Many organizations that are growing fast focus on just making sure the basics are in place, the brand is being fully represented, and their day-to-day promises to customers are being met.  But like all retailers know, that doesn’t make you competitive. At some point, you are going to be looking at same-store sales, not just growth from new stores.

That’s where the retailer I met with was. Their DMs are aces at execution. But that’s only part of the leadership equation. To stay competitive, the retailer needs them to make a crucial shift.

We talked about how to help their DMs pivot from being tactical—Are signs up? Is there enough staff? Are policies being followed?—to being strategic:

  • How are we faring against our competitors?
  • Who is ready to be promoted?
  • Are we retaining our best people?
  • Looking up from the store checklist to think about the long-term, morale, bench strength, the broader market.

These are the kinds of indicators that show how strategic DM thinking and focus really is.

One of the core concepts in our Retail Multiunit Management (RMM) program is the idea of a DM articulating an “Anchor Goal” for their district. This goes beyond the typical UPT, ADS, Shrink financial goals. Those are important. But the best retail DMs use an Anchor Goal that is overarching and answers the question:

“What do I get paid to do?” 

This allows DMs to raise their sights to look at the long-term and be more proactive in doing those things that will build the business rather than just manage it.

How do you help your DMs lead from a distance strategically? Share in the comments, or tweet us @Mohrretail.


About MOHR Retail

For more than 30 years, MOHR Retail has developed the critical people-to-people skills needed to create results in the retail industry—and we’re just getting started. Through innovative classroom and online learning methods, as well as our ongoing national retail research projects, we continue to stay on top of the trends so we can fuel the success of specialty stores, chain stores, outlets, catalogue retailers, department stores, and more. Nowhere does learning meet experience as it does in a MOHR Retail training program.