Career Planning

RETAILING IN ACTION  A.2: The Store Management Option at Clover Discount Stores

Promotion to Assistant Store Manager usually takes two to three years after being hired. Each Clover Store has two Assistant Store Manager.

The Assistant Store Manager-Merchandise is responsible for the successful operation of one to three merchandise departments of the store. Primary duties are: supervise and train all merchandise Department Managers; make certain that merchandise displays of advertised items are ready; approve and assure accuracy of merchandise paperwork and implement price changes; organize inventories, and act as liaison between the store and the buyers at corporate headquarters.

The other Assistant Store Manager is responsible for Personnel and Operations. Personnel responsibilities are: employment and discipline, benefits administration, wage and salary administration, and safety. Operations responsibilities are: Receiving, Security, Customer Service, Food Service, budgeting and control of expenses, maintenance of building and property, and housekeeping.

The greatest responsibility - and reward - comes with promotion to Store Manager. This promotion usually occurs after five to seven years of experience. Prior to such promotion, it is customary to have experience in both Assistant Store Manager positions. The Store Manager has the ultimate responsibility for the profitability of an 85,000 square foot store employing approximately 150 people doing a multi-million dollar annual business.

Based on information provided by Clover Discount Stores

Specialty Stores.

Specialty stores, such as The Limited, The Gap, and Toys "R" Us, now offer college graduates career opportunities that were not available twenty years ago. As with discount and department stores, career paths can be found in both store and merchandising management. However, specialty stores provide many more opportunities in store management. A typical career path for a college graduate starting with The Gap is shown in Exhibit A.5. The first Gap store was opened in a converted warehouse in San Francisco, carrying only jeans and records. Today, there are over 900 stores. Because of rapid growth, it is easier to climb the corporate ladder. Opportunities exist at other specialty store chains as well.

Other Forms of Retailing.

There are career opportunities in other forms of retailing. An opportunity exists with restaurant chains. Exhibit A.6 indicates the career opportunities at Hardee's, the number 3 fast food hamburger restaurant chain. There are many opportunities in fast food retailing, and you can be making $60,000 in as little as five years, if you are on the fast track.

EXHIBIT A.6  The fast track to success at Hardee's.
Hardee's is one of the nation's largest fast-food hamburger restaurant chains.  In real growth, Hardee's is outpacing the other "burger giants."  The chain needs good managers to keep pace with that growth, and that means more management opportunities.  Hardee's continues to set new records in customer traffic, revenues, and sales. 

College graduates will continue to develop their professional skills in management, leadership, sales development, and quality control.  In 1987, Hardee's opened a Management Development Center in Whitakers, North Carolina, to provide this training and to strengthen and broaden career opportunities. 

Many management career options are available with Hardee's.  While a college degree isn't required, many of the managers are degreed professionals.  Virtually all upper-level career paths begin with on-the-job experience as an assistant manager, then manager, supplemented by thorough training at the Management Development Center.  Many of the corporate officers began their career in restaurant management. 

As a restaurant manager, you will be like the president of your own company, in charge of operations, marketing, and people.  From there you can move into district management or into a specialized field such as operations, marketing, finance, personnel, architecture, engineering, construction, training, or product development.  It's an environment full of of personal satisfaction.  This can translate into more rewards and opportunities for early advancement.


Your resume has a two-fold purpose -- it should tell prospective employers what you can do for them and it should get them to like you.

The first section of the job resume should stress your objectives in seeking a position. A resume should encompass your educational background, work experience, other related college activities, and references. A well-written resume will emphasize your strengths and project a favorable image to the prospective employer. See Exhibit A.7 for an illustration of the components of a resume. Since most employers receive many resumes, it is important to prepare a resume that is to the point and brief. Usually, a one page resume will suffice. Retailing in Action A.3 presents many hints for writing a resume that will attract an employer's attention.

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