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Retail Store Operations

Functions of Store Operations

Customer Service Retail Selling Process Store Staffing and Scheduling Retail Floor and Shelf Management Store Administration & Facilities Management Warehousing & Supply Chain Loss (Shrinkage) Prevention Cashiering Process Visual Merchandising & display

Sales target Sales promotion Inventory management

Visual display


Cost reduction Staff management Walkout analysis Store administration & communication

Who will perform these functions?

Store Mgr


Cashier CCA ? ? ? Supervisor

Roles & Responsibility

Customer Care Executive

SALES Attending the customer & making sales Proper display of merchandise Preparation of stock requirements Ensures customers feel at home so that they visit again & again Daily stock replenishment Maintaining cleanliness in display Achieving sales target

CUSTOMERS To ensure that the customer are attended without making them wait for too long Greeting customers Writing down customer orders, if required Escalate unresolved queries to store manager Help and offer customers with baskets & trolleys

To ensure the administration of floor and fulfillment of customer requirements to make them satisfied & increase the sale of the store To ensure the cleaning of shelves, floor, door, windows, lighting and surroundings Proper shelving of products Handle billing & cash in case of staff shortage Interaction with customer to guide them as per their requirements Taking customer feedback on the form and ask for suggestion if they have any Physical check of the stock as per TO/bill/challan should be entered in the system on the same day. Report damages or variances as per LP procedure Managing staff on the floor.

Store Manager
Responsibility of overall management of the store and coordination with the staff. Providing the required information and data to the senior management, regularly Ensure management of operations towards achievement of targeted revenues Ensure management of operations towards optimization of cost Ensure management of operations towards achievement of targeted return on capital employed To ensure profitability of store through achievement by keeping the cost expense low Independently control store operations of the outlet Prepare resource plan and annual budget Inventory and vendor management Responsible for merchandising & displays as per company SOPs

To achieve & sustain customer delight To be cost effective

Team Work


A formal group made up of independent individuals who are responsible for the attainment of a goal

Forming Storming Norming Performing Adjourning

FORMING The first stage of work team development, characterized by uncertainly about the groups purpose, structure, and leadership STORMING The second stage of work team development, characterized by intragroup conflict NORMING The third stage of work team development, in which close relationships develop and members begin to demonstrate cohesiveness PERFORMING The fourth stage of work team development, in which the structure is fully functional and accepted by team members ADJOURNING The fifth and final stage of the development of temporary work teams, in which the team prepares for its disbandment

A Group that engage in collective work that requires joint effort and generates a positive synergy

A group that interacts primarily to share information and to make decisions that will help each member perform within his or her area of responsibility



Share information
Neutral Individual Random and varied

collective performance

ACCOUNTABILITY Individual and mutual SKILLS complementary


Teams can be classified on the basis their objectives
Functional Team Problem solving teams Self managed teams Cross functional teams


Good communication Mutual trust Effective leadership External support Internal support Negotiating skills Relevant skills Clear goals Unified commitment


Creator-innovator Explorer-promoter Assessor-Developer Thruster-organizer Concluder-producer Controller-inspector Upholder-maintainer Reporter-adviser Linker

Teamwork and Communication: Exploring Mental Maps

We cannot communicate. When ever two persons get in contact, they will exchange information, consciously or unconsciously, verbal or non-verbal. The tricky thing is, that in a communication process there is a transmitter and a receiver, and the meaning of a communication is not the intend of the transmitter, but the reaction it elicits at the receiver.

Teamwork and Communication: Exploring Mental Maps

At breakfast, a mother might ask to her adolescent son: "Where have you been yesterday night?", just having the intention to take part in the life of her grown-up. The son might understand a different message, like: "As long as you live in my house, I would like to have control of your movement." And off he goes to school, pulling a bitter-sour face. You think, its his problem?

Teamwork and Communication: Exploring Mental Maps

What's about the following? A director of an organization calls for a meeting of the entire staff. He tells them: "We have developed a vision of the future. We want to be the first company in our sector, the brightest star among all others. We wish you to come on board and share this future of light." Three quarters of the staff understand: "I want you to work harder, and those who do not comply with the new standards will be left behind." Who is right, the boss or the staff? Or is it a tricky question?

