How a Retail Store Manager Should Spend Their Day

By Naomi Balagot

retail store manager
Photo by Don O’Brien via flickr

Inactivity is horrific for retail businesses. We’re certainly not saying retail managers are lazy or inactive. In fact, it’s quite the opposite. You may have a retail manager sitting at a desk in a dimly lit closet-sized room, crunching numbers for a sales report, and chewing the eraser off a pencil.

In a business that relies on foot traffic, your managers shouldn’t be sitting!

Step towards the light. If you’re an executive, you need your managers to be your eyes and ears in the field. Store managers will gain more “inspiration” from the store’s actual conditions. Therefore, you will gain more actionable insights.

Here’s a basic outline of how a retail store manager should spend their day:

Backroom & Preparation Areas

When starting the day, it makes sense for retail managers to have a routine that takes them from the back of the store to the front. How is the backroom? Is it organized, clean and secure? If you have a food preparation area, is it sanitary and is food properly stored?  Are perishable displays and coolers set at optimal levels?

See also: Conducting a Food Safety Audit

Point-of-sale/ & Security

Gather ‘round the POS with employees early in the day. There may be a new promotion or maybe you’re starting to accept alternative forms of payment, like Apple Pay. Making sure everyone is on the same page early in the shift can save time and aggravation later.

See Also: 5 Steps for Conducting a Retail Sales Audit

Of course, retail businesses are always the target of crime – either physical crime involving theft of money or merchandise, or even digital security breaches. Review safety protocols with staff and remind them to be vigilant. Review and post vendor/maintenance schedules because it’s not uncommon for imposters to try to gain access.

“In its basic form, store management is all about loss prevention for profit realization. A manager must operate in a constant and consistent state of loss prevention. It’s his/her job.”Larry Miller
Retail Loss Prevention Expert

Customer Service Experience

When a customer walks in the store, can he or she easily find what they’re looking for? If the retail space has a smaller footprint, like a c-store, managers can stand back a moment and observe without hovering.

When you use a mobile software solution with real-time notifications, you have a great opportunity to adjust promotions and inventory during the day. That can make all the difference in your sales.

  • Product inventory running low? Scan a bar-code and immediately notify your vendor.
  • Have a question about retail execution? Take a photo and ask.
  • Broken piece of equipment? Assign the task to the right person.

As we’ve discussed previously, mystery shoppers and Gigwalkers have limitations. They don’t know the ins and outs of your business like your retail managers do. Get your employees involved and don’t just stress communication – provide the means to communicate!

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