Tips for Tomorrow's Fashion Retail Managers


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by Sarah Faulkner
Fashion School Review Columnist

May 9, 2007


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If you want to become a fashion retail manager, know that it can't be strappy Jimmy Choos, fur wraps and DF wrap dresses all the time! As a fashion retail manager, you have to oversee all stock, buy merchandise, and call on all your marketing skills to create an attractive store layout. Most importantly, your duties as a manager require you to supervise employees. Here are some tips for running a smooth, positive, fabulously fashionable operation.

Keep the Lines of Communication Open
Fewer problems arise in the workplace when you are forthright and honest with your employees.

  • To keep morale high, make a point to ask your employees for their opinions and advice.
  • Practice straightforward communication with all workers. In fashion retail, there's no room for favoritism.
  • When a problem arises, don't be afraid to confront it. Sweeping a problem under the rug only ensures that it will resurface later.

Curb the Complainers
Learn how to control your employees' complaints and negativity.

  • Advise your employees to practice creative ignoring, that is, remaining detached when surrounded by negative gossip and grievances. Agreeing with complainers often eggs them on.
  • If presented with an employee complaint, try to counter with a positive observation. Often, using this technique can stop a complainer in his tracks.
  • Ask the complainer what he or she would do in your position. This causes reflection and compassion.

The best retail managers predict problems before they arise. Predicative management means being able to identify why certain protocols failed, and how to correct negative patterns. Retail managers who wish to advance their fashion careers should never let urgency strip them of their diplomatic and analytical skills.



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About the Author
Sarah Faulkner teaches composition at Texas State University, San Marcos. Her previous resume includes covering municipal politics for The San Francisco Bay Guardian, and news and features for various bi-weekly newspapers. Sarah holds a B.A. in English fr

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