Seven Essential Skills for Teamwork 1. Listening 2. Questioning 3. Persuading 4. Respecting 5. Helping 6. Sharing 7. Participating

Paradigm Shifts
Ordinary people can achieve extraordinary results Allow people to fail People who are afraid to fail are also afraid to take chances. Optimal solutions to difficult problems almost always require taking chances. Criticism equals loyalty People who care want the best. Teamwork equals cheating This attitude is instilled in us throughout our education, most of which is built on a competitive framework.

Paradigm Shifts - continued

Negotiating for Win-Win Win-Win works best when the only alternative is "no deal." This way, no one ever loses. Ego suppression Places the team's achievements ahead of personal achievements. "We bring people together because we know they will disagree." Tie disagreements back to the team's reason for existence, and to the individual's reasons for committing to the team. "A highly functioning team does not need either carrots or sticks."

Effective teamwork requires a culture change. Time and resources must be devoted to teamwork. Teamwork roles and responsibilities must be recognized as real and continuing job responsibilities, and are equally important with technical- and businessrelated job responsibilities. Teamwork is a skill that requires training, practice, and evaluation. Recognition and awards to teams are essential in achieving the culture change.

How to Get Cooperation

Be direct. If you want something done, ask. Coworkers can resist hints and indirect response. Ban blaming. Finding fault can prevent both sides from seeking another way to solve a problem. If youre blamed, let it slide and say "Lets look at the facts." Last resort: Get an outside party to help. Stay focused. Dont generalize by saying "You never finish on time." Note only the current offense. Ask: "How can I help you finish on time next time?"

How to Get Cooperation - continued

Negotiate. Instead of demanding, ask "What do you need to finish this by the deadline?" Then suggest ways to help. Realign priorities. People who dont cooperate have different priorities. To make theirs the same as yours, show how you both will benefit by completing the task. Example: "Once we get this done, well be able to move on to that project you wanted to do." Say less. Some people resent following orders, so be subtle. Example: Post an itemized goal list. Let it go. If you find yourself nagging others too much, it may be time to evaluate your own duties. Are you trying to compensate for your own lack of progress? Recognize the time and effort colleagues put into the process.

Session 3

Receiving Stock

Packing Slip Versus Purchase Order

PO - it is the detailed list of items the store has requested. It will specify the sizes, colors, models etc. of the merchandise ordered as well as the number of skus requested. PS - it is normally included with the delivery or consignment when it is delivered to the store. It is a list of quantity & type of merchandise that vendor/ HO sends to the store.

PO is what the store sends to the HO/ vendor whereas PS is what HO or vendor sends to the store.

Carplus Store PO 6-White seat cover 6-Black seat cover 4- Sony music system 4- Xplod speaker 6 6- Ambipur Car perfume (rose) 6- Ambipur Car Spray (Lemon)

HO- Warehouse PS 8-White seat cover 6-Black seat cover 2- Sony music system 8- Xplod speaker 6 10- Ambipur Car perfume (rose) 4- Ambipur Car Spray (Lemon) Shortage Excess

From Store Room to the Selling Floor

Everyone knows .. You cant sell the merchandise while its resting in the store/ stock room

Few stores have store room personnel who are responsible to review inventory & restock the shelves as needed

But in most stores, stocking the display shelves is CCAs responsibility

Always Pay Attention To:

Prices of new items Mark ups Mark downs
..So that Customers can be provided

with accurate information as they wont be asking stockroom personnel as how much an item costs!!!

