Archived How to have a productive closing?

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I'm new to my GSA position and I close fairly often and I wondered are there tips that I can use to help make closing easier for me. I'm work at one of top high volume stores on Long Island, New York, so the store is fairly crazy most of the time. Between back-up, speed weaving, new cashiers, cashiers that don't work,pushing red cards, ETLs, getting change and prices I'm kind of having a tough time I'm trying to prove that I can do this but the frustration is getting to me. So, advice would be so helpful.
 
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Hey, I am a GSA at a High volume store so I understand how it can always be busy. A few things that have worked for me are setting new cashiers between two older cashiers to answer questions. When I am closing I give the cashiers a walkie so they can get a hold of me, or call for their own back ups/items needed for guests. I have my SD team members work on zone. There is never a perfect close, but you can do your best!
 
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I'm no red card expert, but here's my 2 cents.

Don't be the GSA that pushes red cards on team member obnoxiously. Most team members know GSA's need cards, and honestly I'd try harder for the cooler ones, not the ones constantly reminding us obnoxiously (over the walkie and all that)
 

bullseyekindaguy

Former logistics/guest experience intern!
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I'm no red card expert, but here's my 2 cents.

Don't be the GSA that pushes red cards on team member obnoxiously. Most team members know GSA's need cards, and honestly I'd try harder for the cooler ones, not the ones constantly reminding us obnoxiously (over the walkie and all that)

I focus my attention on new TM's who are more reluctant to push RedCards.

With my other TM's, I usually keep quiet... Until I don't hear them asking. Then I'll usually say, "hey, what about those RedCards?" As long as they making an effort, I'm quiet. Of course, on slow days, I'll say something on the walkie to keep my GE-etl happy.

PS... It gets better with time. Ask other GSA's what their routines are and how they get things done.
 
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I'm no red card expert, but here's my 2 cents.

Don't be the GSA that pushes red cards on team member obnoxiously. Most team members know GSA's need cards, and honestly I'd try harder for the cooler ones, not the ones constantly reminding us obnoxiously (over the walkie and all that)

I focus my attention on new TM's who are more reluctant to push RedCards.

With my other TM's, I usually keep quiet... Until I don't hear them asking. Then I'll usually say, "hey, what about those RedCards?" As long as they making an effort, I'm quiet. Of course, on slow days, I'll say something on the walkie to keep my GE-etl happy.

PS... It gets better with time. Ask other GSA's what their routines are and how they get things done.

I dont annoy people about it I just ask them once in a while. My GSTL annoys them so I know what not to do. But it hard to learn when your GSTL is always dissappearing or always on their phone and the gsa's are a new except one but shes on a leave. My GSTL has a horrible attitude and no one does anything about it they say deal with it.
 
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Try and make a list of your daily routines, and all the things that you end up doing on a nightly basis. Then take that list and see if you can make a process/order that works efficiently for you. Basically all I can recommend is just getting your feet wet and seeing what works best for you. I worked in a high volume Super T as typically the sole GSA/GSTL on at any one given time, so I know how crazy it can get. For REDCards, make sure you can sell them well by yourself before you expect others to; expect to provide examples and show them how to effectively push REDCards... Know the perks, and know your audience -- If its a mother w. kids, push Take Charge of Education, etc.

Tips:
1) Keep your clipboard with you at all times -- Have the Break Schedule, Grid, and the Schedule Dashboard (IIRC) for cashiers. Take frequent notes of what has been completed/needs to be completed, etc.
2) Delegate. Find TMs who are good at certain things and delegate tasks to them to free you up for more important things. Be sure to double check their work (for example, I would always do a quick walk of my Cashiers' zone after they said it was done). It will cover your ass in case you tell the LOD it is done and they find discrepancies -- It also shows them that you maintain accountability for your team.
3) Communication. Make sure you effectively communicate with your TLOD/LOD -- Call out your breaks, or whenever you have to leave the presence of the lanes for any period of time. If you are tied up with multiple guests and unable to speed weave with Backup Requests going off, Call it out. If you are given tasks by the LOD, keep them updated of your progress and let them know when you finish.
 

