What makes a great retail store manager?
A great retail store manager develops teams, continually inspires and elevates morale.
The job has become increasingly tech-savvy. Blue Yonder’s “Voice of the Store Manager” survey from 2017 found order fulfillment and limited staffing tied as the biggest challenge for store managers, cited by 29 percent; followed by inventory visibility, at 24 percent.
Having the right attitude and being open to feedback, however, is a core trait of managers that are a cut above.
“Great store managers consistently focus on the simple things, they do them well and every single day,” wrote the Australian Retailers Association in a blog entry. “Apart from being great role models, which is imperative to gain and maintain respect, they hold their team accountable for their performance. They communicate frequently and clearly ensuring all the team know where they and the store is at, whether they work full time or only for a few hours.”
An article from NOBL Academy observed how Apple Stores communicate to associates as adults. The article stated, “Retail store managers have made a point of empowering employees, but never lose sight of the end goal of delivering a better experience for the customer. Managers repeat this value over and over to employees in a way that elevates daily responsibilities and avoids condescension.”
While some might be naturals at motivating their teams, others require training and support.
“Maximizing productivity isn’t easy, especially for retail store managers who have to deal with achieving high sales targets with store staff that might be inexperienced, part-time or seasonal,” wrote Kevin Graff, president, Graff Retail and a RetailWire BrainTrust panelist in a blog post.
Bob Phibbs, CEO of The Retail Doctor and a BrainTrust panelist, believes in the benefits of working alongside teams and daily coaching. He said in a blog entry, “Great managers give their team more of a say in how they can contribute and do their jobs; they offer opportunities to learn and grow. Great managers encourage employees to suggest improvements and then listen to what they say. Those employees want to get to work because of the time their managers have put into making their day.”
- What makes a great store manager successful? – Australian Retailers Association
- How To Become a Great Retail Store Manager – Graff Retail
- How Apple Reduces Turnover at Its Stores – NOBL Academy
- 9 Sure Signs Of A Rotten Retail Manager – The Retail Doctor
- Inside the Voice of the Store Manager Survey Results: Successful Retailers Find Ways to Fulfill Customer Expectations – BlueYonder
DISCUSSION QUESTIONS: What are the hard and soft skill sets that make a successful store manager today? Has the store manager role become any more or less complex in recent years?