Give Store Managers The Keys to Greatness

John Krautzel
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Whether a company owns five stores or 5,000, store managers play a vital role for retailers. These employees work hard in front of customers and employees while putting in a lot of hours behind the scenes to ensure everything flows smoothly from one day to the next. Retailers should create a company culture that fosters the growth of good employees to become great managers.

How Store Managers Work

Store managers wear many hats. They have to know how retail businesses work with a combination of sales, marketing, customer experiences, finances and supplying. Retail managers think ahead by several months or even a year while paying attention to daily issues within the store. On top of business acumen, the head of the store should maintain the right attitude towards customers and employees at all times. All of these facets add up to a big-picture view of what it takes to run a successful retail operation with the right mix of product, customers and employees.

Store managers also recognize that employees are the keys to running viable retail businesses. Front-line clerks must have the right tools and skills they need to handle customers professionally and efficiently while maintaining kindness, compassion and smiling faces. Managers can empower their employees to provide the best customer experience possible, which means they hire the right people and then coach them properly to become independent thinkers within the store.

What These Managers Need

Store managers, just as much as any of their employees, need opportunities to grow. People in this profession often climb up through the corporate ladders, starting in entry-level positions early in their respective careers before becoming team leaders, shift supervisors or department managers, and only then take over entire stores. These moves took years to make. Corporate offices should give managers a way to move up to higher levels, such as regional heads or executives, later in their professional career. These people know and understand what it takes to run a store from the first minute an employee works on the floor.

Managers, like their store employees, also need empowerment from their bosses. Executives can give them the keys to create fantastic customer experiences that keep loyal consumers returning to stores. Store bosses should know how to respond to customer issues quickly, exceed expectations and delight customers continually. Meanwhile, managers must d communicate great customer experience tenets to every store employee.

When managers communicate, they share positive information with employees by catching them doing good things and reporting it to the group. Store supervisors can relate data analysis results, customer feedback and corporate communiques with team members on a regular basis. Communication is a two-way street for managers because they should send and receive information from everyone to be successful.

Store managers rely on everyone around them to foster the best possible retail environment. Therefore, corporate offices need to present them with the right tools they need to succeed while fostering the natural leadership abilities of high-ranking store employees.

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