As technology transforms the world in which we live and work, there’s plenty of discussion about ramifications for the country’s workforce. I'm particularly interested in the future of the one in ten workers in the United States economy currently employed in retail.
While store dashboards are ubiquitous in retail, today’s store leaders need more than numbers on a screen. Store managers thrive when they have the relevant data at their fingertips to make decisions quickly without getting bogged down in analysis or data manipulation.
I attended Shoptalk the other week in Vegas (along with 8,000+ other folks!) and came away impressed. The show was huge, energetic, thought-provoking, and exciting all rolled into four jam-packed days.
As a store leader, you have a front row seat to the changing retail landscape. Foot traffic, real estate, and omnichannel strategies are all top-of-mind. What needs more attention is how the retail workforce is changing and what that means for store management.
There’s a tool on the market that retailers should be considering when thinking about their future tech investments. Before I delve into the details, let me start with a few key features:
Retail store associates are social by nature. In my 10+ years as a store manager, I found that being a “people person” was always an asset. It allowed me to make the most of customer interactions, and it was a huge factor in my success leading in-store teams.
Operating a retail store in today’s climate can feel like a constant battle between two seemingly opposing forces. While customer experience expectations are continually rising, so is the volume of tasks retail store teams are required to complete on a daily basis.
Retailers have made themselves clear in many RSR reports: knowledgeable employees are critical to improving the in-store customer experience. This trend has emerged in our annual benchmarks over the past five years.
Few, if any, roles in retail are more demanding than that of a store manager. Store managers are essentially the CEO of their store. They are accountable for such areas as financial performance, customer service, expense management, talent management, and compliance.
Here’s a question to ponder: What’s the main role of a retail associate? Sales person? Product expert? Brand ambassador? In today’s omnichannel environment, where the store is often a retailer’s best single expression of its brand identity, the most accurate response is “All of the above.”
In reality employees are a significant asset for stores. While it’s easy to see why retailers lose track of that key fact, the world has changed; the employee is (or should be) at the very center of retailers’ strategies to reinvigorate the stores.
Few industries are experiencing the level of disruption that we see in retail today. As the waves of digital transformation sweep in, retailers must quickly adapt or run the risk of becoming irrelevant to customers.
Retail store managers wear many hats. Arguably the most important is that of people manager. A store manager is essentially the team coach (minus the whistle and Gatorade).
The old saying that “retail is theater” certainly rings true—whether you’re merchandising a window display to tell a brand story, or hosting a customer event, retail requires creativity...
In the business management classic Good to Great, author Jim Collins highlights the importance of “getting the right people on the bus.” As any store manager can tell you, hiring the right associates is only the first hurdle.
Store managers are the unsung heroes of retail. Just consider the various hats a store manager wears on any given day: head of operations, sales manager, chief talent officer, loss prevention specialist, asset protection analyst, visual merchandiser, customer care representative… the list goes on.
With job gains on the rise for the last 91 consecutive months, and unemployment at its lowest point since 2000, hiring competition is stiff. Younger workers, traditionally the core demographic for entry-level retail jobs, are getting snapped up by other sectors.
Many of America’s biggest retailers, under assault from Amazon.com Inc., have been slashing staff even faster than they have been closing stores, a dynamic that has left fewer clerks and longer checkout lines at remaining locations.