Six Activities to Improve Your Retail Store Management

“The mission of a retail manager is to increase the sales and profits for their store.”  That is the simplest and best job description that I have ever encountered for a retail store manager.  It was given to me by one of my first mentors in the retail business and I have used this as a focal point for every retail position I have ever held.

Of course, there is more to being a retail manager than knowing your mission.  You have to know how to accomplish the mission.  That starts with understanding your goals and key activities you need to execute in order to win.   Great goals for retail managers include:

·         Hiring better team members

·         Training retail associates to execute more effectively

·         Managing time to improve productivity

·         Improving inventory turns and limiting shrink

·         Controlling expenditures and improving cash flow

These are goals that go to the heart of any successful retail operation and if achieved will create an operation which has the ability to survive and grow in the long term.  Here are six tips which help you to achieve improved retail management:

1.       Measure and Scorecard Everything.  This includes sales, lines per transaction, employee productivity, attendance, theft, store foot traffic, and customer conversion rates. Good data results in great business decisions.

2.       Establish Strong Processes.   When you build effective operational processes and establish expectations about key rules you make it easy for retail associates to protect your company’s assets while improving retail customer service.  That begins with using a retail operations manual and then training team members to execute on those rules.

3.       Train and Teach Team Members.  Give retail associates the tools that they need to succeed.  When you focus on retail training programs your people not only will execute better today, but will help you to take advantage of future opportunities for growth, expansion, and profits.

4.       Promote and Manage Activity.  Keep everybody and everything moving.   It is no coincidence that you  have your best result when your retail team members are busy.  Move merchandise around on the sales floor, move your people from department to department, and move suppliers if they are unresponsive. 

5.       Embrace change.   Whether it is changing your marketing message, your displays, your pricing strategy, or your merchandise mix you can make a difference in  your business’ ability to attract new customers and to gain traction with existing retail customers.

6.       Respect Your Cash.  You have heard the phrase “cash is king”.  Great retail owners teach this concept to their management teams and you can too.  Keep your costs in control by managing payroll, maximizing inventory turns, and eliminating unnecessary expenses. 

If you want to learn more about these and other concepts that can help you to build a top-nothch retail operation,  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