Jasette

GSA
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Jul 13, 2013
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If you're concerned about handling all of those things while you're actually in the process of closing, don't be - it's usually pretty hard to get a bunch of RCs in the last couple hours before close (at least in my experience), and as has been previously mentioned, TMs definitely know by this point that they should be pushing RCs.

If you have the chance to talk to every TM before you start the process of closing, check in with them and make sure they're feeling good and comfortable before you go off to close registers etc.

I always close a couple of GS registers and both Pharmacy registers before I go to 239. The more you can get done early, the less you'll have to worry about later. If you have a cart attendant, they can help you with some tasks like keeping bags full and abandon bins clear.

I just realized that closing registers might be one of those things that technically GSTLs are supposed to do and not GSA's? I don't know. I do everything except coaching and reviews.

If a cashier isn't doing their job or is behaving improperly, let your GSTL know so they can keep an eye on it and do a coaching if they need to. Or you can just casually mention to the TM whatever the problem is and give them a nudge in the right direction, keeping it light and not really "coaching." I feel as a GSA my job is to be the cashier's advocate and friend, because I don't do coaching or reviews, so I'm kind of the middle-man between them and the GSTL - I try to help TMs correct bad behavior before it gets to the point where they actually need coaching. I often say to TMs that they can start practicing whatever behavior they need to work on with me, so they'll feel more comfortable doing it on a regular basis when GSTLs or other TLs are around.

In general my advice is to try not to stress out - you know more than you think you do, and it never hurts to ask questions if you don't know something. The LOD knows that you're new and they'll be more than happy to explain something to you so you can do it (or understand it) on your own from now on. Plus, I get things done way more quickly when I'm not anxious or stressed out about them. Everything has it's own time and if you keep your mind open and remember your tasks, it'll all come together. Keep your ears open and basically eavesdrop on everyone so you can anticipate a problem before the cashier even needs to alert you. This can actually also help with RCs - a lot of the time I'll hear a cashier doing a great pitch, and the guest is on the fence but about to say no, and I sort of casually stop by to mention all of the awesome benefits and how quick it is to apply, and then they go for it.

In general, most of it just comes with experience. GSA is definitely a learn-by-doing kind of job. I was sooo nervous when I started and there was always so much to remember, but after a while it just clicked and now I'm super comfortable with all the tasks I have to do (though of course, there are those days when every guest that comes in has something extremely complicated to deal with)...
 

mrknownothing

purveyor of things
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I just realized that closing registers might be one of those things that technically GSTLs are supposed to do and not GSA's? I don't know. I do everything except coaching and reviews.

If you're scheduled as the closing GSTL without double coverage, then you don't really have a choice. I think the rule is that you're not supposed to close the registers if you're scheduled in 239 the next morning.
 
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As a GSA, I can say it can be difficult, at my store they also throw a zone at me (ULV). So I usually let my cashiers and service desk know that I will need help with front end brand. Poor performing team members can be tricky Jasette's recommendations are great. Biggest thing I can tell you is not stress. If task aren't getting done keep trying new things, time management is very important and can be tricky (it's taken me two years to become effective.)
 

mathprofmatt

Fulfillment Expert
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Jul 12, 2013
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326
As most others have said, it does take a lot of time and mess-ups before you find your groove. I've been a GSA at two different stores (did my training at a third store), all different volumes, and the culture of each one was different.

You'll learn what tasks you need to prioritize, and it usually comes down to analyzing your players (cashiers, SD, CA, closing LOD, opening GSTL, etc.)

Example 1: There's a certain GSTL I work with that has a HUGE pet peeve about clutter. Even though I always try to leave things neat and organized every night, I always put forth a bit more effort to clean up the office and the GSTL checklane (putting away pens and highlighters, filing papers, etc.) when I know she opens the next morning.

