Archive for March, 2011

What is the Store Management Process?

Store Management doesn’t have to be all that difficult. But it does require the use of some well thought out processes and action strategies. Gone are the days when you could open up a store, put a sign on the front, welcome customers as they came in to browse and then go off to the bank with the receipts of the day….and expect to stay in business. 

No, it’s much more complicated today; you need to think things out a lot more clearly.

Today, we want to operate top notch retail stores, in every respect. We want to be capable of gaining customer loyalty and profits through employee engagement. We want to be well known and respected in the retail industry. We want to attract and retain top talent who will make it all possible.

We want it all…and why not?

But all of this requires a strong commitment and dedication to rock solid business practices.

You need a Store Management Process to follow; to keep things on track.

DMSRetail has developed the Store Management Process – It’s a blueprint showing the steps and actions necessary to operate a successful retail store.

The DMSRetail Store Management Process is now fully explained on DVD and it’s available as part of the DVD collection included with the Super Retail Success Bundle.

Have a look, here, if you’re interested:

The Store Management Process DVD was recorded with the sole purpose of putting store management into an understandable framework that’s logical; a framework that makes sense to every Store Manager and retail business owner who struggles with any aspect of their store’s operation. Like we said earlier, it doesn’t have to be all that difficult. Fully explained on DVD…

The Store Management Process is a practical map that will walk retail managers all the way from A through Z.

All the Success!!

DMSRetail Inc.


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PPS: The Store Management Process on DVD is available here:


Is it OK to Chew Gum on the Sales Floor?

What do you think? Is it ok for a store associate to chew gum while working on the sales floor? Or drink soda? Or maybe have a burger stashed under the counter to nibble on?

Surprisingly, there are people who think it is ok, and you may be one of them. Fair enough. And there are others who will be thinking…

what a silly question, of course you can’t allow gum chewing or eating on the sales floor!

Let’s look at this issue from the point of view of the customer. First of all, many people do not chew gum nicely and that, alone, can put a customer off. With all the cracking and popping and extra saliva produced, it can really be quite disturbing. And then there is the inevitable – gum stuck on the floor and, possibly even, gum stuck on the counters, fixtures and merchandise! As for the soda and burgers, you can imagine how nice it would be to be served by someone who is eating and drinking while they’re talking to you! Oh, and the mess when something gets knocked over.

Is there an upside, or a benefit, to the customer by allowing associates to chew gum, eat and drink on the sales floor?

No, there isn’t. Some may say the associates will be happier because they are allowed to do these things while they’re working; that they would like not having so many rules to abide by. Really? Is chewing gum such a big part of life that it can’t be stopped for a few hours? Couldn’t we eat lunch before we got to work?

Anyway, none of this should be of concern to your customer.

At this point, we need to say a word about staffing levels and wage cost reduction measures. There are many retail store associates out there who are not able to leave the sales floor for a break; not even for a lunch or dinner break. And the reason is that the employer is not adequately staffing the store – clearly, not the fault of the associates. These are entirely different circumstances. In these cases, the retailer is not showing care or concern for the employees, or the customers, and the retail organization will probably not be in existance for a long time.  

Getting back to the point, chewing gum, eating and drinking on the sales floor is like many other things – like coming to work with your work clothes crumpled up in the bottom of your backpack. Or, forgetting to brush your teeth and comb your hair and, basically, looking like you’ve been dragged through a hedge backwards!

Standards need to be met. If not for you, as the Manager, at least ensure they are met for the sake of your customers.

There are different styles of management and many different ways of doing just about everything. But, in the interest of your customer (and your sales) perhaps having some hard and fast rules or standards would be a very good thing. If there are good business reasons for having a rule in place, then it should be in place.

While we’re on the subject of standards and rules, let’s think about our sales performance standards as well.

If you relax standards in one area of your business, perhaps you will send the message that standards don’t really have to be that high in any area. Once you lose the principles and the disciplines, it’s difficult to recover.

In a perfect world, everyone we hire would have the highest standards, morals, principles and ethics and we would not ever need to put a single rule or standard in place. They would all just naturally do the right things and would behave impeccably.

But, we are not there yet.

We’re aware that some new wisdom says that what we’re suggesting is old school and no longer appropriate for a new generation. Certainly, we must always look ahead; change and update as we go forward; stay current and on top of trends and manage accordingly. But we should never lose sight of what is important and which standards help us to improve our business; which standards absolutely must be in place to ensure our customers get the respect and courtesy they deserve.

Relaxing standards and expectations for the sake of not being old school just doesn’t make good business sense.  

All the Success!

DMSRetail Inc.

PS: If you still want to approach your business with your customers in mind, there is a great deal of information to help you do that, and much, much more, in the Super Retail Success Bundle, which you can check out here:

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Fixtures Were Flying Across the Sales Floor

This story ends with the police handcuffing and removing a part time sales associate from the store.

We decided to tell this true story to illustrate just how horribly things can go wrong when you’re not really on top of…

Performance Management

In the very early years of her career, Jane (not her real name) got her first store management job. She inherited a team that left quite a bit to be desired, but she tried her best to work with them. Some of them came along very well; even thrived under Jane’s leadership. However, one employee, who we’ll call Cindy, did not do well at all.

She was constantly late for her shifts, her sales were not very good and she was usually half asleep while on the sales floor.

Obviously, this employee needed guidance in the form of performance management. Jane had several conversations with Cindy to get to know her a little better and find out why her behavior was not up to standard. Cindy, it turns out, had just lost her mother at a young age and Cindy found herself caring for younger siblings. She said that was the reason she was late so often – due to child care responsibilities. She said she was tired all of the time – again, due to child care responsibilities.

She said her sales were not good because she was depressed and upset most of the time.

Well, what does a new, fairly inexperienced Manager do? She fell for it ….hook, line and sinker. Now, to be fair, the story was true. Cindy had just lost her mother. And some new responsibilities were thrust upon her with regard to her younger siblings. However, Jane did not do her part as the Manager. Jane allowed Cindy to behave poorly. She did not take any disciplinary action for tardiness and she allowed her to underperform in all aspects of her job.

 Jane found it difficult to manage Cindy’s performance because there were too many emotions involved.

You’re probably wondering what happened as a result of this situation being allowed to fester. Well, other employees were shaking their heads in disbelief. They knew that Cindy was taking advantage of Jane’s sympathetic nature. And morale plummeted whenever Cindy was working in the store because everyone knew that she was not pulling her weight…not even close!

Then, one evening, Cindy arrived for her shift and asked to speak with Jane in the backroom. 

Cindy asked for a raise. Yes, the poorest performer in the store wanted a raise because, she said, she just wasn’t making enough money to look after her siblings.

Jane, having been a pushover up until now, finally realized she was being taken advantage of. There was no way Cindy was going to get a raise and, in fact, was lucky to still have a job. So, Jane told Cindy that she was not going to get a raise in pay. She also told her that if she improved her sales she would start earning commission and the problem could be solved that way. Cindy was very upset and just kept repeating that she was not going to leave without getting a raise.

 This is where the situation got ugly.

 Jane told Cindy to go and calm down and come back when she had regained her composure. Cindy refused and followed Jane out onto the sales floor. Jane immediately turned back and, again, instructed Cindy to leave the store or sit in the back room until she had calmed down. By now, though, Cindy was yelling “I want a raise” at the top of her lungs. Thankfully, there were no customers around to hear her – but how long would that last?

Jane tried her best to convince Cindy to leave the store but with no success. Finally, as the yelling continued, Jane called security and they came to the store – with the police. The doors to the store were temporarily closed while the police tried to convince Cindy to go with them. She refused repeatedly. Finally, she threw herself on the floor in her attempt to resist being handcuffed. Fixtures were flying across the sales floor. Merchandise was all over the place. Cindy was banging into the fixtures and didn’t seem to care about being physically hurt.

Another staff member stood, mortified, in a corner waiting for it all to end. Jane was shaking with horror at what was transpiring. She wondered how she ever let this situation get so out of hand and vowed never to let it happen again.

In the end, Cindy was removed from the premises and, of course, no longer had her job. Jane learned some very valuable lessons through that entire experience, and here they are:

  • Going easy on one associate for a prolonged period of time is unfair to the other employees and to the organization
  • Never accept substandard performance regardless of the reasons
  • Have regular discussions about performance so it does not get completely out of hand
  • Discuss specific issues to get each one sorted out
  • Create action plans for, and with, the underperforming employee and hold them accountable
  • Realize that you cannot solve your employees personal problems by being ‘nice’ to them – they have to seek help for themselves

Fortunately, this Store Manager learned these hard lessons through experience. What would be really unfortunate would be if she continued to manage performance the way she had done with Cindy – which was, basically, not managing it at all and being too ‘nice’. Jane went on to become a highly successful retail manager who was promoted to higher and higher levels.

All the Success!

DMSRetail Inc.

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