How To Be a Successful Manager in Retail

Retail store managers are playing an increasingly important role in the brick-and-mortar environment. As we’ve shifted from purely transactional spaces into in-person brand experiences, the role of the retail employee continues to change. It’s important to always look for ways to improve as a store manager.

When it comes to pleasing your staff and your bosses, there are ways you can walk the line and balance both. Below, let’s look at 11 ways you can be a better store manager.

Every leader is only as good as the team they have behind them. It’s no different when it comes to managing a retail store.

It begins with hiring the right staff. And while relevant job experience is important, don’t forget to consider candidates’ soft skills and personality traits. One survey found that 95% of employers believe that culture fit is important when hiring staff.

The key is not to rush. Don’t wait until your back’s against the wall, and get a head start on seasonal hiring. “Take your time with hiring and involve your team in the interview process,” Hawkins recommends.

The onboarding process is important too — and training shouldn’t stop, he says. Document processes and provide training in different mediums so you can cater to multiple learning styles.

Sure, being a store manager is in and of itself a leadership position. But holding a leadership role and actually being a leader are two different things — the best managers do both.

Retail managers of any type and at any size of store may find these tips on retail management helpful:
  1. Set clear daily goals. …
  2. Hire a high-quality team. …
  3. Train staff well. …
  4. Use effective time management. …
  5. Be decisive. …
  6. Listen to employees. …
  7. Offer clear communication. …
  8. Use technology effectively.

How to be a Successful Retail Manager

Qualities of an effective retail store manager

Besides hard skills like number fluency and leadership training, many hiring managers look for specific soft skills when hiring retail store managers. A few of the most common soft skills, attributes and qualities great retail store managers usually demonstrate include:

What does a retail store manager do?

Understanding specifically what a retail store manager does can help you prepare effectively for the position. Generally, retail store managers have many responsibilities that can range from hands-on tasks, like restocking shelves, to leadership responsibilities, like hiring new employees. Common job duties and responsibilities for a retail store manager include:

Often, retail store managers perform other duties as needed depending on the needs of the store on a given day. Its often a very versatile and fluid position that requires flexibility and awareness.

How to be successful as a retail store manager

It takes focus, effort and determination to become a great retail manager. The store manager is a comprehensive position that works as a liaison between the company and the customers while also acting as a leader to the entire team. To become an outstanding and successful manager in retail, consider these steps:

1. Be a well-rounded employee

Successful managers are great at their jobs because they have two distinct but connected sets of skills—they know the retail market, and they know how to manage a team. If youre hoping to promote into a management role, ensure you have the appropriate retail knowledge to do so, like how to perform inventory, the most efficient way to stock shelves and best practices for keeping a store clean and sanitized.

While developing that knowledge, also devote time to improving your leadership capabilities. Find opportunities to manage other employees and help solve high-level problems. This combination of knowledge and skill will position you well for a job as a manager.

2. Learn to handle conflict

In most workplaces, managers periodically help resolve conflict between employees or customers. Knowing how to appropriately mediate conflict resolution is an important skill and step toward becoming an effective manager. If you see a conflict arising or are approached by an employee for assistance in mitigating an issue, ensure you give both parties time to speak. Your job is primarily to serve as a referee rather than a judge. Help those involved arrive at an agreement.

3. Lead by example

One of the best ways to demonstrate your excellence as a retail store manager is to show both your supervisors and your employees what good work looks like. Arrive slightly early for your assigned shift. Find useful tasks to complete when the store is low on customers. Keep a positive attitude. Modeling appropriate and desired workplace behavior can show your supervisors youre a proficient employee and manager, and it can also show your employees that you value hard work in yourself as well as in all company team members.

4. Set performance goals

Set goals for yourself, for your team and for individual employees. Some of the members of your team, particularly new hires or especially young or inexperienced employees, might not know how to set professional goals. Take the time to establish thoughtful goals for the team to ensure everyone knows whats expected of them. One excellent goal strategy to consider is the SMART goal. These goals are:

5. Embrace change

The retail industry is ever-changing. New technologies are changing the way managers interact with customers and the way people shop. Many retail stores embrace technology, and an excellent retail manager is ready to learn all about the new platforms.

With the integration of technology, retail managers have ever-increasing and shifting responsibilities, like assisting clients via online chat, fulfilling online orders and checking price markups. Retail managers should be well-rounded individuals who are willing to adapt to rapid change to excel in their positions. They should also be able to help their team members learn new software and programs to better help customers and increase satisfaction.

FAQ

How do you manage a retail store effectively?

How to Excel in Retail Management: 12 Tips to Keep Your Stores Running Smoothly
  1. Hire for attitude, train for skill. …
  2. Lead by example. …
  3. Set up and document repeatable processes. …
  4. Get to know your employees. …
  5. Set and execute challenging — but attainable — goals. …
  6. Embrace technology. …
  7. Delegate properly. …
  8. Be transparent.

What are the top 3 qualities of a great store manager?

Here are the essential skills a manager should bring to a retail store.
  • Multi-tasking. …
  • Decision-making. …
  • Leadership. …
  • Motivation. …
  • Organizational skills. …
  • Effective communication. …
  • Making the first sale of the day.

What should a retail manager know?

Essential Retail Management Skills
  • Prioritize Problems. If you work in retail management, you’re going to deal with problems. …
  • Don’t Waste Your Time. …
  • Learn To Say No. …
  • Look For Specific Traits When Hiring. …
  • Set Realistic Goals. …
  • Schedule Employees Effectively. …
  • Learn To Delegate. …
  • Encourage Cooperation.

What are 4 responsibilities of a retail manager?

Retail management involves taking responsibility for the successful running of a store.

Store manager responsibilities
  • recruiting, training, supervising and appraising staff.
  • managing budgets.
  • maintaining statistical and financial records.
  • dealing with customer queries and complaints.
  • overseeing pricing and stock control.

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