Financial management in a retail setting
A Marks and Spencer case study

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Page 2: Role of the manager

Marks And Spencer 4 Image 11Management can be defined as ‘getting things done with or through other people’. It involves deciding on objectives and making decisions to ensure that objectives are met. It involves planning, organising and coordinating activities. It involves controlling - making sure that things are going to plan and working with people. It is necessary, through effective communication, to make sure that people are committed to activities and the organisation.

The task of running a Marks & Spencer store is so broad-ranging that it has to be divided up into a number of different, closely co-ordinated, areas of responsibility. Dividing up an organisation is often referred to as departmentation. Stores are divided into broad sectors, each of which has its own specialism or function. Although the functions are separate, each manager works together as part of The Store Management Team.

Marks And Spencer 4 Diagram 2The Store Management Team includes a Commercial Manager, a Financial Manager and a Personnel Manager, who all report to a General Manager. They have a common goal - to improve the performance of their store by motivating and leading other people in the Store Team. Successful Store Managers come from many backgrounds, but share a willingness to move around the country – and ultimately the world - in search of the best opportunities. Their roles are briefly as follows:

Commercial Manager (selling and merchandising)

  • influences what is sold and finds ways of selling it faster
  • manages, motivates and inspires others to put their ideas into action
  • adds personal flair and imagination to tried and tested methods.

Financial Manager (influencing the profit)

  • influences the profitability of multi-million pound stores
  • interprets information on store performance and influences business decisions
  • manages financial, computer and security systems - and the people who work with them.

Personnel Manager (staffing and training)

  • ensures that staff are highly motivated and their talents are used in the most effective way
  • balances the commercial needs of the store with the needs of its staff
  • implements and manages all aspects of personnel policy from appraisal systems to training.

Marks and Spencer | Financial management in a retail setting