Job Posting 74087

Senior Manager, Retail Strategy
University of Alberta Students' Union
Edmonton area
closes in 3 days (Thu, 30 Sep)
full time  •  Starting at $61,000 per year

This position offers a comprehensive benefits & retirement package, as well as a great work-life balance opportunity!


The University of Alberta Students' Union (UASU) is a not-for-profit organization committed to enriching the lives of students and the campus community. We operate a variety of on-campus businesses & services, as well as the Students' Union Building -- the centre of campus life.


Reporting to the Director of Business Operations, the Senior Manager, Retail Strategy (SMRS) is responsible for overseeing the day-to-day operations of the Students’ Union’s portfolio of retail business units and the identification, evaluation and implementation of strategies to increase their value to the Students’ Union and its student membership. As social enterprises, “value” from the retail business units is measured through a variety of lenses including financial return, social good, customer satisfaction, and overall benefit to students.


The Students’ Union always keeps moving in order to meet the needs of students. As such, the portfolio of retail business units has evolved (and will continue to evolve) over time. Currently, the portfolio includes a licensed restaurant/bar (Dewey’s), coffee shop (Daily Grind), retail/convenience store (SUBmart) and print production centre (SUBprint), all based at the University of Alberta.


The SMRS provides high-level, day-to-day operations leadership and support to the retail business units, and directly supervises the operations managers and other management team members. The position fosters growth and empowerment amongst the members of the management team, to allow those individuals to successfully manage a wide variety of day-to-day elements of the operations with independence and responsibility, while still receiving guidance and direction to help both themselves and the operations grow.


The SMRS places a focus on special projects and interdepartmental partnerships, as well as research, development and implementation of new business opportunities and strategies. The position serves as a conduit between the operations themselves, other departments of the Students’ Union and the University, and the Director and other members of senior leadership at the Students’ Union.


The position is responsible for ensuring the ongoing growth and development of value within the portfolio, ensuring compliance with requirements and best practices, and ensuring alignment with the organization’s principles, goals and objectives as articulated through the Students’ Union Strategic Plan and other sources of vision.


In light of the role’s breadth and complexity, it is not possible to fully define or describe all roles and responsibilities in a document of this kind; however, a number of key roles and responsibilities are listed below.



  1. Ensure the ongoing, effective operation of all elements of the various business units within the portfolio, including both front-of-house and back-of-house activities.
  2. Directly supervise and provide direction, mentorship and guidance to managers within the portfolio, ensuring that staff have the tools and knowledge required to perform their duties effectively.
  3. Develop, maintain and implement the overall strategic vision for the portfolio, based on guidance from the Director, the General Manager, the Executive Committee and the Students’ Union Strategic Plan.
  4. Monitor and continually improve operational performance through superior customer experience, product quality, team performance, product mix, presentation, pricing and other factors.
  5. Foster a culture of inclusivity, cooperation, communication, productivity, personal development and a positive team attitude among all staff.
  6. Ensure the resolution of all customer service, operational, financial, human resource, communications, safety, legal, risk and regulatory concerns that arise within the portfolio.
  7. Oversee the development of annual operating budgets for the units. Continually monitor revenue and expense levels, and accordingly adjust staff levels, margins, offerings and other monetary factors as necessary. Ensure that the entire management team exercises financial vigilance and control.
  8. Oversee the effective execution of operational and administrative activities, health and safety programs, marketing and promotional strategies, and training and development programs throughout the portfolio.
  9. Understand and perform the duties of all staff positions within the portfolio on a regular, fill-in basis during periods of peak demand and during staff shortages.
  10. Lead a variety of special projects as well as interdepartmental and inter-organizational initiatives.
  11. Maintain the operations in accordance with all relevant legislation, regulations and policies including those of the Alberta Gaming, Liquor & Cannabis Commission, Alberta Health Services, the City of Edmonton, the Students’ Union and the University of Alberta.
  12. Develop and maintain relationships of strategic importance within the Students’ Union, the University of Alberta and outside organizations. Foster collaborations between these stakeholders and members of the operations team.
  13. Ensure adherence and awareness by all staff of Students’ Union policies and procedures. Develop, communicate and enforce departmental policies and procedures, including effective financial, inventory and operational controls.
  14. Foster a culture of innovation and organizational strengthening. Promote the development of various workflow, process design and change management activities.
  15. Maintain a strong ongoing understanding of industry trends and opportunities.
  16. Develop and implement annual operating plans, and undertake other research and planning activities.
  17. Ensure that the overall appearance, condition and safety of the premises and assets are maintained.
  18. Regularly participate in management group and team meetings, and provide leadership at meetings as directed.
  19. Provide direct and ongoing support to the Director in the fulfillment of their duties and projects.
  20. Perform other work-related duties as assigned by the Director and/or the General Manager.



  • Minimum three years of management/supervisory experience and relevant post-secondary education, or an acceptable combination of education and experience
  • Demonstrated leadership and vision in business operations, growth and strategy
  • Superior interpersonal, communication, writing and analytical skills
  • Demonstrated leadership in managing teams in a positive, collaborative and effective manner
  • Ability to work responsibly with little or no supervision
  • Strong understanding of accounting, budgeting and human resource administration
  • High level of creativity and motivation, and a champion of innovation
  • Ability to work with students, staff, administration and the general public with a dedication to fostering strong relationships and providing excellent customer service
  • Demonstrated commitment to high professional and ethical standards, and to embracing a diverse workplace
  • Possession of a valid Class 5 or higher driver’s licence, and satisfactory driving record
  • Any successful candidate will be required to provide a satisfactory Criminal Background Check as a condition of employment
  • Any successful candidate will be required to obtain and maintain ProServe, ProTect, Standard First Aid and a provincially-recognized food safety certification as conditions of continued employment



  • Experience in and understanding of the hospitality, retail and digital print production industries
  • Experience in managing multiple units and diverse operations
  • Awareness of, or experience with, the Students’ Union, the University of Alberta, or similar organizations
  • Familiarity with Alberta Gaming, Liquor & Cannabis Commission, Alberta Health Services and City of Edmonton regulations
  • Experience in project management and change management
  • Experience in managing a unionized staff environment



  • Number of hours worked per week may vary, with an average of 37.5 hours expected
  • Willingness and ability to work varying hours as needed, including some evenings and weekends
  • Working environment will include time in an office/desk setting as well as time performing operational duties
  • The position will be expected to physically divide their work time between each of the various operations and an office environment; as such, the position will need to adapt to regularly working from multiple semi-mobile workspaces on the University campus



  • Comprehensive health, dental & vision benefits for you and your family
  • Life & disability insurance
  • A matching RRSP contribution program
  • Generous and flexible vacation benefits & other leave
  • An open, supportive, collaborative and innovative organization -- we thrive on the great ideas of our team
  • The opportunity to make a difference by working at a not-for-profit organization
  • An annual Wellness Spending Account to better your life outside of work
  • Additional training & professional development opportunities



The UASU’s mission is to serve, engage, and represent students. To do that well we need an organization that is representative of the students we serve. We are committed to creating a diverse environment that fosters a sense of belonging and empowerment. We actively encourage applications from members of groups experiencing barriers to equity.



Does the job and the UASU sound like a good fit for you?  Apply today -- we're excited to hear from you!


The review of applications will start on August 16, 2021, however, the competition will remain open until filled. 


While we thank all applicants for their interest, only shortlisted candidates will be contacted.


Please Note: is not affiliated with and in no way endorses or vets the organization that posted this job. Any links posted within the job will take you to their external site where the same disclaimer applies.

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