What Is A Key Holder Job

If you’re currently looking for a job, or for a new opportunity in the world of retail, you may have come across the role of key holder at various retail stores and businesses.

While it may sound obvious, the role of the key holder isn’t as simple as it may seem, and there are a lot of different responsibilities that this role requires, and it isn’t quite the same as an average retail assistant role.

If you’re interested in this role and want to know more about it, as well as what you need to pursue this position, we’re going to unpack them in this guide, where we’ll look at all the key aspects of the key holder position at most retail stores, as well as how to put yourself in a good position to secure this role.

We’re also going to look at the responsibilities of the role and what makes the role unique, so you have a good understanding of exactly what’s required when you take a position of responsibility like this.

What Is A Key Holder?

The keyholder or retail key holder, is a really important role at most bricks and mortar stores, as it is this employee’s task to open or close the store and ensure that the store is ready for the day’s business, as well as secure at the end of it.

The key holder also has to assist with various other administrative tasks as well as the various other duties and responsibilities that can come up in a retail environment, from salesmanship to counting money and other important tasks that require a trustworthy, organized, and reliable person to handle.

The key holder will also need to understand the importance of security and be able to function the alarms and locks of the building or premises, and the extra importance and responsibility of this task is what sets the key holder apart from the average retail employee, as this is a considerable amount of responsibility to entrust to someone.

Key Duties And Responsibilities Of A Key Holder

The keyholder is expected to fulfil various different responsibilities as a part of their average day, and these responsibilities can include;

  • Opening the store, or locking it up at the end of the day
  • Managing and supervising the store’s security alarm system, ensuring that it is functioning, and being able to disable it when required
  • Storing and protecting security alarm codes, keys to various locks, and other crucial information, as well as resetting or replacing them when required.
  • Make sure the store is presentable and clean at the start and end of the day, usually assisted by other retail staff
  • Assisting with sales and cashiers during busy periods
  • Helping manage employee schedules or shift leading
  • Attending to customers and their needs
  • Assisting the store manager or filling in for them when necessary.

What Does A Key Holder Do?

Key holders work in various retail locations and stores, ensuring that the store is functioning well, while also ensuring customers have a good experience at the store and assisting with various other tasks from shift leading and supervising to salesmanship.

Key holders may also be required to help prepare the store for the following day’s business, tidying, resetting the store, managing stock, restocking or rotating stock, dealing with cash and administrative duties, and ensuring the store is secure upon leaving.

Key Skills And Qualifications For A Key Holder

There are many essential skills that a keyholder needs in order to be able to perform their duties well.

First and foremost, keyholders require excellent organizational skills as they need to be able to manage many different tasks and duties simultaneously and be able to keep records and security apparatus secure.

Keyholders also need excellent time management skills as they need to be able to open the store at the correct time and close it at the correct time, which is crucial for retail businesses.

Basic computer and administration skills are also essential for daily administrative tasks and good people skills and customer service skills which are always required in a retail setting.

Good attention to detail and interpersonal skills are also important, as well as good leadership skills.

Experience Requirements To Be A Key Holder

Ideally, a prospective keyholder should have several years of retail experience under their belt, usually around 3 years of solid trustworthy experience, as well as a familiarity with handling keys and security systems, understanding how they work, the importance of using them correctly, and the ability to set them up and function them when needed.

Some leadership skill or supervisory skill is also a bonus, as often a keyholder will also be a shift leader or supervisor that takes charge over other retail employees during the workday, if the store manager isn’t available or is busy with other duties.

What’s The Difference Between A Keyholder And Store Manager?

The key difference between the store manager and the keyholder is that the keyholder is slightly lower than the store manager in the hierarchy of the store, and has the responsibility of opening and closing the store, as well as some leadership responsibilities, but without the ultimate responsibility of proper management of the entire staff and premises.

The store manager assumes the ultimate responsibility for all of the staff and occurrences on the retail premises, even for the key holder and their duties.

Final Thoughts

The keyholder is a unique role in the retail sector that holds a lot of responsibility and is key to the success and security of a retail establishment, so finding the right person for the job is key.

If you feel you have all of the attributes above, you may make the perfect choice for a keyholder position and should look into roles like this if you are interested in developing a retail career.


Jamie Willis
Career Specialist at BecomeopediaHi, my name is Jamie Willis, and I have been helping students find their perfect internships and education paths for the last ten years. It is a passion of mine, and there really is nothing better than seeing students of mine succeed with further studies.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *