Improving Learning and Management by Working the Retail Floor

I was so excited last week when one of my clients was unable to speak with me!  I know that sounds strange, especially since we had been playing phone tag for several days in regard to fleshing out the next steps of the retail management training project that we are working on for her company.  But when I finally reached her she told me that she was unable to speak in any detail because she was working in one of her company’s stores for a few days I was strangely gratified! 

As a Director of Sales Operations and Store Communications you would not expect her to be excited about checking in shipments and stocking shelves, but that is what she was doing…and she was glad to be doing so!  We are working on implementing new retail time management training for her locations and there is no better way for her to understand the challenges her stores face than to experience them first hand.

Since I had just come off of the road doing store visits for another client where I was focused on evaluating the strengths and weaknesses of that client’s retail sales training program I have to agree that there is no better way for a retail operator to learn about what really goes on in their business than to spend time on the floor with their front-line team members. 

Mystery shopping programs, scorecards, and reports from field managers all contribute to the picture, but nothing takes the place of what is commonly called MBWA or “managing by walking around.”  It is good for you, good for your retail sales representatives, and good for your business!

Want to learn how you can improve productivity on your retail sales floor?  Retail Training Services can assist your company with designing and implementing retail training and e-learning programs that can improve your associates retail skills and product knowledge.   Contact us for a free one-hour consultation!

–          David Goodwin is the Principal of the Retail Advocacy Group.  As a 30 year veteran of the retail industry he has hired, trained, and performance managed thousands of retail sales representatives and retail managers.  You can learn more about instructor-led, e-learning, and other training solutions for retailers at