Archived Newly Promoted to Softlines TL

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Hey all,

I have just been promoted to Softlines TL in a Super Target. I have been a TL before, however that was hardlines. Can someone give me a basic rundown of Softlines tasks, challenges, routines, etc? I know I'll get training, but I love hearing from peers also. I would really appreciate any advice you can give me! Thanks!

Cheiro
 

GangulonCyst

You want more hours?
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I would say there are several challenges. Workload planning and execution are VITAL to being on top of your game, as well as having strong Brand team members. During heavy workload weeks, you will absolutely have to rely on your Brand team members setting you up for success. Your goal is to make sure your POG's and Visual Adjacencies are set on time every week, as well as managing your clearance and the overall brand in the department. You need to be a strong team developer and able to delegate and follow-up on assigned tasks in a timely manner. When you have weeks that the Adjacency calendar tells you that setting your VA's will take more than about 40 hours for all of Softlines, you will struggle to complete your workload if your brand team members are not strong or if the overall brand(read ZONE) in your department is lacking. Stay on top of the MPG report(Workbench>Online Planogram>Reports> MPG report) to keep from having any surprises on markdown days like 2 tubs of folded shirts with no plans on where to put them. I would say the single most important thing is the brand/zone in softlines, as if you lose that, it is hard to regain. And once you lose the brand in softlines, it can be a struggle to recover the brand while completing your workload. Hope this helps!!!
 
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AD mapping is something else our TLs are required to do each week. Along with pogs sales planners adjacencies and general administrative stuff at tsc
 
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ohhhh...challenges my new least favorite word.

Common challenges you will have are getting everybody to use the folding board, especially those of us with any times under our belts. We can be cranky about that (and I can fold better on my chest than with a board). You will find that unless you have decent coverage, sizing and making sure the tables are to planogram is just a pipe dream. A table is totally different to fold and make pretty (and keep to planogram) than even domestics.
Get to know the difference between all of the hangers.....and make sure EVERYBODY knows also.
Hopefully your CAF pushers and sales floor pushing CAF's don't just push softlines to the fitting room for your team to do it.
Rack alignment is something we are getting dinged on constantly. If you figure out a way to get the racks to stay I would love to hear it.
I would also say that a challenge we have at our store that I don't know you will have with yours is that we have a couple of people who aren't brand tm's who assume they will always get a certain area, like RTW. I would nip that in the bud if you can. Your team should know all areas of the store, not just softlines, but some of our tm's don't even know more than the area they are normally in. Our other problem is that there are 4 brand tm's but only 3 of us have areas. Our previous ETL was moving toward brand tm's having no set areas...which is all well and good when you have 4 new brand's but when you try and change it like this leaves one area not really covered (in our case men's and ihl) and one brand team member (me) who has no real area to shine and once again I am not learning as much as I could or want. You also have some other tm's who think that there is an open position and keep jockeying for it.
Make sure the fitting room isn't just sitting on their hiney and that they are keeping up on reshop and rewraps.
Make sure all of your team knows how to use a PDA and best practices for rewraps and defecting out(you should also know how to do these things). Also make sure they know where to find dpci's on items and if they have a tagless items to get them to the fitting room with a dpci or like item for new tags immediately.

phew, that's a lot...I will now step down from softlines soap box and let you digest. If you have any specific questions please don't hesitate to PM me.
 

commiecorvus

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I do recommend getting on good terms with your signing ninja.
They will know when signs need to be flipped, where the spare clearance bubbles are and all the other arcane goodies that go with keeping the pretty pictures in the air.
Sometimes they will know before you will about changes coming because they will have boxes that you haven't even heard of yet, so it's good to keep those lines of communication open.
 

NOP

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I do recommend getting on good terms with your signing ninja.
They will know when signs need to be flipped, where the spare clearance bubbles are and all the other arcane goodies that go with keeping the pretty pictures in the air.
Sometimes they will know before you will about changes coming because they will have boxes that you haven't even heard of yet, so it's good to keep those lines of communication open.

that, and if you set early, and the signs haven't come in yet, put the towers where you want them to go. it will make your signing person and your life much easier and happier!
 
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what is this signing ninja you are talking about? (seriously we've been through 3 in a year)

I thought of another thing.....be willing to jump in and reshop. We have one TL who does reshop and one who doesn't...guess which one is the one we are more likely to bust butt for?
 

mrknownothing

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Hopefully your CAF pushers and sales floor pushing CAF's don't just push softlines to the fitting room for your team to do it.

When I am pushing CAFs, I always push softlines myself, even if it means asking a softlines TM where everything goes (well, everything that's not shoes or infant hardlines).
 
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Hopefully your CAF pushers and sales floor pushing CAF's don't just push softlines to the fitting room for your team to do it.

When I am pushing CAFs, I always push softlines myself, even if it means asking a softlines TM where everything goes (well, everything that's not shoes or infant hardlines).


and that is how I know you don't work in my store!! :nah: If your softines team hasn't said it in awhile let me, THANK YOU!!
 

mrknownothing

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Hopefully your CAF pushers and sales floor pushing CAF's don't just push softlines to the fitting room for your team to do it.

