Contact Us

Tel: 01983 403883

Isle of Wight Zoo,Yaverland Seafront
Sandown, Isle of Wight
PO36 8QB


Current vacancies :

Retail Manager:

An exciting opportunity for an experienced, confident and hands-on Retail Manager who will have the drive and determination to create an outstanding retail department while continuing to ensure our guests feel welcomed and cared for.
Your role will be to ensure the high standard of the Trust’s visitor experience is sustained and to grow the business further. You will work in partnership with senior managers and staff across the organisation to ensure the smooth running of our admissions and retail function and the visitor attraction as a whole.
Responsible to: CEO
Responsible for: Suppliers, a small staff, volunteers and liaising effectively with colleagues
Salary: Negotiable depending on experience
Hours: Full-time (40 hrs), may include some weekends . Some evening hours are required for a few events each year.

About the Isle of Wight Zoo – Home of The Wildheart Trust
The IOW Zoo has recently become a charity ('The Wildheart Trust’) following many years under private ownership. It is the Island’s original zoo and is well-loved by the local community and widely visited by residents as well as tourists. Our mission is to inspire and empower people to take positive action to protect our planet and the animals we share it with. We specialise in providing lifelong refuge to rescued big cats. The zoo is nestled within an Napoleonic fort in the picturesque Sandown Bay. The zoo’s shop is connected to our zoo café and can be visited by non-zoo customers. We pride ourselves on the intimate and friendly feel of our visitor experience and the emphasis we place on caring for each animal as an individual.
Purpose and objectives:
To promote the mission of the Trust and achieve the Trust’s aims which include being a flourishing charity which connects people to wildlife and the environment. Work to increase revenue from all areas of our Retail function while supporting the ethos of the charity.

Lead the Trust’s Admissions & Retail function, ensuring that operations run smoothly and realising the full potential for the Trust Shop and associated income streams.
Work to transform the Trust Shop into a central part of the zoo visitor experience while also establishing it as the 'go to’ IOW retail outlet for animal and wildlife themed
Develop and manage the various retail schemes including animal adoptions, animal experiences and memberships
Main duties and responsibilities:
• Ensure the Admissions & Trust Shop team provide exceptional customer service and a warm visitor welcome at all times with professionalism and respect
• Oversee all aspects of the day-to-day operations, ensuring all staff, systems and processes are operating smoothly and health and safety protocols are adhered to
• Manage the Admissions and Trust shop team providing training and support as required
• Develop the Trust Shop team in line with the overall culture of the Trust as a 'one team’ organisation, participating as a member of the Management Team and working closely with colleagues across the site
• Take pride in appearance of the staff and premises, maintaining an attractive environment with faultless housekeeping standards
• Achieve or exceed sales, profitability and other key performance indicator targets
• Assess and review retail activities and develop retail plans to grow the business delivering year-on-year growth in sales and bottom line contribution
• Uplift and expand product offering to cater for all budgets and maximize the potential to showcase products aligned to the Trust’s conservation and animal welfare aims
• Ensure that the Trust Shop becomes an integral part of the visitor experience where people feel comfortable and taken care of and their feedback is sought and valued
• Maintain extensive knowledge of the Trust’s products in order to provide customers with information, motivating sales and donations in an appropriate manner that reinforces the Trust’s positive image and is perceived as helpful rather than pushy
• Review and develop retail schemes and ensure the smooth delivery of these areas
• Contribute to the wider priorities of the Trust, including mobilizing support for appeals or campaigns
• Manage stock control to ensure appropriate levels are maintained
• Ensure finances and cash are managed in accordance with audit and security requirements and good practice
• Stay abreast with, deploy and master technology
• Attend trade shows, conferences, seminars and exhibitions as required
• Any other duties which are relevant to the role
Essential Experience and Qualifications:
• Substantial retail management experience working in a similar retail operation, preferably in a gift shop or visitor attraction; a proven track record of success in growing sales and delivering targets and KPI’s for a retail business
• Understanding of merchandising principles, including sourcing stock, selecting suppliers, negotiating prices, visual merchandising and displays, and managing stock levels to suit the seasons
• Resilient, positive and committed to delivering a consistently high standard of customer service through effective staff management and leading by example. Able to respond to customer feedback and constructively resolve any problems
• Financial acumen for developing budgets and plans and monitoring results
• Awareness of and experience with Gift Aid desirable
• Professional appearance and impression, excellent written and verbal communication and ambassadorial skills at all levels and across all forms with a passion for the cause
• Strong organisational and multitasking skills and ability to cope with competing demands
• Management and team leading skills, preferably including volunteers as well as staff, with natural flair for influencing and motivating people on all levels
• Initiative to cope with the unexpected and willingness to be a hands-on member of the retail team
• Excellent IT and technical skills including EPOS, online sales, Word, PowerPoint, and Excel
• Experience of analysing and interpreting financial data in a retail environment
• Integrity and trustworthiness. Able to prioritise security without compromising customer care
• Working knowledge of Equal Opportunities and Diversity practise
• Working knowledge of Employment Law

Please use the link below for a current application form
Complete the application form and send, together with a CV and covering letter, to or by post to CEO, Isle of Wight Zoo, Sandown, Isle of Wight, PO36 8QBPlease Note: successful candidates may be subject to a DBS (Disclosure and Barring Service, formerly CRB) check and references.

Closing date: Friday 22nd September 

Working at the Zoo

The Isle of Wight Zoo is one of the Island's premier attractions and is a member of BIAZA (British and Irish Association of Zoos and Aquariums). We aim for the highest standards of customer service and animal welfare to ensure that we continue to maintain and progress our reputation within the tourism and zoological industry.

The zoo's operations are divided into the following departments and the zoo employs 15 to 40 staff fluctuating throughout the year depending on the demands of the business. Some of these posts are made up of permanent full-time/part-time positions with additional staff employed on a temporary basis:

  • Operations (incorporating HR and Finance)
  • Animal 
  • Education
  • Maintenance and Horticulture
  • Trading - including Retail, Catering and Marketing
Working within a zoo environment can be exceptionally rewarding and interesting. The Isle of Wight Zoo aspires to recruit hard working and enthusiastic individuals who will contribute positively and significantly to the organisation's needs while supporting the overall ethos of the zoo.

Applying for Vacancies
If you are applying for an advertised vacancy you will need to complete the application form that comes with the vacancy. It may help you to know that we usually advertise vacancies in the following way

Successful applicants for vacancies with the Isle of Wight Zoo may be required to have a Criminal Records Bureau check as a condition of employment.

Criminal Records Bureau Policy

Recruitment of Ex-Offenders If you are short-listed for a position you will be contacted within 28 days of the closing date. If you do not hear from the zoo within this time-frame then your application will unfortunately have been unsuccessful. We regret that due to the very large number of applications we receive we are unable to notify unsuccessful candidates.

Current vacancies will be listed at the top of the page - please visit their respective job descriptions for details on how to apply.

Sending in a CV

If you have experience and/or skills which you feel may be of value to the zoo and are looking for employment you may wish to contact us in case a vacancy arises. You are very welcome to send in a CV, which we will keep on file for six months. Please note that we only accept speculative CVs by post - we do not open attachments on unsolicited emails. The address to send them to is:

Enquiries, Isle of Wight Zoo , Yaverland , Sandown , Isle of Wight PO36 8QB

Please indicate in your covering letter which department/s of the zoo you would like to be considered for.

Careers Advice - Zoo Keeping

Please note that the following information is provided on external sites.