Area Manager, Retail

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Founded in 1946 and headquartered in Charlotte, NC, Discovery Place brings science, nature, and design together to create transformative experiences that enable the community to understand, enjoy, and apply science to their lives. Through a network of four hands-on museums in three cities, plus virtual and in person learning experiences outside of our Museums, Discovery Place is a leader in STEM education. Discovery Place serves over 750,000 people a year, shaping a future where people embrace science to create opportunities, build hope, solve problems, and bring positive change for our world.

Our retail experience:
While experiencing any one of our Museums, visitors are able to purchase specially curated products to support their continued learning outside of our Museums. The revenues from these purchases are invested into helping our team deliver STEM learning across the community. We aspire to curate retail offerings that are relevant and attractive to each Museum’s target audience and align with our organization’s values.

Our values:
• Science leads us
• Equity drives us
• Integrity guides us
• Innovation energizes us

Job summary:
The ideal candidate is an experienced retail professional with initiative and an entrepreneurial spirit to re-imagine the retail experience at our four Museums and eventually online. The candidate must be passionate about the Museum’s mission and experienced in creating an environment that activates the customer’s desire to buy goods from Discovery Place. The Area Manager will be accountable for the success of the stores, including curating products, vendor management, driving sales and profitability, and directing all aspects of store operations (inventory management, customer service training, etc.). In the future, the retail manager will also be engaged in launching e-commerce retail offerings.

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Responsibilities:
Innovation
• Working with Senior Leadership, establish a vision for the Discovery Place retail offerings that align with our mission, core values and business goals
• Identify vendors and curate products that are aligned to the retail vision for each Museum
• In partnership with our exhibits team, create a retail experience (including displays, signage and POS) at each Museum to make retail offerings attractive to visitors
• Establish and continuously refine the process for receiving inventory, entering into POS, pricing and merchandising
• Source inventory that aligns to special exhibits and events at each Museum (special exhibits this year include space travel, mental health, unseen oceans)
• Stay informed of market and retail trends in the Museum sector and beyond
Relationship management
• Manage retail vendor relationships to ensure the best rates on products, shipping, and payment terms
• Maintain relationships and create open communications with the Directors at each Museum to ensure retail sales and logistics are meeting their expectations
• Handle feedback and complaints from customers
Science
• Achieve per cap goals (i.e., average amount spent per Visitor) established for each Museum
• Source inventory that aligns to special exhibits at each Museum
• Define, design and implement creative visual displays
• Be willing to experiment and take small risks in trying new products and vendors that could have a large return
• Manage levels and distribution of stock
• Monitor customers and use the data to inform future purchases
• Assess sales performance of different ranges and make recommendations for promotions/price reductions as appropriate

Qualifications:
• Proven successful retail management experience (3-5 Years) including staff management, sourcing products, pricing & merchandising
• Ability to solve problems, balancing excellent customer service with the company’s bottom line
• Knowledge of Microsoft Windows and POS systems
• Ability to create processes and consistently refine
• Build relationships both externally and internally
• Use data to make informed recommendations and decisions
• Effective communication at all levels (including the ability to adapt your communication to the situation)
• Visual merchandising and commercial awareness

Working environment:
• At Discovery Place, we manage the outcomes of your work and how you are achieving your goals versus the number of hours you spend in the office.
• This position will require the candidate to spend time at each Museum and in our head office
• Must have ability to travel to all Museums
• While performing the duties of this job, the employee is occasionally required to remain in a stationary position, walk, reach, reach, with hands and arms, push, pull, grasp (simple/power), twist (neck/waist), stoop, bend, and kneel
• The employee is occasionally required to sit
• The employee constantly positions him/herself, including under counters, fixtures or in storage areas to operate a variety of office machines, such as a cash register, computer, fax machine, calculator, computer printer, etc.; stock merchandise on shelves, counters and tables, handle inventory, clean the store, etc
• The employee is required to consistently move about inside the store to greet and sell to clients, stock, or arrange merchandise, inventory; clean the store, etc
• The employee frequently ascends/descends a mobile ladder or step stool to access shelves, stock shelves, arrange merchandise, clean the store, etc
• The employee must be able to regularly lift and/or move up to 50 pounds, carrying at a specified distance dependent on work area, or use the Buddy System, e.g., soliciting assistance from a co-worker

Travel percentage:
Up to 20% (across our four Museums).

Supervisory responsibilities:
Minimal at the start with opportunity to build a team. All retail sales associates will report to the individual Museum directors.