Retail Dogma

Managing Retail Store Operations: From Opening to Closing

In this article we will explain the main processes involved in managing retail store operations, from the time of opening to the time of closing.

It is supposed to portray a typical day at a store, running its retail operations

Retail Store Operations

Retail store operations cover all the activities involved in running a retail store day-to-day. This includes serving customers, handling cash, receiving and handling inventory, managing sales and visual merchandising.

Before we start the typical day, let’s first understand the different areas of responsibility (AOR) inside retail store operations.

Diving the responsibilities into different AORs with specified tasks helps in managing the retail team by assigning them to those tasks and holding them accountable for delivering on their respective KPIs.

Managing Retail Store Operations

Areas of responsibility for retail store operations can be divided into two categories:

1. Brand Experience

Brand experience covers everything that the customer sees.

This includes:

  1. Visual Display & Store Atmosphere (Merchandise, music, cleanliness,..etc.)
  2. Sales Strategies and Processes (Team knowledge, up-selling, cross selling)
  3. Customer Experience (Greeting, solving problems and complaints, cash desk experience,..etc)

2. Capability

Capability covers everything that happens behind the scenes.

This includes:

  1. Reporting, Paperwork & Communication (emails)
  2. Inventory Handling (receiving, returns, damage,..etc)
  3. Scheduling the retail team (ROTA)

Managing a Retail Store For a Day

Now let’s see how a typical day would look like for a store owner managing his/her retail store.

Opening Procedures

Opening starts with making sure that enough team members are scheduled to open the store and perform the morning shift tasks.

Depending on traffic patterns, most businesses schedule less staff in the morning, but we have also managed locations where a rush in traffic happens in the morning, with loyal customers being moms who drop their kids at school and then do their shopping and have breakfast in the mall.

So the scheduling of the retail team needs to reflect the typical traffic patterns for the specific store location, for specific days of the week.

Read more on scheduling in our retail scheduling article.

Banking

Banking is the process of tallying the amount of collected cash and credit sales from yesterday’s sales to the actual amount in the store.

This is done by generating the end-of-day report for the previous day, the settlement report on the credit card machines and the cash amount in the safe for the day’s sales.

Operations Excel Workbook

After making sure the amounts are tallied, the opening team member makes a deposit in the ATM machine with the cash amount and completes the daily sales report (DSR) and attaches the deposit receipt to it.

Generating Reports

The reports from yesterday’s sales are generated and used to calculate the store KPIs, and these numbers are then briefed to the teams in each shift to communicate the current performance against budget.

The KPIs calculated are:

  • Sales vs Budget
  • MTD Sales
  • ATV : Average Transaction Value
  • UPT : Units per Transaction
  • Conversion Rate

Stock Receiving & Merchandising

Another opening task that is supposed to be finished before the store is open to customers is stock receiving.

Ideally, all deliveries should be scheduled to arrive before opening time and the team should be trained to receive them and merchandise them on the floor as per the planogram before the opening.

This way, when the store opens the team will have time to serve customers, and the store will look tidy with no cartons on the floor.

Floor Walk

A floor walk is then performed by the manager or supervisor to ensure the store is ready for trading by completing the store opening checklist.

Store Opening Checklist
Download from members area

The floor walk can look for the following:

  • Windows Arrangement
  • Store Cleanliness
  • Light Bulbs
  • VM Standards
  • Cash Desk & Shopping Bags
  • Functional Antennas, CCTVs and Security Tags

If everything is in order, the store is ready to open for the public.

During The Day

Depending on the business, the team can be scheduled to come over 2 shifts (opening and closing) or 3 shifts ( extra between shift).

The main idea is to maintain an adequate coverage on the floor and at the cash register to serve customers, and also accommodate staff breaks during the shifts.

A D V E R T I S E M E N T

A floor manager or supervisor should be available on the floor all the time to support the team and solve any problems or customer complaints. If the operation is small, one of the sales team members can act as the one in charge during their shift and be the point of contact in the store.

Tasks that are performed during the day are:

  • Serving customers
  • Replenishing shelves
  • maintaining visual merchandising standards

Closing Procedures

At closing time the main task is to close the POS and generate an end-of-day or closing report. This report will show the total sales and returns that happened during the day and resets the system to start again from zero on the next day.

This report will also be used on the next day to perform banking and deposit and fill the daily sales report (DSR)

The team can also calculate the most common retail KPIs at the end of the day, such as ATV, IPC and Conversion and share it with the store manager or owner.

Compliance

In order to streamline the operations of the retail store and ensure compliance by all team members, certain reports, checklists and trackers are used and filled by the team on a daily basis.

Those trackers can then be checked by the store manager or owner on a regular basis.

Daily Retail Store Operations Checklists & Trackers

  • Store Opening Checklist
  • Banking & Deposit Register
  • Store Key Handover Log
  • Safe Key Handover Log
  • Damaged Merchandise Tracker
  • Store Delivery Tracker

You can download a ready-to-use excel workbook with those store operations checklists & trackers from members area.

Managing Retail Store Operations Remotely

Some retail owners don’t have the capacity to run the store themselves on a daily basis or being there all the time. They need to find a way to manage the retail store remotely, while ensuring proper performance from the team.

For this to happen successfully, there are some main areas to focus on:

Talent

The key issue here is to hire the right talent to run your store and the right supervisor for the team.

When you hire people, even if you will be present all the time, hire people with high level of responsibility and high sense of ownership.

I’ve sometimes ran stores without a store manager and only depended on a supervisor to run the operation for an extended period of time. For this I had to hire the right talent and always be developing them to be the next in charge when the time comes.

Tech

Another thing that will help here, is to invest in the right tech, so that your operation can be run from the cloud. You can have a system that shows you in real time how much the store is doing and what products are being sold.

You can also have the team move all the checklists we listed above for compliance to the cloud (e.g on Google Sheets) so you can see in real time if and when the sheet has been completed.

Store Visits & Meetings

You still need to visit your retail store from time to time, so that your team can feel your presence and that you really care about them and the business.

When you are not there, utilize the new video calling tech and hold meetings with your team before trading time and give them a brief on what to focus on for the day/week and then follow up on that in the next meeting.

Tip

Access our members area and download our printable 80-page planner and share it with your team to set their focus and hold them accountable for the store performance on a weekly basis. Use it together with our other blueprints and downloads to plan for your business.

Managing Multiple Retail Stores Operations

The main challenge and difference between managing a single store and managing multiple retail stores is to be able to maintain the same standards of operations across different locations, without having physical presence there on a daily basis.

Your leadership skills and the ability to inspire and influence others will play an important role at this phase.

The other key here is your ability to hire and develop good talents to manage each location, empower them with the right tools and authority to make decisions, and maintain effective level of communication with them on a daily basis.

Developing standard operating procedures and visual guidelines for the business at this point is also crucial to maintaining the same customer experience across all store locations.