Many companies are now being forced to tighten their sustainability policies in the wake of the United Nations Climate Conference (COP26) which was held in Glasgow. By expanding their skills and knowledge, fashion professionals can contribute to an environmentally responsible fashion industry. FashionUnited today outlines the profile for tomorrow’s shop manager.
The store manager is responsible for the day-to-day management, administration, and commercial activities that ensure the smooth operation of the store. To satisfy customers and keep them coming back, to make the store more appealing, or to motivate employees, they need new skills.
A May 2021 study listed the skills needed to be a store manager of tomorrow. The study entitled “Trading in light of sustainability: implications jobs and skills” was commissioned from sixteen sectors. It was conducted by the Observatoire prospectif de commerce in collaboration with French government.
The French study’s conclusions are applicable internationally and indicate that shop managers should be able:
- Incorporate environmental and financial objectives into the business’s overall economic strategy.
- Create innovative customer experiences like DIY, zero waste, and product sustainability.
- Enhance the environmental performance of your store.
- Promote more environmentally-friendly products at events and in commercial activities.
- Optimizing store stock according to a zero-waste objective
- Find ways to recycle products that are no longer in use.
The store manager must be able to understand environmental regulations, as well as future regulations.
How can store managers be trained?
The Observatoire prospectif du commerce recommends that employees receive additional training to help them acquire the skills they need to make the sector more sustainable. It mentions four modules regarding the role of store manager.
- Awareness module about environmental issues in retail. Possible alternatives: new regulations; recovery of unsold products; zero waste.
- Training in sustainable product procurement (labels, certification, sourcing and traceability, sustainability of the products, environmental impact).
- Courses on sustainable logistics and environmental aspects of transporting and storing goods.
- Training in the repair and reuse of damaged or unsold products.