When I am pushing CAFs, I always push softlines myself, even if it means asking a softlines TM where everything goes (well, everything that's not shoes or infant hardlines).


and that is how I know you don't work in my store!! :nah: If your softines team hasn't said it in awhile let me, THANK YOU!!

It's no problem at all. :D I figure if hardlines isn't pushing their own CAFs (i.e. there's a designated CAF pusher who is scheduled in another workcenter), then why should softlines have to? And I figure they'd rather I ask them where everything goes than just leave it for them.
 
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Take the time to meet and learn the personalities of your team members. Running softlines is different than running other departments as many of the team members tend to be women and may have (ahem) personality quirks. Ask yourself, Is there any infighting? Is everyone on the same page? Who likes to do what tasks and who is best at what tasks? Is there a "ringleader" who doesn't want to follow your leadership and will go against you? Who is working part time for school,etc and who wants full time and is interested in promotion? Always be honest with yourself about what needs to get done first. You will almost always have more work than you can complete in a week so delegate as much as possible.
 
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Challenges:

1) Fitting Room execution - partner with your AP to have great routines to help reduced theft/shortages
2) PTM maintenance - softlines is a large area with little crooks and nannys. Use the PTM fill report to keep these looking sharp & presentable
3) Getting attention from the whole team - sometimes softlines will get overlooked from the whole picture stand point Be sure to embrace your role and area and express how much more profit margin A&A brings in versus other areas of the store when stressing the importance of zone and brand.
4) Routine around VA's, stick to them - At our store our goal is to finish all POGS a week before the VA gets set on Sunday/Monday. That way weekly routines can be tended to freshly after resetting.
5) Reshop - We are a super freaky store & get a lot of guest traffic If yours gets a lot of reshop be inventive. We would get carts of reshop sitting back in the FR. I took big plastic bins and had our SFT attach them to the bottom of our hanging racks for the folded/misc. items could sit in versus sitting in carts. Also, the SFT made rolling bins like what you see at other clothing stores for underneath the fitting room counter for items to be folded in and are convenient to roll out and work out, and at the same time does not make our fitting room look cluttered.

Hope that helps.
 
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Challenges:

1) Fitting Room execution - partner with your AP to have great routines to help reduced theft/shortages
2) PTM maintenance - softlines is a large area with little crooks and nannys. Use the PTM fill report to keep these looking sharp & presentable
3) Getting attention from the whole team - sometimes softlines will get overlooked from the whole picture stand point Be sure to embrace your role and area and express how much more profit margin A&A brings in versus other areas of the store when stressing the importance of zone and brand.
4) Routine around VA's, stick to them - At our store our goal is to finish all POGS a week before the VA gets set on Sunday/Monday. That way weekly routines can be tended to freshly after resetting.
5) Reshop - We are a super freaky store & get a lot of guest traffic If yours gets a lot of reshop be inventive. We would get carts of reshop sitting back in the FR. I took big plastic bins and had our SFT attach them to the bottom of our hanging racks for the folded/misc. items could sit in versus sitting in carts. Also, the SFT made rolling bins like what you see at other clothing stores for underneath the fitting room counter for items to be folded in and are convenient to roll out and work out, and at the same time does not make our fitting room look cluttered.

Hope that helps.

Do you have a picture of rolling bin? I like that idea.
 

RightArm

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And if you've never worked VA's before; be prepared for the monkey puzzles of your life. >< I don't know who puts these books/labels together but we had one humdinger of a puzzle in girls today. The VA called for two tables. They sent us 24 label strips on convertible sized labeling. If you know tables, they have 8 permanent shelves each for a total of 16 shelves. They cannot be added to nor subtracted from. Then instead of labeling the sides of the joined tables respectively as 1,2 then 3,4... they labeled table one and two on one side as 1 and on the other side as 2. If that wasn't bad enough they went from left to right in their shelf numbering. Table one on the bottom was 1-1-1 at its first position and table two on the bottom (same side) was 1-2-1..... This meant that table one from bottom to top read as 1-1-1 then 1-3-1 then 1-5-1 then 1-7-1 in the first positions. Table two was 1-2-1; 1-4-1; 1-6-1; 1-8-1. And now that I've probably lost most of you (unless you've been to this particular insanity land) when looking at the label strips I noticed that what I needed to make up the full length of a table label (remember, these were printed on shorter convertible labels) was connected to another label. This is why there were 24 strips. So I had to cut and sort and rearrange and patch-work quilt the whole dang thing to make it work.

Never a dull moment, eh? lol

Then there was the time they forgot to change the old picture for the product on a quad in women's plus but remembered to change the dpci's to match the new product. So there we were with the correct numbers for the product and no idea what the heck it looked like. They tell you these VA's take a certain amount of time and they probably would if you could rely on the information inside them. Some times the numbers are wrong, the pictures are wrong, the labels are wrong, the fixtures are wrong, the signs aren't shown, and the list goes on. If you like a challenge, this department will definitely give it to you. :excited:

On a side note - and I think someone already touched on it - do know the difference between a good time to delegate and a good time to get your rear in there and help your team. When an ETL calls for a touch up in intimate apparel and you're not doing anything, this is not the time to ask the TM who is knee deep in frantic RTW zoning prior to store opening to go do that too. :huh:

Personally I think you're already off to a great start by taking your position seriously and asking for advice. Lot of great stuff put on the board in response. :good:
 
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