Skills Sales Supervisor - Retail near Calgary (AB)

Find out what skills you typically need to work as a sales supervisor - retail in Canada. These skills are applicable to all Retail sales supervisors (NOC 6211).

Skills and knowledge

The following skills and knowledge are usually required in this occupation.

Essential skills

See how the 9 essential skills apply to this occupation. This section will be updated soon.

  • Read instructions and other text on labels and packaging, e.g. read instructions about the care of fabrics on labels. (1)
  • Read short notes from staff, e.g. read short messages to learn about requests for time-off and holidays. (1)
  • Read email messages and bulletins, e.g. read notices from the head office to learn about changes to operating procedures and the installation of new software. (2)
  • Read newspaper advertisements and flyers to maintain current knowledge of trends and competitors' marketing activities. (2)
  • Read letters, e.g. read letters of praise and complaint from customers to learn about satisfaction levels and areas for improvement. (2)
  • Read job applications and resumes, job descriptions and employee performance evaluations. (3)
  • Read a variety of manuals, e.g. read manuals to learn how to operate point-of-sale equipment. (3)
  • May read regulations, e.g. read labour laws and workers' compensation legislation to learn about regulations governing items, such as wages, hours of work, statutory holidays and workplace safety. (4)
  • May read legal contracts, e.g. read purchase and lease agreements to learn about the terms and conditions of contracts. (4)
Document use
  • Locate data, such as dates, sizes, codes, costs and quantities, on price tags, product labels, receipts and electronic monitors, e.g. locate dress sizes on product labels. (1)
  • May use basic assembly drawings to service point-of-sale equipment, e.g. refer to assembly drawings to learn how to replace spooled paper. (1)
  • Enter and locate data in lists and tables, e.g. enter information, such as names and times, in work schedules and locate prices and mark-ups in catalogues and price lists. (2)
  • Complete a variety of forms including purchase orders, packing slips, special order forms and bank deposit forms. (2)
  • Study vendor catalogues, e.g. read online catalogues to determine the availability of products and their sizes, colours and costs. (2)
  • Locate data on graphs, e.g. scan bar and pie charts to locate information about sales completed and market shares achieved. (3)
  • Interpret planograms, e.g. use planograms to determine how display areas are to be set-up and see the dimensions of various components. (3)
  • Enter short comments on a variety of forms, e.g. write comments on purchase orders to specify delivery requirements. (1)
  • Write reminders and short notes, e.g. write short notes to co-workers to explain special orders and on cards to thank customers. (1)
  • Write email messages, e.g. write email messages to request information and confirm the details of upcoming activities. (2)
  • Write memos and notices to inform employees about matters, such as upcoming sales promotions and changes to operating procedures. (2)
  • May write detailed statements for law enforcement personnel and insurance adjusters to describe events involving thefts and hostile customers. (3)
  • May write reports, e.g. write reports to present the outcomes of sales promotions and recommendations for future campaigns. (3)
  • Write letters of discipline and performance evaluations detailing the actions and performance of employees under their supervision. (3)
  • May write newspaper advertisements and articles for internal newsletters. (3)
  • May write job descriptions for new positions and write modifications to existing job descriptions. (3)
  • May write detailed reports, e.g. write reports that highlight their stores' activities and outline plans for future undertakings. (4)
  • May handle cash, credit card, debit card and gift card transactions and provide change. (1)
  • Measure floor spaces in order to plan the placement of display items. (1)
  • May measure products, such as the length of sleeves and the thickness of lumber. (1)
  • Analyze statistics to determine sales trends and the effect of promotions. (1)
  • May calculate discounts, taxes and currency exchanges. (2)
  • May balance accounts at the end of shifts. (2)
  • May manage budgets for petty cash purchases. (2)
  • Prepare employee schedules. They consider time-off requests, the availability of staff and staffing requirements. (2)
  • May calculate quantities, such as the amount of inventory needed for promotions. (2)
  • Calculate performance indicators, such as average sales per hour, sales per employee and sales per store. (2)
  • Estimate the length of time before stock will need to be reordered. (2)
  • Estimate the length of time needed to complete projects, such as organizing and setting up displays. (2)
  • May assist in the creation of marketing and operating budgets. (3)
  • Prepare sales and inventory reports and calculate gross margins on sales. (3)
  • Analyze financial data to determine turns, product demand and sales by category. (3)
  • Analyze sales, inventory and slippage data to establish variances and losses due to spoilage and theft. (3)
Oral communication
  • May use public address systems to announce specials and page customers and staff. (1)
  • Talk to suppliers and manufacturers to learn about products and their availabilities. (2)
  • Discuss day-to-day operational matters with staff, e.g. discuss upcoming promotions and changes to operating procedures. (2)
  • May talk with customers to discuss their shopping needs, e.g. explain to customers the benefits and features of various products and services. (2)
  • Provide detailed instructions, e.g. explain sales techniques to new staff. (3)
  • Lead meetings, e.g. lead start-of-day sales meetings to discuss concerns, motivate staff and share success stories. (3)
  • Discuss job performance with staff, e.g. speak to staff about their performance and offer suggestions for improvement and encouragement as required. (3)
  • Speak with dissatisfied customers, e.g. speak with customers who are unhappy with the services they received to learn about their concerns and negotiate resolutions. (3)
