Retail shift supervisors play an important role in the majority of retail storefronts. These individuals are the primary persons responsible for oversight of a retail store’s staff during a particular assigned shift. Because the duration and timing of shifts varies according to a number of factors - including the industry, store setting, owner policies, and hours of business - retail shift supervisors generally cannot expect uniformity of work schedules among positions from store to store. Additionally, depending on store-specific policies, retail shift supervisors might work a changing schedule of opening, closing, and mid-day shifts.
As the supervisor of the store’s staff during a shift, retail shift supervisors hold a variety of responsibilities. Foremost is making sure that customers are satisfied and that their needs are met through the actions of the staff. This involves tasks such as complaint resolution, clarification of store policies, and acting as an expert on the products or services the store sells. In addition, retail shift supervisors are partially responsible for the upkeep and appearance of the physical storefront, ensuring that all corporate and/or owner expectations are satisfied. They are also often responsible for helping schedule shifts.
Most employers require that retail shift supervisors have a high school diploma or equivalent, along with experience in retail sales. Often, employers give hiring preference to candidates with more advanced degrees, such as associate’s degrees or bachelor’s degrees. In terms of skills, it is critical that retail shift supervisors are competent communicators who possess excellent leadership abilities. They must also have an aptitude for organization and time management. Further, it is important that these individuals have a deep knowledge of the products or services the store sells and the wider industry in which they work.