Fashion careers: What it's like to be a store manager

At FashionUnited, careers in retail are always at the top of jobs recruited by leading brands such as Nike and Under Armour. The flexibility of positions in retail offer an entry for applicants who are curious about exploring the multifaceted world of the fashion business. It’s also an opportune setting to develop skill sets in sales, marketing, merchandising and styling while obtaining a degree or building one’s fashion career. The hands-on experience gained working on the shop floor is extremely valuable for the next step in a fashion professional’s career path. Here, we take a more in-depth look at the vital role of the store manager and it’s core responsibilities and potential career development.

Job description and responsibilities:

As a store manager in fashion and retail, you are the medium between the shop floor staff and the senior manager. Retail staff will be looking to you for leadership and you’re in charge of delegating daily tasks as well as overseeing your team’s development and training. The senior executives expect you to communicate and manage store changes to your team while executing strategies to achieve sales targets and delivering optimum customer service. In this first-level management role, your responsibilities include a wide scope of tasks from recruitment, training staff, inventory management and store compliance for a specific retail location.

A typical workday for a store manager in fashion and retail:

The day could start off with a morning huddle meeting with your team to go over their goals for the day-to-day operations. In the video “A Day in the Life of a Nike Store Manager,” the sports brand uses the meetings to align the staff with a consistent message to ensure quality consumer engagement. According to Joe Platt, the Nike Factory Store Manager or “Head Coach,” no two days are the same and to him, there is nothing better than to hit sales targets with his team.

Vanessa Hollis, a store manager at AllSaints, tells FashionUnited, “once the doors open, my focus is on how can we make the customer experience the best out there whilst ensuring we are set up ready for our peak trading hours from a store standard, staffing levels, replenishment and delivery point of view.” Working as a store manager in retail is never boring and when it comes to customer service skills, you’ll become an expert and be able to train your team to be patient and troubleshoot. Never mind what customers have in store for you today – you know you can handle it!

It’s also important to acknowledge that working as a store manager in fashion and retail is not a typical nine-to-five job, but it’s own unique lifestyle. For example, when others are going on holiday is usually when the shop floor is the busiest or when the biggest sales happen. Managing the integration of part-time seasonal staff with full-time employees could be another challenge for a store manager. To succeed in this role, you must be energetic, flexible, focused and very organized.

How to become a store manager:

To become a store manager in fashion retail, you can already get started while obtaining your degree. Since in this field, work experience is highly valued and your educational background is seen more as beneficial than necessary if you plan to advance further in your career. The first step is to gain entry-level work experience in the fashion retail field and build your customer service, merchandising and management skills. Meanwhile, you can choose to earn a fashion degree in a specific area of focus. Usually, after three to five years as a sales staff or merchandiser, you should try to get promoted to work under the direct supervision of a store manager so that you’re able to gain hands-on experience learning the ins and outs of a store’s operations and policies.

Team management skills are extremely important for a store manager as well as being analytical, thinking on your feet and the ability to problem-solve. Developing commercial awareness is also a vital requirement whether it be from on the field experience or educational training. Familiarity with new technologies -such as augmented reality features in apps or mobile payment-is now in demand as the shop floor is constantly integrating mobile shopping and retail trends are nowadays dictated largely by what is seen on social media.

Next step in the career of a store manager:

The next step in a fashion and retail store manager’s career would be to become the regional or country manager of a brand overseeing not just one store, but a district or an entire market. Then, at the very top is the position of the general manager who is responsible for a company’s overall retail operations and will usually be based at the headquarters while traveling frequently to check up on regional flagship stores.

Expected income:

As of June 27th, 2019, the average retail store manager’s expected income in the US falls between $50,569 and $69,114 according to Salary.com. The expected salary can vary depending on the applicant’s educational degree, certifications and number of years of experience in the industry.

Click here to apply for store manager jobs in fashion in the US.

Photo: Pexels

 

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