“Well, it’s not rocket science, is it? You just sell stuff. Put it in the window and open the doors.” We’ve all heard a version of that kind of misunderstanding, which manages to miss the sales target by a country mile.

For a start, let’s talk about the ‘stuff’. As a professional Retail Executive, you might be responsible for selling luxury goods, building materials, shoes, cosmetics, garden furniture or a virtually endless range of other goods – and increasingly often, a combination of several of them in the same store premises.

Science and art in retailing

Modern retailing is a complicated marriage of science and art. As the Retail Executive in charge of a large operation, you’ll need to have a good understanding of both disciplines, and above all, the advanced people skills and communication talents to get the best out of the teams that work under your direction. One of those teams will be highly-skilled window dressers – the ones who ‘just put it in the window.’

You’ll also need to understand the latest thinking in terms of store design, the roles of shelf positioning, ambient lighting and music, price strategies, footfall and dwell times. And you’ll be adept at selecting the right staff to look after those key areas – all while keeping a close eye on staff morale, security and shoplifting. When you have a moment, you’ll likely spend it planning the weekly and monthly sales targets daily reports that headquarters demands.

Marketing strategies

HQ will also expect you to be able to talk knowledgeably about changing trends in your area, analyze what the competition is doing and recommend marketing strategies to keep your competitive edge.

However, once the Retail Executive has selected and trained their shop floor staff, there is inevitably going to be the odd customer for whom nothing is ever right or good enough. Then you’ll need to be an expert in conflict resolution on top of everything else, keeping your cool while all around you shout and scream.

All of the above and more is likely to feature in the average Retail Executive’s day, even before he or she has time for a morning coffee break.

Recruiting the right person in the demanding position of Retail Executive can make a critical difference between success and failure for any store. At Anthony Gregg, we apply our years of experience and know-how to find the very best candidates, with the right mix of skills and attributes and match them to a position where they can really show what they are capable of achieving. Horses for courses – it’s not rocket science, is it? For more information, get in touch!