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Melrose International

Leadership Fundamentals in Retail

How to be the leader your store needs.Leadership in a retailer store

If you hire employees to sell in your store, advise on merchandise, manage marketing or any of the 100 other things being a retailer requires that also makes you a leader. Being a good leader, a good general, can help you have smoother day-to-day store operations and also ensure your employees (or contactors) know what is expected of them.

But how to be a good leader? We’ve got 3 tips.

See and Be Seen

Often times it may be tempting to stay in the back room working on inventory, finances, and everything else that comes with running a retailer store. But you also need to make time to see your employees and be seen by them. Ask meaningful questions and listen to the answers, even — or especially — when they’re hard to hear.

Share the Vision

While money is a great motivator, a store vision can make the meaning that allows your employees to really excel. For instance, Southwest Airlines has the vision to be “THE low cost airline”. So every time an employee needed to make a hard decision they could ask themselves, will this help us be “THE low cost airline”. For your store it may be that you are looking to be “The place women come to feel special” or “The meaningful gift shop”. Whatever that vision is, share it with your employees and make sure they feel empowered to act upon it.

Admit your Mistakes

As a leader your employees are looking up to you for guidance. But no one is infallible. So when you make a mistake, own it, and make it right. Take the opportunity to lead by example and let your employees see how you correct your mistake. This way, when they make a mistake, they will not feel they have to hide it from you, instead they will feel comfortable sharing the issue and fixing it.

It’s no secret that small business owners, especially those in retail, have a lot going on. And brushing up on your leadership skills in probably not on your radar often. But if you take a few minutes to remember to talk to your employees, share your store vision and own up to any mistakes you’ll be well on your way to true leadership. And you’ll reap the benefits of a better, smoother running store.

How do you lead in your store? We’d love to hear your story in the comments below.

Melrose International is an industry leader in wholesale home décor, giftware, and seasonal items. Providing outstanding products, service, design, and value since 1985!

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