Before placing incoming merchandise on the sales floor, take note of the prices to ensure that the prices shown on the scanner agrees with the sale, advertised or listed price of an item

Make Sure The Price is Right

If a product/ item goes on sale, make sure: The advertised sale price comes up when the item is scanned The correct price is shown on the shelf signage The price tags reflect the price change

Situation Analysis
Vinod, a CCA at Carplus, an auto accessories store offering various products, is very happy that a new consignment of Baby seat has finally arrived. Vinod cant wait to unpack the items & get them ready for sale. After completing the check in procedure required by the store, he brings the Baby seat to the floor. After opening the first box, he takes the Baby seat to the cash register & scans the tag. The scanned price on the new Baby seat is Rs 595, while the current MRP is Rs 580. Just then, a woman walks over & exclaims oh they finally arrived- Thank God!, there are no Baby seats left on the shelf & thats the one I want!!

What should Vinod do now?

Sell the Baby seat for Rs. 595 since that is the ticketed price Sell the woman a Baby Seat at Rs 580 & fix the problem immediately after the transaction is completed Vinod should not sell the Baby seat until the problem is resolved. He should apologize to the customer for any inconvenience & then speak with his manager before processing the sale

If there is a difference between the advertised price & the ticketed or scanned price, customers are often charged the lower prices. As it prevents hard feelings & builds customer loyalty. Notify the supervisor immediately after the completion of sales transaction so that problem can be fixed asap. Unless the store policy states, it is usually best not to keep the customer waiting, but to do what is needed to complete the sale & keep the customer happy, then report the problem

Places To Look For Stock That May Need New Pricing

Sales Floor Stock Room/Floor Fitting Rooms/Floor

Shelves & Racks

New merchandise of existing stock comes regularly to the store. But before putting the incoming items on the selling floor..Ask Yourself
Are these items on sale?

Have identical items now on the floor have been marked up or down recently?

If the answer is yes to either question, Then special care must be given to:
Ensure that the price on the tickets for incoming merchandise reflects the current price
Account for incoming merchandise using the proper paperwork as required by the companys policy & procedures

Keeping the Shelves Full & the Merchandise New

When Restocking:
Ensure all variations (color, size, model etc.) are displayed Make sure that advertised merchandise is placed so that it is easy for customers to locate & that it has correct signs & price tags Rotate/remove any expiry items (such as car shampoo, car perfumes etc.)

During special promotions, it may be necessary to cut back on the space for non sale items to make room for large supplies of featured merchandise

Keep them New

If you are responsible for restocking near to expiry or expired items, remember that it is important to rotate them. This is done by keeping the newer products at the back of the shelf & moving the older ones toward the front so that they will be purchased first.

Items that are past the expiration date should be removed from the shelves
Good record keeping is must

The clues that stock needs to be restocked or freshened?

Product shows a different price than what you know the current price to be Customer cannot find an item normally carried by the store New merchandise arrives with different packaging than the same merchandise on the shelf Product Use by date is expired or close to it Customer requests a discount because package is damaged Customer asks to purchase an item being used for display because there are none on the shelves Product is out of season An item starts selling briskly due to advertising or

Handling Returned Merchandise

All merchandise for Return Exchange Store Credit Must be properly accounted for in the stores inventory records

Enter all returned merchandise into the stores records system even if you have simply swapped items to give a customer a different size or color

Next step is to examine the merchandise

If the item is in good condition, prepare it for resale with correct price tags & packaging If the item is not in good condition, ask your store manager whether the item should be repaired, discounted or removed from the inventory

Case of Damaged Return

If a customer returns a damaged item, it becomes shop worn( stained or slightly damaged from handled by customers) You need to decide on whether the item should be: Placed on clearance Repaired Returned to the HO or Vendor Written off

Answer will depend on:

Stores Policy
Type of merchandise Price of the merchandise Example: Music System, Windshield etc

Use good judgement - dont expect a customer to pay more for repairing an item than the item cost originally!!!

What is an INVENTORY?
Inventory is a list for goods and materials, or those goods and materials themselves, held available in stock by a business.

It is a unique combination of all the components that are assembled into the purchasable item. Therefore any change in the packaging or product is a new SKU. This level of detailed specification assists in managing inventory.


It means running out of the inventory of an SKU.

