By: Wendy Timmermans 03-05-2018
Retail is a unique and agile industry for when it comes to working hours, pace and flexibility. At Movers & Shakers we are in touch with HR managers of leading organizations within the Fashion, Retail and Lifestyle industry. By having regular conversations with HR departments, we learn a lot about the specific requirements that Retail organizations are looking for, now and in the future. Working in retail means that you always have to stay ahead of your competition and be on the lookout for new developments that you can incorporate in your strategy. Just being able serve a client or run a store does not cut it in this business, a lot more skills are required. Are you looking to have a successful career in Retail? These are the 'must have' skills you need today.
Every retail professional is aware that the retail landscape has changed significantly over the past couple of years and that it will keep evolving in the future. Due to the big increase of online sales, the retail landscape of the future offers most potential to the so called 'bricks & clicks' retailers, who are successful in connecting on- and offline sales channels. More and more retailers are transforming into omni channel organizations, so they can offer more value to customers and their shopping experience. "Is the product not available in store? No problem, we can look it up online and have it delivered to your home."
As part of a Retail Management Team, this means your focus cannot just be on the physical shops, but you need to have a vision about the future of all sales channels and how this translates to your brand or company.
In addition, it is not only a smooth operation and a long term vision that create a successful environment, a team that is educated and keeps developing is equally as important. As a manager it is important that you are able to give the right amount of space to your team, in order for them to think along and share their vision and strategy. We hear from our clients that 'Leading by example' is more and more important on the work floor.
A Store Manager these days is not only expected to handle checklists and monitor KPI's but organizations are looking out for a strong leader that educates his/her team members. The Store Manager should possess the right analytical skills and know the industry. Only a person with the right set of competencies, will stand out from the crowds and have a successful career in Retail.
The time where we could make decisions based on gut feeling is over. Those who look to create a successful retail organization and with that a successful career in Retail, can only look at facts and learn to interpret them. Now more than ever we can gather knowledge about the consumer and his or her preferences. This data creates new possibilities to attract customers and is of vital importance to each organization, as well as the knowledge to translate this into a solid strategy.
The ability to interpret data and translate this to a day-to-day practice on the shop floor is a talent that most retailers are looking for. This does only not apply to high management positions, but goes for Store Managers as well.
In today’s world the consumer has less time to go shopping but at the same time choices increase due to the 24/7 availability of online shops. Shop employees therefore are of great importance to retail organizations, because they are the differentiators in the shopping experience. They add an experience that cannot be provided during online shopping. The consumer is more critical and expects nothing but the best for when it comes to service. The increasing demand for personalization and shopper experiences asks for talent that is able to adapt to any situation like a chameleon. In addition to that, you are able to distinguish yourself by offering an unforgettable shopping experience, that binds a client to you and your store. Customer service and customer care therefore contribute a great deal to a successful career in retail.
No matter at what level you are in your career, entrepreneurship is a quality that will make you stand out. Entrepreneurship doesn't just come in handy on the shop floor, but is important for each facet of the retail business. Especially within a retail organization in 2018, not all decisions are being made top-down and good ideas are usually received with open arms. In the end, everybody wants the same thing, staying one step ahead of the competition. Somebody with a strong sense of ownership and an entrepreneurial mindset discovers new opportunities and finds chances to improve and renew along the way, to offer an even better customer experience.
In a retail organization the efforts of many different departments come together in one final product, that is judged by only one person, the customer. With increasing competition from national and international retailers it is important to distinguish yourself and get your message across in a world full of noise. A team with the right skills will make the difference. That is why recruiters are looking for those people who stand out and offer the ‘whole package’.
What contributes to your success in Retail? Tell us!