A retail front end supervisor is primarily responsible for the functioning of the retail store that services the customer. The front end refers to the area where all merchandise is displayed for customer purchase. The supervisor is required to manage a team of sales associates and cashiers in the implementation of company customer service policies. A high school diploma is the minimum education requirement, though competition for retail supervisory positions is high and significant work experience in a variety of front end roles, such as cashier and sales associate, is necessary.
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The front end supervisor is responsible for communicating the customer needs, in terms of inventory, to the back end supervisor. Ensuring that retail products are stocked, store displays are appealing and that front end team members are providing customer assistance concerning retail products.
Administratively, the front end supervisor may be responsible for the hiring and training of new employees. He may need to maintain work schedule records and provide employees with new schedules on a weekly basis. A monthly inventory check may also be necessary.
In terms of customer service, front end supervisors are responsible for responding to customer inquiries, orders, complaints and may help with purchases.
A front end supervisor must have excellent communication skills, as the ability to implement and manage store policies is highly dependent upon this skill. Excellent teamwork and management skills are a must.
Education and Prior Experience
Often, a high school diploma is the minimum academic credentials, though significant retail work experience is required in order for advancement to a supervisory position. As competition for retail supervisory positions has been high, candidates with a college degree and previous experience in customer service are preferred. Those with a diverse retail experience as sales cashiers, sales and customer service representatives are the most desirable.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the projected job growth for this occupation was 5 per cent for 2008 to 2018. This is much slower than average growth for all other occupations and job competition was expected to be high. This, almost stagnant, growth was due to an increase in responsibilities to existing retail workers and supervisors and a downturn in the consumer economy.
According to Indeed.com, the median salary for a retail front end supervisor is £22,100, as of April 2010.
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