Key Concepts All Grocery Store Management Should Know

Whether in charge of a small, individually-owned grocery store or one that is part of a larger chain, managing a grocery store successfully involves considerable responsibility. Grocery store managers must ensure that the store runs smoothly, that items are priced competitively and that customers are satisfied. Having a thorough understanding of key concepts involved in effective grocery store management is imperative for any manager dedicated to the success of his store.


Particularly if you manage a small grocery store, inventory requires more than simply keeping enough of every item in stock. Customers regularly come into the store with requests for items, and you must determine whether the cost of carrying that item is worth keeping a customer. Managers must study trends pertaining to which items sell best in the store and which items sit on the shelves. Special inventory tracking systems complete the analysis for managers, but they must decide what effect the data should have on regular ordering and what items are kept in stock.


Store and department managers must make merchandising a focus of their job in order to increase sales. Displays must be visually appealing and products you want to push should sit at eye-level and on end caps. Commonly purchased items, such as milk and bread, should be placed near the back of the store to require customers to pass by other product to get to them, usually adding items to their carts on the way. Work with manufacturers to secure discounts on popular products in exchange for prime space in the store.

Coupons, Specials and Promotions

Coupons, specials and promotions draw customers into the store. As using coupons becomes a bigger trend, managers must adjust ordering in order to meet demand. The store’s coupon policies must be adjusted to avoid losing large amounts of profit. Managers must carefully consider whether the number of customers a special or promotion draws into the store will be offset by the money lost. A manager’s special may draw customer attention to a slow-moving item that would otherwise sit on a shelf, while heavily discounting a popular item may only draw one-time customers into the store and significantly cut profits.


Scheduling may prove to be a challenge for managers. Managers must analyze traffic in the store to determine key business hours. More employees should be scheduled during peak hours of the day to keep checkout lines short and customer service centers fully staffed. If a customer regularly faces long lines at a grocery store, he may take his business elsewhere. Managers must also hire reliable employees. If an employee regularly calls off, the manager or another employee must pick up the shift.