Viewpoint: Store Managers on duty

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The Store Manager holds one of two critical positions in any retail company. The other one is the CEO.

According to dmsretail, That’s not to say that other positions aren’t important. Of course, they are.

Sales Associates, for example, are your ambassadors; meeting the customers face to face every day. As you’ve probably come to realize, all Sales Associates need to be competent and fully trained to sell to customers and to represent the company in the best possible way.

But, there is one person who must ensure that all of the training is put to good use on the sales floor. That person is the Store Manager, without whom there would surely be chaos. It is up to the Store Manager to set individual targets and to continually reinforce the performance culture in the store.

“A pack of sheep led by a lion will defeat a pack of lions led by a sheep.” – Author Unknown

A true statement? We think so.

The Store Manager is, by virtue of his/her position if nothing else, the leader of the pack. That leader is single handedly responsible for the performance of the team. No matter how skilled the team members are – and it is understood that some will be much more skilled than others – the Store Manager will make the difference in the performance levels achieved by the whole team.

Store Manager’s official job descriptions vary widely. Some are expected to be administrators; others, loss prevention officers, or police. Some are expected to be the top sales person and are seen (erroneously) as under performing if their salespeople achieve higher sales numbers than they do. Still others are instructed to do so many simple administrative tasks that they are left with very little time to really manage the store.

In other words, many Store Managers are not expected to fulfill the role as it should be fulfilled. For whatever reason, they have been given a title of Store Manager but are expected to perform many routine tasks and clerical work.

What are you asking of your Store Managers?

If you expect your retail organization to be successful, you are asking them, simply, to manage the business. But, what does that mean, exactly?

The Store Manager’s main role is to drive the business; to strive for top performance from themselves and from every associate every minute of every day. Store Managers operate stores, or business units, and, when all is said and done, the goal of a ‘for profit’ business is to provide a good return to their stakeholders.

In support of that goal, they need to do a lot of work; they need to do all of the right things right. Store Managers, who are doing the job properly, are very busy people.

They recruit and hire good people because they know that the road to success is much easier when they are surrounded by competent people. They ensure each associate is well trained to carry out their responsibilities. They set targets for each associate and continually follow up to make sure those targets are being met.

They coach, and they guide, and they stay on top of everything.

Very importantly, they take appropriate action when targets are not being met. They figure out what is causing the problems and fix them.

Of course, there are many things the Store Manager is responsible and accountable for. But all of those things must be in support of the goal, or the main purpose for the store’s existence.

Great Store Managers are your ticket to extraordinary success in retail

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