We believe the role of the District Manager is probably the one that can affect sales the most out of any other role in a retail organization.  Think about it.  DM’s are out there in the field, hands-on, leading multiple stores per region from coast to coast.  On average, most District Managers are responsible for 10 to 15 stores each.  One region represents a significant portion of the sales volume for a retailer.  An under-performing region can greatly affect the bottom line of a company, yet, DM’s receive the least amount of training when compared to other store operation roles.  Why is this? 

It’s always fun to listen to the various generations complain about the younger generations.   Traditionalists complained that the Boomers didn’t respect authority properly.  Boomers complained that Gen Xers had little work ethic and didn’t follow rules well.  Traditionalists, Boomers and Gen Xers … well, they all complain endlessly about Gen Y!

Seems no generation likes the ones that are younger than themselves.   Yet, what strikes me as funny is that the previous generations CREATED the generations that followed them.

Last week we started the conversation about how to re-imagine our approach to training on the front lines of our retail stores.  We are dispelling the myths about the excuses we’ve all embraced for years and opening our eyes to an entirely new mentality.  It’s all about empowering our staff, building them up and giving them what they need to feel good about the roles they play in the business and be successful. 

We looked at the issue of TIME last week, so let’s de-bunk the other top obstacles we hear all too often:

Kim and I have the pleasure of supporting all of our online retail training subscribers on a daily basis.  We field calls and emails from store team members and store managers all the time, so we hear the good, the bad and the ugly when it comes to what’s happening out in retail stores from a training perspective. Plus, we’ve both had ‘past lives’ in retail store operations, so we are wise to the pitfalls and hurdles when it comes to keeping training alive!

Let’s look at the #1 things that seem to be standing in the way and dragging your training initiatives down.

Last week, Kevin wrote about our new vision for training inside your organization.  It’s truly redefining the conversations we have with our clients about training and creating great staff experiences.

Now, let’s look at this from the front line’s perspective.

For the past 28 years we have been focused on helping you sell more, making more money in your stores and boosting the productivity of your store teams (read: sell more!).  Of course, there’s nothing wrong with that. That’s still the end objective.

But, let’s take a step back for a moment.

Why are we here?  

This is it!  It’s finally here!  The biggest event in Canadian Retail is without a doubt the Retail Council of Canada STORE Conference, and the team at Graff Retail is quite excited to be a part of it for another year.

The Retail Council of Canada has been The Voice of Retail in Canada since 1963, representing more than 45,000 store fronts of all retail formats, including department, specialty, discount, and independent stores and online merchants.  Whether you are a member or not, if you are working in or studying retail then you need to be at STORE…and here’s why:

In today’s competitive market place, you need an edge.  But where do you find it?  Do you just sit around waiting for a magic wand or the perfect merchandise to appear?  Not in this world!  The answer is actually staring you right in the face ... you must learn from your competitors!

Here’s what you need to do:

Let’s get this out of the way right up front.  I think I know a lot. And, the guy I work for?  Well, he thinks he knows even more!

But the most important thing we know is that what we actually know is just a very small fraction of what there is to know.  Yes, I’m confident in my knowledge, but more than that, it’s my awareness of all the things I don’t know (and that’s a lot!) that drives me to learn, research, study and grow.

Kevin had the chance to speak to a room full of franchisees at a recent AGM.  The topic?  All about how to drive revenues in their stores, of course!  Kevin’s keynotes aren’t fluffy; but rather packed full of tangible action-items that any retailer can take back to their stores, implement easily and start seeing results.  If any of you have had the pleasure of hearing Kevin speak live at one of your annual meetings, you know first-hand just how inspiring and motivating one of his talks can be.  I am sure the majority of the franchise owners agree after seeing just how many made the decision to sign up for Graff Retail TV; our online sales and management training programs. 

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