Example 2: I work in a Super T, and whenever I make my closing grid, I always try to put all of my closing cashiers on the grocery side lanes. But if I'm closing with my STL, I know he likes to see one checklane open on the electronics side for as long as possible, so on those nights I'll try to structure it so that I have a 10:00 or 10:30 cashier
on that side as well.

Example 3: If I have a weak Service Desk TM closing, I know I'll need to make check in more than normal throughout the night (I usually pretend I'm coming up there to bring up re-shop or organize the cartwell, but really, I could send a cashier to do that). I might need to help them box up defectives or remind them to make the
15-min closing announcement.

Example 4: New cart attendant? Be sure to step out and check the lot on a regular basis. Don't just say "you need to move more quickly," but encourage them to work on smaller areas and ask for the key to the cart pusher, if necessary.

There are dozens of other examples I could list, but hopefully this gives you an idea of small things to watch out for. While your basic routine is going to be the same each night, remember that you are the front end "coach" and you'll often have to adjust based on your lineup!
 
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I am MY stores Red Card record holder. ENGAGEMENT, ENGAGEMENT, ENGAGEMENT is so important. Instead of trying to "sell" red cards. Try saying "Are you getting your 5% off today"? If they say "NO" or "how do I get that"? Tell them if they pay with a check they can get 5% off. They will 99% of the time ask why. THAT'S when you explain to the guest about red cards.

Prepping for closing:
1.) Close pharmacy registers when pharmacy closes. Electronics should not be closed until the store is cleared of all guest.
2.) Guest First STOPS 1 hour before closing! My store closes at 11pm (10pm on Sundays). Therefore at 10, I am no longer calling for guest first. If we get really backed up, I will jump on 10 items or less register to help get the lines down. (the sales floor team needs to zone, and waiting for them to respond just backs up the lines even longer)
3.) I go to ALL the check lanes and pull the credit slips and coupons before calling for the LOD to 239.
4.) All night long in between busy times I assign cashiers to pull reshop and hangers. After the store is closed cashiers should be stocking bags and zoning.
5.) I have found the biggest challenge is to get my Service Desk member to zone One Spot to brand BEFORE she/he is scheduled to leave.
6.) Start POS closing procedures 30 minutes before close of store. Then call for LOD to meet you at cash office. During this time #3 should be taking place.

**If you are a GSA/GSTL that expects to leave at your scheduled time. Than you should be rethinking you position. I NEVER leave until the front end is green and zoned to brand. Any other attitude is not fair to the opening GSA/GSTL.**
 
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Prepping for closing:
1.) Close pharmacy registers when pharmacy closes. Electronics should not be closed until the store is cleared of all guest.
2.) Guest First STOPS 1 hour before closing! My store closes at 11pm (10pm on Sundays). Therefore at 10, I am no longer calling for guest first. If we get really backed up, I will jump on 10 items or less register to help get the lines down. (the sales floor team needs to zone, and waiting for them to respond just backs up the lines even longer)
3.) I go to ALL the check lanes and pull the credit slips and coupons before calling for the LOD to 239.
4.) All night long in between busy times I assign cashiers to pull reshop and hangers. After the store is closed cashiers should be stocking bags and zoning.
5.) I have found the biggest challenge is to get my Service Desk member to zone One Spot to brand BEFORE she/he is scheduled to leave.
6.) Start POS closing procedures 30 minutes before close of store. Then call for LOD to meet you at cash office. During this time #3 should be taking place.

**If you are a GSA/GSTL that expects to leave at your scheduled time. Than you should be rethinking you position. I NEVER leave until the front end is green and zoned to brand. Any other attitude is not fair to the opening GSA/GSTL.**

This goes to show how different our stores can be. There isn't a single thing here that matches my store and our closing routines.
 
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