Retail 6 Main Challenges & Solutions an Area Manager Faces

Retail 6 Main Challenges & Solutions an Area Manager Faces

RPS has identified the following 6 main challenges an Area Manager faces when striving to deliver their sales targets. Through our ‘Best Practice’ benchmarking from global retailers, we have complied 20 solutions to tackle the challenges.

The Area Manager is the lynch pin that ensures the store teams are setting the stores up to win, all customers are engaged and the sales targets are being met.

Area Managers can make a 20-50% difference in sales. They must be brilliant at leading, managing and motivating their team. Delivering the sales targets is their responsibility as well as gaining compliance in operations service and sales.

RPS has identified the following 6 main challenges an Area Manager faces when striving to deliver their sales targets. Through our ‘Best Practice’ benchmarking from global retailers, we have complied 20 solutions to tackle the challenges.

1. Having the mind set to achieve excellence

  • How Area Managers think about their role and how they can impact the areas performance will dictate the results they achieve.
  • Area Managers have the belief that they can get the store teams to deliver on service and sales excellence every day, without fail
    Area Managers must spend 80% of their store visits working with the Store Managers on improving store sales and customer engagement and 20% on operational issues
  • They know when to be a ‘cop’ and when to be a coach
  • They must attain operational compliance so their visits can focus on customer engagement and driving sales and service

2. Understanding and moving the critical KPI’s

Area managers are hired or fired on their ability to deliver results. To ensure they deliver, they need to do four key things:

  • Track the critical KPIs for their area and collate them into an easy to read performance dashboard
  • Understand what the numbers are telling them and what is needed to improve them
  • Create, document and sign off game plans for each store and their area
  • Implement the game plans and track the result

3. Time Management

Due to the amount of time Area Managers are working on their own, managing time effectively is critical to their success. Therefore they need to:

  • Plan their activity on a weekly/monthly schedule focusing their time on the stores that can deliver the best performance increase while maintaining contact with the others
  • Ensure the number 1 time killer for Area Mangers ‘Non-Compliance’ is addressed fast so they can focus on their key performance drivers that make their area successful
  • Place underperforming stores into a critical care programme that will address the issues preventing sales and change the results within 3-6 months

4. Effective store visits

Area Managers must ‘inspect what they expect’. The discipline of follow up is the difference in getting initiatives successfully implemented. The Area Manager’s store visit checklist must cover the following:

  • Who should I visit, when and what for
  • What information must l have prior to the visit
  • I must observer the level of compliance and customer engagement when l first enter the store
  • Reviewing the performance of the store with the Store Manager
  • Review the last signed off action plan
  • On floor behavior observation and coaching
  • Sign off new action plan to maintain or improve performance
  • Ensure agreed follow up is action-ed and documented

5. Leadership

Leaders create the environment that inspires people to achieve greatness while making sure the action required to deliver the greatness are implemented. To create the environment and bring out the best in their people, the best Area Managers:

  • Create world class non-negotiable standards in operations, service and sales across all stores
  • Get the Store Managers and their team to buy into the standards
  • Coach the Store Managers on how to meet the standards
  • Hold people accountable for the execution of the standards
  • Recognize and celebrate success

6. Creating Model Stores

In every area there are stores that out perform others. If something is working well in one store then with very little effort, it can work well in another. To achieve this, the Area Manager needs:

  • A template to identify and capture best practice
  • A method to successfully communicate and implement the best practice across their stores
  • To give recognition to stores that implement correctly and support to those that have difficulty

Get in touch today for more information.