Internal Approach for Chern’s Department Stores with Focus on Superior Customer Service

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Updated: Jun 19, 2022
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The Flagship store for Chern’s Department store is in the need of a new store manager. This manager will be responsible for 150 full time sales positions, 50 Part time sales positions and 520 non sales positions. This store has the most focus of the CEO, Ryan Chern and COO, Ann Chern. In the following analysis it will be discussed of the correct approach for this position will be an internal or external hire. Also, what the steps are in order to best get this person transitioned into the role to be successful.

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There is an 18-month timeline that must be met due to the departure of the current Sales Manager. Along with a recommendation if the hire will be internal or external. There is also a need to be able to measure the success of the new manager by implementing Key Performance Indictors (KPIs) to track their success. Lastly, we will present a job description and competencies that this individual must meet. The goal is to hire an individual who can encompass the entire cultural of Chern’s especially their large focus on superior customer service, along with providing an increase in the overall revenue of the flagship store.

The Internal Approach for a Chern Store Manager

When a critical position opens up within a company, it is important to determine exactly how that position is going to be filled. Who would be the right candidate and where will the come from? Along with these questions, it is also critical to understand how the transition will be approached in order to set them up this person for success. A job requisition and qualifications need to be created in order for it to be clear what is needed from this individual and make sure this is they are the right fit job, group and organization fit. For the Store Manager at the flagship Chern store, the store manager should be hired internally, and a process will be suggested to be put into place, so this type of vacant position is fully vetted in the future. Along with hiring internally, Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) will be discussed to track the success of not only this individually directly but their leadership at this store location. Their leadership and what they can pass down to their different sales positions is key for them to be successful. An 18-month timeline will be established in order for the transition to be fully completed prior to the departure of the existing store manager. With all of these processes in place, we will be able to have an individual who encompasses the values and culture of the Chern store and be successful.

Chern has a strong history of hiring internal candidates, currently 80% of the sales managers were once a sales associate (Phillips, 2015). This is in part due to their strong cultural which makes their stores successful. An external hire would not have this knowledge of the cultural. Although they could bring in new thoughts or challenge current process, this is not the right fit for Chern’s. The internal candidates reinforce their beliefs and their values. It is also easier to reach internal candidates who can be selected based on job skill assessments, mentoring programs or overall recommendations. It would be able to reach out to someone who is a passive job seeker internally, then one external. Also, when an external candidate is hired there is extensive training which must take place in order for them to understand these core values, which is a cost to the company. By hiring internal there does not need to be this additional cost associated with the hire.

Internal hires not only know the cultural which is a big fit, but it is easy to understand their current performance and to have a sound understanding of how they fit to the company. There is not that question of how their will perform or if they are the right fit or not. With an external hire this is unknown until they are seen in the role. This is a risk associated with external hires that due to the length of the transition period (18 months) Chern’s does not have time to mitigate. Along with understanding their performance there are also past performance reviews with input from different individuals to reference where their strengths and weaknesses are. An internal candidate also can decrease the amount of time it takes to hire someone since the vetting process is a lot less intense due to all the other things already in place. Overall, an internal candidate is the current approach for Chern and goes along with their current hiring goals. The next step is finding the right candidate from the current Chern staff.

There are many ways to find internal candidates and there would be a need for help from different individuals. The first approach would to speak directly to the existing store manager and ask if he has any suggestion. Due to the nature of the flagship store, and the heavy transparency within the store, it is important that this individual is prepared for that. The store manager may have had individuals who he has mentored in the past that would be a good fit for the role and the store location. A mentoring program would have allowed the store manager to speak to the individual outside of a formal interview setting and to understand their career goals. Not only should the individual be the right fit, but their career goals also have to align to the job. If a mentoring program was not set up previously, it should be a mandatory step for the future. This would be a mandatory step so in the future if the store manager is to leave the company or find a neither position internally there would be individuals they could reference.

Another area of focus that Ann could leverage while searching for a candidate would be an internal job assessment that could be conducted by human resources or may have been in the past. The assessment would give an understanding of the skills and qualities of the individuals that are applying for the store manager role or potentially provide insight on individuals that have no initially applied for the role. The internal job assessment could also be started if it was not already in order to find the right fit for this position. Once the assessment was analyzed these individuals could be reached out to and be directly interview starting with the current store manager to understand fit. This would allow individuals to be considered who are passive job seekers.

Once the internal candidate is interviewed not only by the current Store Manager, Ann Chern and other department managers they will be offered the position. When the start their new role as the Store Manager, they will first work directly with the existing store manager. The existing store manager will set up ongoing training session that can happen immediately. These training sessions will require ongoing conversations and hands on experience. The existing Store Manager will also have ongoing touch points with Ann Chern in order for her to understand the transition and how training overall is going. These will occur for the first 6 months of the transitions, with the current Store Manager still acting as the manager and the new Store Manager acting as their backup. Once the first six months of training has been completed.

Ann Chern and the existing store manager will sign off on the new Store Manager fully going into their new role, they will become the acting store manager. At this point they can start to put their own spin on the role but will have the old store manager as their mentor for 6 months. The old store manager will have ongoing meetings to provide a more consultation role as they are taking over. Ann Chern and the new Store Manager will also set up ongoing one on ones to discuss their ideas and their thoughts for the flagship store. Once the training is over at 12 months, the existing store manager can fully retire. The old store manager being a part of this transitions is key to the success of the new store manager and allows for a very gradual transition so the change can be understood and accepted.

