Becoming a store area manager is a great accomplishment for any career in fashion retail. A store area manager is a very rewarding position that requires candidates to master a wide set of skills in order to be successful. In this post, we’re going to look at 5 tips to excel in this role.
But before getting ahead of ourselves, let’s start with the more important stuff: what does the area store manager job description look like?
The job description of an area manager states that: an area manager is responsible for overseeing operations in a certain region or area, and it is part of their role to become a point of contact between store employees and senior management.
For as much as getting this job can be gratifying, it’s important to approach it with a plan in order to succeed. To help you navigate this post, we’ve broken it down into 5 sections:
- Making sure training for staff is a priority
- Keeping up communications with customers, wholesalers and vendors
- Making sure your store’s quality is consistent across all operations
- Maximise stores’ profitability across all the area of responsibility
- Set clear targets for each store location and assessing store performance regularly
1. Making sure training your staff is a priority
In retail as in many other careers, we never succeed alone. The first thing to do, when starting a new management role is assessing your team and making sure it is aligned with your vision and goals. It is easy however to experience friction as at the beginning of a new role, there’s a lot to be learnt. The good news is that you are not the only one who needs to address a steep learning curve, your team may need to get up to speed as well.
This is why as you get started as an area store manager, you can consider investing in training your staff so that you can create an honest bond that does not only take into account your job title.
The opportunity to grow and learn new things is an essential component of any job, and by making training a priority you will be able to establish a strong connection with your team very early on.
2. Keeping up communications with customers, wholesalers and vendors
Communication is key to successful business management. In retail, success is a team effort, as in order to better serve your customer you need to create an inclusive team dimension which engages all parties involved.
It’s mandatory to establish a clear and effective communication strategy which engages with wholesalers, vendors and customer, to make sure that your store are always focused on celebrating the partnerships and relationships that make your brand a success.
3. Making sure your store’s quality is consistent across all operations
As a store area manager, you need to foster and nurture the relationships which connect your outlets both with sell-in partners (as “in” the supply chain) as well as your customers.
Another area of responsibility that can really make an impact on your business is connected to quality control.
Consistency is really key in delivering high-value customer experiences, and in the context of retail, clients expect to have a seamless experience in any store, in any given location.
This is not a simple goal to achieve for an area store manager as “behind-the-scenes” so much needs to be perfectly aligned in order to engage customers with memorable and meaningful shopping experiences.
As an area manager, your job is about removing all of the frictions and issues that can prevent your customers from really seeing your brand as a promise of consistency.
4. Maximise stores’ profitability across all the area of responsibility
So far we’ve discussed many intangible elements that have to do with customers’ expectations and experiences. At the same time, however, we should not forget the fact that an area manager is assessed in terms of the impact it is able to make on the company’s store. One of the ways in which this is assessed is through profits.
Because of what we discussed so far, we can see how profitability is really the result of many variables and elements that interplay in the store, and this why, it can be a good predictor of performance, as it is a good benchmark to assess how you were able to manage all of the resources at your disposal to engineer the most effective sales system for your brand.
5. Set clear targets for each store location and assessing store performance regularly.
No matter how great you are, in business, there’s always room for improvement. As an area store manager, you will be able to identify goals you want your stores to meet. It’s by setting these goals and assessing store performance that you’ll be able to lead your team forward and achieve remarkable success.
Setting goals requires you to know well all the different parts of running a store, and requires to express you discretion in terms of creating priorities and identifying strategies for success. In this sense, the job delivers a full-circle experience as you’ll need to have collected a lot of floor experience in order to lead a team to new exciting goals by setting the right example.
There you have it! These are 5 tips to help you get off to a great start as a store area manager. Store area managers have a lot of different responsibilities, but they are also in a position of influence, and there is so much they can do to inspire their colleagues when they lead by example.
If you’re interested in fashion retail, or if you are looking for advice in a fashion career, look no further, we’ve got plenty of resources in our blog!