(Used in batch processes, it is the available inventory excluding buffer stock)

(Buffer stock that is held by both the supplier and the retailer)


(goods still in transit or in the process of distribution - have left the factory but not arrived at the store yet)

(building up extra stock for periods of increased demand e.g. ice-creams for summer)


Purchasing / Replenishment



Determine what products should be stocked in each branch or store.

Help develop the forecast of future sales of each product.

Help keep inventory records accurate.


Make sure that inventory is available to meet the sales or usage forecast. Decide the best source of supply for each product in each stocking location. Determine the economic order quantity for each product.

Organize stock in the warehouse to minimize the cost of filling orders. Keep inventory records accurate.

Ensure that all material movement (both receipts and disbursements) are properly recorded.
Protect inventory from breakage, spoilage, misplacement, and theft.

Achieving effective inventory management is probably one of the most effective undertakings to increase company's profitability.

But it cannot be accomplished by just one person or department. It takes cooperation and commitment from everyone in sales, purchasing, and the warehouse. So, implement and maintain the "triangle of cooperation and responsibility."

Taking Stock
Physical Inventory Is the basic process to physically counting every piece of merchandise in the store creating a record of the stores inventory at a specific point in time.

Helpful Inventory Taking Techniques

Prior to conducting the inventory, be sure to organize & straighten (face) all the merchandise. This will make counting much easier!! When counting the inventory, keep a running total with hatch marks. If you are interrupted by a customer, you wont have to start all over again Be sure to move shelved merchandise aside- there may be overstocked stores on the back portion of the shelves If you dont finish counting all the merchandise in your area, be sure to let your manager or the CCA on the next shift know exactly which racks, shelves or displays still need to be tracked

Inventory Checklist: Seat Covers

Item Item# Price Price Recorde Actua Diff Verify d Stock l (+/-) Stock


To verify or ascertain the physical count, condition and location of an inventory item and to ensure that it is properly documented. To identify, document and add items to its inventory list that are on-hand and meet qualifying criteria, but are not currently shown as part of the inventory. To ensure that legitimately transferred or disposed of items are no longer carried on the inventory listing. To identify any missing or damaged items that need to be located, repaired or replaced.


Maintaining a wide assortment of stock but not spreading rapidly moving goods too thin. Increasing inventory turnover but not sacrificing service level. Keeping stocks low but not sacrificing service efficiency. Obtaining lower prices by making volume purchases but not ending up with slow-moving inventory. Having an adequate inventory on hand but not getting caught with obsolete items.

Session 4


The Importance of Cleanliness

You may have fabulous merchandise to sell, but if you give the customer even one reason to assume that store cleanliness is not a priority, they will take their wallets elsewhere

1. First Impressions Count Is the parking area clean of litter and brightly lit? Is the entrance clean and inviting with a trash receptacle available? 2. Front Door Assumption Is the glass clean and free of fingerprints? Customers will make the assumption if the front door is dirty the rest of the store may be the same.

3. Make it Glitter! If it's glass or metal it must be clean. Make it a priority to dust and use glass cleaner every morning after vacuuming.

4. Shoulders to Knees Customers notice the majority of "merchandising" between their shoulders and knees. Make those areas a priority of cleanliness.

5. Fitting Room/Area If the customer comes to see his/her vehicle in the fitting room/area, keep it spotless. It influences the customer's buying decision. If you have a back stock area, keep it closed to the customer's eyes! 6. Necessary Rooms Customers should be able to use your restrooms. Not only should it say "squeaky clean" to your customers but it also should say something about how you value your employees and their comfort level.

7. Clutter Free Shipping boxes, pallets, rolling racks, shipping materials....anything needed for the operation of the store should be out of site or neatly stored away from the traffic flow in the store. 8. Ease of Shopping Overstocking of merchandise can be overwhelming to the customer and they can "assume" your store is messy merely because of the volume of merchandise. How easy is it to get around your store? Can you get a stroller or wheelchair easily around the store?

