Course Material for Master of Fashion Management Students.
Definition of Retail Operations
Retail Operations professionals manage retail establishments on a daily basis, and are responsible for maximizing store profits. The National Retail Federation (NRF) reports that retail operators may also manage human resources and loss prevention.
The retail store is of prime importance to the retail origination, for two reasons. • The retail store is the primary source of revenue for the retailer and • It is the point where the customer actually interacts with the retail store and its Offerings.
The primary responsibility within the environment of a retail store lies with the store manager. The store manager has to play a dual role in retail environment. On one hand he is responsible for the various members of the staff and team who report to him and enable the smooth functioning of the day‐to‐day operations of the store. On the other hand he also has to ensure that the policies and the guidelines as laid down by the management, are adhered to by the store and all employees within the store .typically, the store manager is responsible for all the activities that are conducted within the environs of the store and would include the opening of the store on time, scheduling of staff, cleanliness, ensuring adequate stock on the floor, closing of the store and also dealing with the customer grievances and complaints. While the store manager may not personally perform all these functions, he would be responsible for the tasks being performed. Thus there may be other individuals who handle these tasks, but the overall responsibility of ensuring that they are performed as per the guidelines laid down by the Company, rests with the store manager.
Working Your Way Up as a Retail Operations Manager
The first step in building a career in Retail Operations is to secure a sales or customer service position in a retail store. At this level, qualities like punctuality and attention to detail may lead to a promotion. From here, one can become a manager or supervisor of Retail Operations. Particularly effective store managers may be promoted to district, regional and even national Retail Operations positions.
Another way to become a Retail Operations Manager is to earn an associate's or bachelor's degree in Business, Retailing, Retail Management or Retail Merchandising and Management. Many large retailers offer management training programs for college graduates who lack Retail Operations experience. If you're an experienced retail salesperson hoping to earn a promotion, but you don't have a college degree, your employer may offer tuition assistance for you to pursue a degree in a field related to Retail Operations.
Figure 1: Integrated functions of Retail Operations Manager
Retail Operations provides an integrated platform for the complex scenario modeling, planning, budgeting, and forecasting needed in retail operations management. Analysis and reports on critical information, such as past operational effectiveness, development costs, and projected revenue lift, help retail operations management to make informed decisions rapidly in the face of changing market conditions. Streamlined planning and forecasting functionality allows retailers to reduce the planning cycle time and re-forecast quickly to adjust to external factors affecting operations. Built-in best practices for initiative planning, integrated workflow, profile-driven expense and revenue planning, and 'what-if' modeling helps them keep pace with changing consumer needs, marketplace trends, and shifts in the retail operations environment.
The key components of effective performance management — planning and budgeting, monitoring and measuring, and reporting and analysis are the domains of the Operations Manager.