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An area manager oversees operations at several locations within the same region. This member of the management staff has authority over individual store, warehouse, and other facility managers, and typically works under direction from executive personnel. Experience in the industry is usually required, with many employers wanting job candidates who have at least four years of management experience. A college degree can also be helpful, although it may not be required for all positions.
In some cases, an area manager also personally oversees one facility, acting as the manager for day to day activities. Daily management duties may include hiring and firing staff, training, and making sure company policies are upheld at all times. These can involve appearance standards for employees as well as customer service policies. Working in management on the ground can keep the area manager familiar with the job responsibilities and issues people may face at other locations.
On site visits, the area manager audits a facility to make sure it is being run appropriately. These visits may be unscheduled, to provide an opportunity to see how people work when they are not expecting a visit. Area managers may ask to review records, examine offices, and watch people as they work on the floor. They identify any violations of company policy, like people who don’t follow the dress code, improperly secured cash registers, and other issues. Additionally, they can meet with the individual store manager and other high-ranking staff to discuss any problems and work on a resolution.
Individual profits can also be a concern for an area manager. Stores expect the management staff to place and handle products appropriately for maximum sales. This can include developing strategic sales plans, marketing schemes, and other programs to increase customer interest. The area manager may work with other managers in the area on promotions, as well as workshops and trainings to ensure consistency across the chain of stores and develop ideas for improving sales and customer service experiences.
Higher-ups in the management chain may request periodic reports from an area manager. These can include detailed financial reporting on different stores, as well as discussions on staffing, issues that have arisen, and marketing strategies. Area managers may be required to attend events like conferences with other managers, training sessions to implement new procedures, and retreats to discuss management techniques and company values. Professional development can also include subscribing to industry publications and attending outside training opportunities.