9. Aroma Does your store "smell clean"? Customers can make an assumption of whether a store is clean based on what they smell? If you have become to immune to any smell your store may have, ask friends or new employees to give you their opinion. 10. Register Area The most important area of the store, no matter what kind, is the place you exchange your hard earned money for something you value, your purchase. Make it spotless!

Loss Prevention

Loss Prevention
Retail Loss prevention (in some retailers known as Asset Protection) is a form of private investigation into larceny or theft. The focus of such investigations generally includes shoplifting, package pilferage, embezzlement, credit fraud, and check fraud. "Loss prevention" or "LP" is used to describe a number of methods used to reduce the amount of all losses and shrinkage often related to retail trade.

Sources of Theft
46.8% from employee theft, 31.6% of shrinkage comes from shoplifting 14.4% from administrative error 3.75% from vendor error 2.86% from unknown error.
Source: National Retail Security Survey,2006

Although most retailers experience a shrink percentage of less than 2%, some smaller retailers often experience monthly and annual average shrinkage percentages as high as 20%.

Types of Retail Loss



Shoplifting (also known as retail theft, or shrinkage within the retail industry) is theft of goods from a retail establishment by an ostensible patron.
It is one of the most common crimes for police and courts

Employee embezzlement is the theft or taking of property or funds entrusted to an employee by an employer. The most common type of retail embezzlement is cash theft. Other types include ringing up fake gift cards, passing merchandise, discount fraud, and, of course, theft of merchandise.

Credit Card Theft

Stolen credit cards find their way into retail stores as much as or more than online retail websites. This is usually for several reasons. Retailers have generally relaxed their procedures for checking credit cards, to shorten customers' time spent at the cash register.

Cheque Fraud
Check fraud is generally accomplished in one of two ways. The first is by writing a check that is manufactured to look like a real document, which in fact has no real value or no real bank account to back it up. Typically this is done by suspects who are experienced in forgery. The second method is check kiting, in which the suspect writes a check for a high dollar purchase, then withdraws the funds from the account before the check clears. Check kiting is usually done when suspects establish a fraudulent bank account under a false name.

Margin Loss & Sweet Hearting

Retail Loss Prevention departments are becoming increasingly more involved in investigating losses which affect the margin of products and services. Typical areas of investigation include the overriding of PLU prices, price matching from competitors, and reduction of service fees such as delivery or protection agreements. While unintentional margin loss is reduced by educating employees and managers, the term for intentional margin loss is "sweethearting. Sweethearting generally occurs when an employee promises a deal to a customer in order to close a sale, or otherwise reduces the

Steps taken to prevent Loss

Camera Systems Electronic Article Surveillance (EAS) Two way radio set Point of Sale Audits & Reporting Ceiling Mirrors Bottom of Basket Consent Searches Viewing Towers

Camera Systems (CCTV)

CCTV is an abbreviation for Closed Circuit Television. CCTV camera systems are common to almost all loss prevention departments. The obvious benefits of CCTV camera is that the investigator can gain a better view of a suspect, record incidents, and not reveal themselves to shoplifting suspects. Some retailers use twoman teams in which one person uses the CCTV camera system to detect shoplifters and a floor man follows the suspect and apprehends them.

Electronic Article Surveillance (EAS)

Electronic article surveillance (EAS) is a deterrence system used by retailers to deter shoplifting. EAS involves the use of electronic security towers and electronic security tags. Hard tags or Sticker tags are placed on items throughout the store and are disabled at cashier by either removing the hard tag using a detacher or by scanning label tags over a magnetized strip or label deactivator. If the tag is not disabled it will activate the alarm tower, which is generally located at the exit to a retail store.

Two-way Radio Set

Almost all loss prevention departments have some form of two-way radio communication. This technology is used by investigators to help two-man teams follow a shoplifting suspect in conjunction with the CCTV camera system or to summon assistance when apprehending a shoplifter.

