We’re working hard to prepare the full results of the 2016 Store Manager Survey, but couldn’t wait to give you a sneak peek! We received over one thousand responses from store managers representing 16 different retail categories. Of those categories, Apparel, Grocery and Convenience, and Drug, Health, and Beauty accounted for just over one third of total respondents.

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In the survey, we covered these four broad categories of questions:

                    1. Job Satisfaction. Are store managers happy in their jobs? Are they thinking of moving on? What do they like most? What do they like least?
                    2. Daily Responsibilities and Challenges. Is time spent mainly on high-value or low-value tasks? Do store managers feel they have adequate support from both corporate and their associates?
                    3. Collaborating with Corporate. Does a strong line of communication exist between corporate headquarters and individual stores?
                    4. Tools and Technologies. What tools are store managers using to manage daily activities and reporting? Do they feel these tools are adequate?

Here’s a bit of what we’ve learned so far from the first two categories:

Job Satisfaction

In general, store managers find happiness and longevity in the role. Of those surveyed, more than one quarter have been in their current role ten or more years. Furthermore, more than half see themselves at the same company in two years’ time.

Surprisingly, when asked both their favorite and least favorite aspects of the job, the results were very similar: Customers and People (specifically employees). Store managers also cited long hours and communication challenges as their least favorite aspect of their job.

“[My favorite thing is] Engaging my employees. Seeing them grow in and outside of work.”

Daily Responsibilities and Challenges

The top challenge of the store manager, according to the survey, is setting store strategy. Though seventy-five percent of respondents reported this as a challenge, more than half are spending five hours or less focused in this area.

Personnel duties – including hiring, firing, training, and managing – was cited as very challenging and was also cited as time-consuming. In fact, over a quarter of respondents spend ten hours out of every week on training alone! Makes you wonder: what would happen if some of that time in training could be freed up for a higher-value task like setting strategy?

Learn More

We’ll share more insights in the coming weeks, leading up to the launch of our white paper, “Turning Brand Vision Into Store Execution: The Vital Role Store Managers Play and How Retailers Can Unlock Their Value” at the Future Stores conference later this month.

If you’re attending Future Stores, sign up to meet with our team and receive an advance copy of the paper. If you are not attending, you can inquire about benchmarking your own store managers against the survey by requesting it here.