As the new store manager fully transitions into the role Key Performance Indictors needs to be established in order to measure their success not only individually but as a store manager. These metrics must be measured about show their success over a month to year period. One of the KPIs that is suggested to put into place is a 3% of increase in sales in the first year. This will allow for Ann to see the impact that the store manager has on all areas under them and how their impact is shaping the flagship store’s sales. The next KPI that is suggested to be established is around percentage of inventory misses. It is a core value of Chern’s to have the correct inventory in stock for their customers, and this must be a focus from top down. If inventory is not correct it is to be entered into the inventory system to make note of.

The new store manager needs to make this a priority to not only enter it into the system but also continuous monitor it and put those missing items into action. The last KPI which would be initiated for the first year is around customer satisfaction surveys. As customer service is a core value as well for Chern’s it is key to ensure that customer satisfaction is not changing just because the store manager has changed. This rating should be monitored and not should not show any downwards slopes. Overall KPIs will help Ann to establish an understanding of the performance of the new store manager and take provide coaching where and when needed.

The last suggested process to put into place, is for the future. When the new Store manager wishes to move on from this role whether it be for a new job internally or leaving the company, Chern needs to be better prepared. The suggestion is to set up a succession plan for this role that is actively worked. The Store Manager will be responsible for these tasks. It could start as mentoring with other department managers, store managers, assistant managers or even lower level employees. The Store Manager would then set up a succession plan which they should confirm with Ann Chern. Ann should have said into this succession plan and may have input herself. Once the succession plan is completed this should be reviewed with Human Resources and stored with them. Although, this is an important task and takes a lot of up-front work, it is important to note that this is a living breathing document and must be treated as such. This means it must be updated as necessary and should not go out of date or have people mentioned that are no longer at the company. This type of succession planning is setting up the flagship store and Chern’s overall for continued success.

Job Requisition and Competencies

Leadership Competencies:

• Builds Winning Teams – Develops talent by creating engaged, inclusive and diverse teams who are empowered to speak freely and act with integrity while leading a team of over 600+ employees

• Leads Effective Change – Recognizes the need for, takes personal accountability to adapt, and leads others through organizational change

• Drives for results – demonstrates energy and a desire to succeed; follows through on commitments; pushes self and others to deliver exceptional results

• Establishes vision and purpose – creates a compelling vision of the future and translates it into action, linking others’ contributions to the success of Chern

• Delegation – understanding the need to effectively delegate a task to others and the ability to empower and motivate associates to take over tasks and responsibilities to accomplish results for which the manager maintains ultimate accountability

• Proficient in MS Products, Human Resource Tools, Point of Sales systems, Perpetual Inventory System

• Minimum of 8 years of luxury retail management experience

• BA preferred

• Possess exemplary customer service, greeting customers in a positive, upbeat and friendly manner

Job Requisition

Position Overview:

At Chern’s Flagship store the most important differentiator is the superior customer service that we provide. The Store Manager would help to deliver this superior experience for our customers. The Store Manager would be located at the FlagShip store located in Philadelphia, PA.

Job Profile:

• Being all about the team—You’ll teach, inspire and motivate employees to reach company goals while coaching and developing them so they are ready to take on larger positions.

• Lead the business of selling by directing the education and expectation of the Department Managers to be effective at teaching the selling process.

• Creating an environment centered on making every customer happy by providing superior customer service.

• Understanding your customers’ needs and partnering with merchants to ensure you have that merchandise on the floor.

• Establish and maintain strong partnership with Retail Directors and respective merchant teams.

• Manager to ensure the proper inventory levels & mix at all times.

• Develop salespeople, assistants and department managers to become promotable

• Lead change when change is necessary to do what’s right for the customer.

• Lead, train and execute best practices around the use of systems and tools to manage inventory, gain efficiencies and drive sales

• Recruit, hire and develop an effective team of goal-oriented employees that deliver outstanding service

• Manage financial aspects and budgets to drive efficiencies and continuous improvement within the store


Chern’s flagship store is one of the largest stores with the main focus of the CEO, Ryan and COO Ann. The Store Manager needs to be an individual who can continuously focus on the core values and superior customer service that makes defines Chern’s department stores and makes them stand out from the rest. The recommendation is to hire this person internally, as those values have already been practiced by these individuals and will not be new. The individual could be selected from a mentoring program from the old Store Manager or from HR directly due to the Job Assessments that they will launch internally. A training period will need to be set up once the hire is completed, where six months there is a hands-on approach and the new store manager is learning.

The preceding six months the new store manager will be in the driver’s seat and be able to make the changes they see fit, while having the old store manager and Ann as their ongoing mentor. In order to prevent this issue from occurring again, a succession plan must be started by the new store manager and an ongoing mentoring relationship. Key Performance Indictors will be put into place to ensure that there is a focus on how the store manager is delivering and that the flagship store is excelling in revenue, inventory success and overall customer satisfaction. With all of the new processes put into place, along with the training portion executed, the new store manager will be successful in their role.

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Internal Approach For Chern's Department Stores With Focus On Superior Customer Service. (2022, Jun 19). Retrieved from