Store Manager Skills: Definition, Examples And Tips
Updated 20 September 2023
A store manager role is a multifaceted position that involves overseeing a store's day-to-day operations, interacting with customers, managing sales associates, reducing operational costs and maximising sales and profits. This is why hiring managers typically prefer candidates with diverse interpersonal and sales skills. Knowing and developing important managerial proficiencies can help you advance to more senior positions in your retail career.
In this article, we explain what store manager skills are, provide examples, share tips on how to improve them, explore them in the workplace and discuss how to highlight them on your resume and cover letter and during an interview.
What Are Store Manager Skills?
Store manager skills are technical and interpersonal proficiencies that help you enhance a retail store's overall profits and performance. This includes technical capabilities, such as budgeting and accounting, to manage inventory and reduce operational costs. This also includes people management abilities, such as conflict resolution, to resolve employee or customer disputes. Store managers also require marketing and sales skills to increase sales, enhance the store's reputation and brand image and increase profits.
A store manager's skills vary depending on the industry and the products they sell. For example, retail managers in an electronics store require in-depth technical knowledge about the products they sell to answer customer queries. Similarly, a strong interest in reading and wide knowledge of the latest releases can help a bookstore manager offer the best recommendations depending on customer reading preferences.
Examples Of Store Manager Skills
Here are a few retail management abilities that can help you grow into an efficient and successful store manager:
As a store manager, you manage and lead a large team of sales associates. You require strong and persuasive leadership skills to motivate and encourage your team members, maximise their productivity and help them achieve their full potential. Good leaders exhibit several interpersonal skills, such as decision-making, problem-solving and people management. Developing leadership abilities can empower your team to manage themselves, helping you avoid micromanaging.
As mentioned earlier, store managers have numerous responsibilities. The ability to multitask can help you complete several undertakings simultaneously without feeling overwhelmed. Creating a to-do list of daily responsibilities can help you perform all your duties without missing any important details. It also enables you to arrange tasks depending on their priority so that you can delegate accordingly.
Store managers make several critical decisions about inventory, merchandising, supply chain management and hiring. Knowing how to make balanced and informed decisions can help store managers save time, optimise resource utilisation, improve employee performance, increase sales and profits and achieve corporate targets. Good decision-makers overcome their biases and make excellent choices depending on available facts and data rather than relying on their intuition.
Store managers require excellent time management skills to handle the numerous responsibilities of managing a busy retail store. Identifying and prioritising tasks help you complete your various duties on time. You can delegate specific time slots in your workday for particular tasks and learn time management strategies to eliminate distractions and improve productivity.
Strong verbal and written communication skills are necessary for store managers. Whether you are giving orders to your team members, selling products to customers or discussing sales strategies with corporate executives, effective communication can help you share your ideas, thoughts and opinions with others concisely. It also helps you avoid confusion and mistakes due to miscommunication. Additionally, developing active listening skills can help you resolve customer and employee issues effectively.
Remaining flexible, versatile and highly organised can help you work in the fast-moving retail industry. Following an organised schedule can help you handle day-to-day responsibilities, such as overseeing new promotions, rotating shift schedules, conducting interviews to hire new team members and providing sales associates with the right training to achieve sales quotas. Organisational skills include planning and troubleshooting to identify and resolve any problems the store you work for is facing, reduce costs and optimise corporate budgets.
Customers who are satisfied with their shopping experience can leave a positive review online, which can build the store's reputation. Providing excellent customer experience is one of the top priorities of a store manager. Ensure that all employees understand customer needs, preferences and shopping styles and train them to assist customers satisfactorily and deliver a superior shopping experience.
Developing your motivational skills can help inspire and improve employee morale, motivating them to work more productively. Good managers periodically offer constructive criticism and feedback to their team members, helping them learn from their mistakes. Motivational skills can also help influence employee job satisfaction by creating a positive and supportive work environment.
How To Improve Skills For Store Manager?
You can consider these tips to hone and develop your managerial proficiencies to become a successful retail manager:
1. Embrace new technology
Retail trends are fast changing and companies are implementing new technologies, such as touch-free payments, artificial intelligence and augmented reality, to provide customers with an enhanced shopping experience. Keep yourself updated with the latest retail trends and technologies, such as employee scheduling, sales tracking and inventory management. Being proficient in technology can help reduce the time you spend on routine tasks, providing extra time to focus on your team and customers.
2. Practice delegation
Assigning tasks to others increases the trust of your team members, as it provides them with an opportunity to learn new skills. It also frees your time to focus on high-level tasks, such as sales strategies and marketing. Knowing the strengths of each team member helps you identify the right individual for each duty, helping you with task allocation.
3. Set SMART goals
You can improve your skills by setting SMART goals for yourself. These goals are specific, measurable, achievable, relevant and time-bound. For example, if you wish to develop your sales skills, you can set a goal, such as Increase sales by 10% in the next three months. Having goals helps you stay focused and achieve the desired outcomes.
Store Manager Skills In The Workplace
You can consider these tips to exhibit your retail managerial capabilities at the workplace:
Lead by example
Demonstrate your commitment to the store's success by actively participating in all store-related tasks. This helps to inspire employees and can motivate them to improve their efforts and work quality. Be transparent and ensure that your team members are aware of any decisions you make about the store. This helps your team members trust and respect you as a leader and follow your instructions willingly.
With plenty of customers walking in and out of the store, conflicts may occur between customers and employees. Remain calm and relaxed during workplace disagreements. Ensure that you think logically and make informed decisions that help to resolve disputes without further aggravating the situation.
Encourage open communication
Part of being a store manager is facilitating a safe environment for customers and employees. Encourage open communication so that employees feel confident in approaching you for any issue that they might face in the workplace. Ensure that you frequently communicate with corporate executives and senior managers, giving them regular updates about the store.
Working at a retail store can be challenging for employees, especially when dealing with long working hours, weekend shifts and upset customers. Being empathetic helps you understand employee issues and take proactive measures to resolve them. Ensure you praise your sales associates for their efforts and offer constructive criticism to help them overcome challenges. Be objective and distribute your feedback fairly across the entire team.
How To Highlight Skills For Store Manager?
Showcasing your retail managerial proficiencies can help to distinguish you from other candidates and demonstrate your suitability for the position. Here are two ways to highlight your skills during the hiring process:
For a resume and cover letter
Read the job description carefully to identify specific skills you can add to your resume and cover letter. Highlight your best retail abilities in a separate section on your resume so that the hiring manager can quickly understand your strengths and technical proficiencies. Here are a few skills to include on your resume and cover letter:
Accounting and finance
Sales associate training
Sales strategy planning
For a job interview
During the interview, the hiring manager might ask questions to evaluate your work skills and previous experience in managing a store. Use the challenge-action-result (CAR) interview methodology to share impactful examples of how you used your abilities to achieve the desired outcomes in your previous workplaces. Be ready to answer questions on how you might use your capabilities to handle real-world situations. For example, if the interviewer asks a question about solving conflicts, you can highlight your negotiation and problem-solving skills in your response.
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