Many studies show that the produce department is one of the top factors customers consider when choosing a grocery store. Since the produce department is usually the first department customers see upon entering a store, it is clear that a strong produce manager is key to the success of any store. The following are some of the attributes of successful produce managers.
- They will have a fully engaged owner or store manager Produce managers, like any other employee, will rise to the level of the expectations of the store manager or owner. The foundation of this relationship is a set of clearly defined expectations related to department standards and conditions. The bar should be set high and the produce manager should know what is expected. It is also important to regularly “inspect what you expect”. At a minimum this should include a morning walk through and several impromptu department walks throughout the day, always looking at the department through the eyes of a customer. A passive, disengaged owner or store manager will never have a top-notch produce department.
- Passionate about customer service Unlike the grocery department, which relies upon efficiency and production, a good produce department will be highly interactive with customers. A produce manager who is outgoing by nature and who enjoys engaging others will be best equipped to provide excellent customer service and to train and teach employees.
- Inquisitive and eager to learn The produce department is arguably the most complicated department in the store with a supply chain that spans the world and every item having its own set of unique characteristics. Because of this a produce manager must always be learning and seeking something new to bring to their produce department.
- Willing to take risks The modern produce department often rewards the risk taking produce manager with sales results that are far beyond what the risk adverse produce manager can achieve. This means not being afraid to build that big display and accepting a certain amount of loss as part of the territory.
How about you? Do you fall into the category of a progressive successful manager yourself? Or are you attracting this type of leader to your management team?