruitment, retention, and development of a diverse range of talented staff for the department.
  • Create and manage schedules for Visitor Services Associates, ensuring proper coverage for early opens, events, late nights, programs, and tours.
  • Oversee and perform daily sales activities including cash management, end-of-day reports, and cash reconciliation.
  • Participate in effective vendor negotiations to increase store profitability, negotiate credit terms, and develop custom merchandise and branding opportunities.
  • Generate and provide financial records relevant to admissions and retail sales. Communicate and confirm sales analysis for admissions income and retails sales with the Director of Visitor Experience.
  • Establish loss prevention standards for The Shop and ensure all visitor services staff adhere to the policy and inventory control methods.
  • Oversee and manage annual physical inventory for The Shop.
  • Use Ford House visitor experience standards when handling comments and complaints that cannot be settled by the visitor services staff.
  • Work effectively with leadership to coordinate events for The Shop in conjunction with events, exhibitions, holidays, and programs.
  • Stay apprised of new trends, merchandise items, software, and vendors as they relate to retail strategies.
  • Aid in preparing and managing the retail budget.
  • Assist security with evacuation procedures from the Visitor Center as required.
  • Participate in regular trainings and workshops about accessibility, conversational strategies, customer service, diversity, exhibition content, first aid, and visitor engagement.
  • Maintain confidentiality of museum information.
  • Other duties as assigned.

Supervisory Responsibilities

This position supervises the Visitor Services Associates, daily activities at the admission desk and The Shop, and prepares work schedules.

Uniform Requirements:

This position does not require a uniform, but the manager must present a clean, professional appearance. A uniform shirt will be provided to wear at specific events, and the shirt should be maintained by the manager.

Skills and Requirements

  • Excellent verbal and written communication skills
  • Willingness and capacity to acquire new skills and knowledge
  • Outstanding organizational, multi-tasking, and problem-solving skills
  • Ability to work flexible hours, including evenings, weekends, and some holidays
  • Experience with event scheduling, point-of-sale, or ticketing software
  • Proficiency in Microsoft Office Suite

Key Characteristics/Traits

  • Strong leadership capabilities
  • Positive and outgoing personality
  • Responsible, reliable, and able to use good judgment
  • The flexibility and sensitivity to work with diverse personalities and situations
  • Friendly, courteous, empathetic, and engaging presence with all visitors and staff, including those of all abilities, age, and backgrounds


  • Minimum BA degree or equivalent combination of education and relevant work experience in hospitably, retails sales, or visitor/guest services
  • A minimum of five years of experience managing and training staff

Other Job Requirements

  • Successful completion of background and credit check
  • Available to work weekends, nights and some holidays
  • Physically able to sit for long periods of time, stand in the galleries as needed, able to use a computer, able to bend and/or stoop, climb, and lift up to 25 lbs. to perform tasks that may be required in the course of museum operation

Email resume, salary requirements, and application to Indicate in subject line “Visitor Services & Retail Manager.” Please, no phone calls.

Ford House is committed to creating a diverse environment. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, gender identity or expression, sexual orientation, national origin, genetics, disability, age, or veteran status.

Posted on 1/13/2020


Michigan Museums Association       313-334-7643       PO Box 5246, Cheboygan, MI 49721

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