While there have been various arguments based on the issue of profit maximization vs. customer satisfaction, signifying that one of the either is mostly compromised in favor of the other, there is an occupation that strives hard to ensure that both are achieved optimally -- the job of a retail store manager. Unlike the olden times, when customers had to be contented with whatever the manufacturers provided, successful marketing today, is all about achieving profitability through customer satisfaction.
Retail stores have become an ideal place for shopping, satisfying all the possible needs of the consumer under one roof, thereby providing a variety of options to choose from, at reasonable rates. With most of us rushing to the nearby retail stores to fulfill our day-to-day shopping needs, it is remarkable how the products demanded by us are always "in stock"!
While we are busy getting confused between the options in front of us, there are a group of people working day and night to ensure that "we always get what we need" - and among those people, a significant role is played by a retail store manager. The designation itself signifies that the appointed person is expected to manage the entire operations in the retail store. The following sections will give you all the necessary information regarding this career.
As we all know, retail stores are of various types. While some contain only a single line of products, say, medicines and cosmetics, others will have a varied range of products, right from apparels-to-grocery-to-stationary. The job of a retail manager is to ensure that the activities of various departments, are synchronized towards the growth and profitability of the store. This includes keeping a check on the stock inventory, ensuring the availability of well-trained staff, catering to customer queries and complaints, and ensuring profitability through sales and customer satisfaction.
Duties and Responsibilities
✦ Inventory Management - We all are aware of the varied range of products, and the varied number of customers visiting these stores on a daily basis. A retail store manager needs to ensure that the customer demands are met efficiently through sufficient product inventory. If this function is not performed properly, the store might lose customers because of product unavailability. Every store has a specific level of stock inventory that needs to be maintained by the store manager.
✦ Employee Staffing and Training - The manager is also responsible for hiring people with the right attitude and skills for a retail store job. This may prove to be a challenging task. He or she is also responsible to give the hired staff appropriate training and conditioning as per the organizational requirements. The manager also ensures that the employees are working as expected, on a daily basis, and in case of inefficiency, he or she has the right to warn, or even fire the staff. Even the salaries and wages of the employees are paid by the manager.
✦ Handling Customer Complaints and Queries - The success of the retail store depends upon how happy its customers are. There are many instances when the customer is unhappy about the services provided by the store. It could be due to an unpleasant salesperson, or because of bad quality. The manager is expected to handle all the complaints and queries faced by the customers in a pleasant way. The ultimate goal should be to gain customer loyalty through effective problem-solving skills.
✦ Sales and Revenue Management - The ultimate motive behind keeping the customers happy and increasing customer loyalty is to gain maximum profits through sales and revenue. A retail store manager is expected to keep a tab on the daily sales and revenue generated by the organization, and to keep a systematic account for the same.
✦ Ensuring Employee Satisfaction - While customer satisfaction is of supreme importance, a retail store manager should also ensure that the employees are also satisfied in terms of job expectations, monetary rewards, and career growth. For this, it is important that the manager not only motivates the employees to meet there daily sales quota, but to also ensure that they are being trained and equipped for bigger roles in the organization. Leadership qualities are required to ensure that the employees are motivated to give their 100 percent to the job, while being contented about their professional life.
✦ Formulating Advertising and Marketing Policies - The market is full of competition, and the retail sector is no different. With each day passing by, the number of retail organizations are increasing day by day. Like the customers have a choices of products to choose from, they also have different choices of retail stores. Hence, it becomes really difficult for the manager to ensure customer loyalty and steady profitability. For this purpose, it becomes essential for the manager to work with all the departments and formulate attractive advertising and marketing policies to attract customers and enhance sales and promotion.
Educational Qualifications and Experience
✦ A bachelor's degree in subjects like business administration, public relations, customer service, marketing management, etc., would be beneficial. There are various retail organizations that provide essential training to the retail managers, but those with prior qualifications may be considered for higher roles in the future.
✦ Experience in this career adds to your credibility. Most of the retail organizations prefer hiring those with a significant experience in handling the day-to-day retail operations efficiently. It requires multitasking, leadership, and quick decision-making abilities, something that is attained only through years of experience. A minimum of 3 years of experience is what most of the organizations seek.
Personal Skills and Qualities
✦ Excellent leadership skills✦ Creativity and adaptability
✦ Excellent communication skills
✦ Efficiency in multitasking
✦ Quick decision making
✦ Excellent interpersonal skills
✦ Ability to forecast sales and revenue
✦ Excellent problem-solving skills
✦ Calm and composed personality
✦ Pleasant and active personality
✦ Ability to work under stress and deadlines
✦ Ability to strategize
✦ Proficiency in computers and technology
Salary by Experience
|Less than 1 year||$22,705 - $45,302|
|1 - 4 years||$24,549 - $50,622|
|5-9 years||$27,111 - $58,776|
|10-19 years||$31,094 - $66,488|
|20 or more years||$30,660 - $73,338|
- All figures are as of May 2013 and are in US Dollars.
- All figures are average annual salaries and may vary based on education, experience, location, type of employer, and so on.