Point of Sale
Point of sale is a form of electronic journal that allows the loss prevention investigator to see a transaction as it is occurring live. This system is either displayed on a computer screen or on a monitor linked to the CCTV camera system. This system has assisted investigators in closing employee embezzlement cases pertaining to merchandise passing, merchandise voiding, and discount fraud

Audits and Reporting

They include information on cash audit over and shorts, no-sales, flagged returns, employees ringing themselves up, fake employee numbers used to avoid commission docking, excessive markdowns and/or discounts, and merchandise voids.

Almost every large retail institution has some form of electronic journal which records all its transactions. Information such as credit card numbers, gift card numbers, refunds, and merchandise voids is

gathered at the point-of-sale.


A cash office audit is usually conducted by a common retail employee who counts up the cash from transactions at the retailer's registers.

Ceiling Mirrors
Ceiling mirrors were once a staple of the loss prevention industry. Now, for the most part, they have been relegated to convenience stores. Mirrors allow loss prevention investigators to watch activity in a high-theft area without being seen. Some loss prevention departments have been known to use mirrors to increase the range of their camera systems.

Bottom of Basket
Bottom of Basket loss (BOB), occurs when an item is placed on the lower tray of a shopping cart and the cashier forgets to check the lower tray for items, resulting in the item not being paid for. What makes this form of shrink unique is that it may happen intentionally or unintentionally.

Consent Searches
Consent searches are widely used in law enforcement and are still present in loss prevention today. By asking a customer to consent to a search of their belongings, such as shopping bags and receipts, any illegal search or seizure requirements can be circumvented

Viewing Towers
Although the necessity of viewing towers has been largely eliminated by CCTV camera systems, they still exist today. A tower is usually a centrally located observation platform raised above the sales floor. An investigator can spend time in the tower while searching for shoplifters or investigating employees, much in the same manner as with CCTV. Most towers are now obsolete and being eliminated in many retailers.

Store Security

Expensive items can be chained to fixtures Convex mirrors placed at key locations so that employees can observe a wide area of the store. Closed circuit TV cameras can be monitored from a central location Electronic Article Surveillance ( EAS) Systems- special tags are placed on merchandise. When the merchandise is purchased, the tags are de activated by the POS scanner.If a shoplifter tries to steal the merchandise, the active tags are sensed when the shoplifter passes a detection device at the store exit and the alarm is triggered off.

Establishing Security Policies and Control Systems to control employee theft
Randomly search containers such as trash bins where stolen merchandise can be stored. Store employees should enter & leave the store at designated entrances. Assign salespeople to specific POS terminals and require all transactions to be handled through those terminals Restrict employee purchases to working hours Have all refunds, returns, and discounts cosigned by a department or store manager. Change locks periodically and issue keys to authorized personnel only. Have a locker room where all employee handbags, purses, packages, and coats must be checked.

Security issues need to be considered when placing merchandise near entrances, delivery areas, and dressing rooms Reducing the height of fixtures and having open sight lines to entrances and exits, store employees can see customers in the store and watch for shoplifters while providing better service. Dressing room entrances should be visible to store employees so they can easily observe customers entering and exiting with merchandise. Cash wraps ( places where customer can buy purchase and have it wrapped )- should always be placed near areas where theft is likely to occur.

Store employees must be aware, visible, and alert to potential shoplifting situations. Dont Assume that all shoplifters are poorly dressed To avoid detection, professional shoplifters dress in the same manner as customers patronizing the store. Over 90 percent of all amateur shoplifters arrested have either the cash, cheques, or credit to purchase the merchandise they stole. Spot Loiterers Amateur shoplifters frequently loiter in areas as they build up the nerve to steal something. Professionals also spend time waiting for the right opportunity, but less conspicuously than amateurs Look for Groups Teenagers planning to shoplift often travel in groups. Some members of the group divert employees attention while others take the merchandise

Look for people with Loose clothing Shoplifters frequently hide stolen merchandise under loose- fitting clothing or in large shopping bags. People wearing a winter coat in the summer or a raincoat on a sunny day may be potential shoplifters. Watch the eyes, hands, and body. Professional shoplifters avoid looking at merchandise and concentrate on searching for store employees who might observe their activities. Shoplifters movements might be unusual as they try to conceal merchandise.