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RIDGEWOOD, N.J. - Consistency is a trait that goes a long way in retail store management, according to a new study conducted by consultancy MOHR Access here.
MOHR Access conducted interviews of 88 successful store managers and found that they demonstrate four specific characteristics: consistency, drive, adaptability, and leadership.
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"There seems to be a never-ending list of abilities required for store manager," said MOHR Access president Michael Patrick in a statement. "But certain skills and natural talents come up again and again and emerge as central to retail management training and development."
What surprised the interviewing team, Patrick observed, was the frequent emphasis on consistency. "We anticipated leadership or ability to pivot, but it increasingly seems that consistency is seen as the key stabilizing element that makes all the rest possible. Stores are more highly branded, and rely on the store manager to execute strategy, present the store visually in a particular way, and, in general, to 'get the word out.' To get stores to communicate the same message is a big challenge, especially when the store manager is expected to do five other things."
Patrick described the characteristics identified:
-- Consistency: Amid the pace and stress of the retail setting, the need for consistency is paramount and reflected in both execution of store standards, as well as approach to associate development and feedback. Without calm, consistent direction, both leadership and structure are undermined.
-- Drive: High energy and passion define most retailers, so it is no surprise that they are essential for the store manager. In this context, the focus and drive to carry on regardless of challenges is essential to getting results.
Adaptability: Retail is a fast-changing business, and the effective store manager must be able to respond to shifting customer preferences as well as management priorities. Often directions from headquarters in response to customer trends create more changes in direction or policy that affect store-level decisions.
Leadership: Great store managers provide encouragement, motivation, feedback, and team leadership. They also recognize the need to share long-term goals in order to inspire their team to think strategically instead of getting caught up in the grind of what must be done every day.