  • Discuss sales strategies with managers, e.g. discuss the outcomes of promotions with managers and brainstorm new ideas. (3)
  • May negotiate settlements and agreements, e.g. negotiate settlement terms with vendors and the cost of leasehold improvements with landlords. (4)
  • Decide the percentage discount to offer on damaged products. They consider the degree of damage and their companies' policies. (1)
  • Evaluate the performance of equipment, such as point-of-sale equipment. (1)
  • Encounter equipment malfunctions, e.g. discover that point-of-sale equipment is not working. They complete the transactions manually and use other equipment. They troubleshoot the faults and fix the machines if possible. They contact equipment repairers if they cannot repair the equipment themselves. (2)
  • Discover products are out of stock. They contact suppliers and arrange for expedited delivery of the product. Workers with retail chains contact managers at other locations to arrange for in-store transfers. (2)
  • Encounter dissatisfied customers. They speak with the customers about their concerns and attempt to negotiate resolutions by offering discounts, refunds and gift certificates as warranted. (2)
  • Discover conflicts between staff. They meet with the staff members to learn about the issue and suggest resolutions. They issue warnings and disciplinary actions in situations where conflict persists. (2)
  • Select staff schedules, e.g. select staffs' hours of work based on scheduling needs and individual performance. (2)
  • Select reward and disciplinary measures, e.g. select reward measures for staff members who provide exemplary customer service. (2)
  • May decide which items to stock and where to display them. They consider margins and the product's rate of turn. (2)
  • Evaluate the severity of workplace hazards and risks. (2)
  • Judge the condition of products being returned for refunds. They consider signs of wear and tear and the condition of packaging. (2)
  • Evaluate the performance of staff. They consider their customer service skills, attitudes and sales records. (2)
  • May evaluate the performance of sales promotions. They consider the revenues generated and the money and effort spent on marketing activities. (2)
  • Locate information about sales promotions by reading sales materials and by speaking with co-workers and representatives employed by suppliers and manufacturers. (2)
  • Locate information about the operation of point-of-sales equipment by speaking with manufacturers and suppliers and by reading instruction manuals. (2)
  • Make hiring decisions, e.g. decide which job applicants to hire using information collected from resumes, references and job interviews. (3)
  • May set margins and sales targets, e.g. set sales targets by considering the value proposition of products, marketing budgets and effort required. (3)
  • Set their own priorities, taking into consideration company objectives. While they do determine the order of tasks that will lead to greatest efficiency, they face constant challenges that lead to frequent reordering of tasks. Since they handle multiple tasks simultaneously, they must be flexible and able to adjust their daily work plans. Co-ordination with others and effective time management are also important when, for example, dealing with the unannounced visit of a vendor. While most planning is short to medium range in scope, they also work with senior managers on long range planning related to business planning and budgeting. (3)
  • Find out about job applicants by interviewing them and their references and by reading resumes and covering letters. (3)
Digital technology
  • May use text messaging applications to exchange information, such as shift schedules, with co-workers. (1)
  • May operate point-of-sale equipment, such as electronic cash registers, bar scanners, scales and touch-screens to complete sales. (1)
  • May use electronic office equipment, such as printers, scanners, fax machines, copiers and postage meters. (1)
  • Operate hand-held devices, such as laser radio terminals, to enter data, scan bar codes and transmit information to online databases. (1)
  • Use word processing software to write performance appraisals and reports. (2)
  • May use spreadsheets to record and track costs, sales, turns and stock shrinkage. (2)
  • May use graphics software to create slide presentations for use during sales and training meetings. (2)
  • May use accounting and retail management software to input inventories, costs and receivables and to generate sales summaries and income and expense statements. (2)
  • May use communication software to exchange email with customers, suppliers and co-workers. (2)
  • Use the Internet to access trade publications and supplier websites for information about trends, product specifications and costs. (2)
  • May use the Internet to access blogs and Web forums where they seek and offer advice about fashion and product trends. (2)
  • May use the Internet to access training courses and seminars offered by trainers, suppliers, employers and associations. (2)
  • May use spreadsheets to create promotion and operating budgets. (3)
Additional informationWorking with Others

Retail trade supervisors are team leaders within their stores. Their team extends to the whole store in smaller establishments and covers one or more departments in larger companies. Retail trade supervisors mainly work independently, co-ordinating their activities with store staff and with company personnel beyond their own store's boundaries. An important focus of their leadership is working with others to carry out the activities of the business plan as it goes through its various revisions. They serve on a variety of committees, either as members or as chairpersons.

Continuous Learning

Retail trade supervisors learn continuously on the job. They take a variety of company sponsored training courses in retail subjects and in computer applications and may take university courses related to marketing and human resource management. They gain product knowledge through networking with vendors and attending trade shows. They keep up-to-date in their field by reading magazines and reports related to their retail specialties.

Labour Market Information Survey
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