Put time in the bank
Look for any product or system that helps you spend more time with customers and requires less time to be spend on the enablers. Focus every aspect of the operation on good use of time. 'Put time in the bank' by proper pricing of products, making shelf-talkers, merchandising for self-service or assisted service and keeping products that have to be sold together close to each other. This allows you to either serve more customers in peak times or spend more quality selling-time with serious buyers, planning, training or negotiating with important suppliers.
Time - or Return On Management Effort (ROME)
They say time is money, but think about this: Time is the most perishable resource you have - you have all there is; you will always spend it, but only once. You can't save it; you can't get it back or re-use it. But you can use it wisely or not, you can create value or you can destroy value.
Time is scarce resource and you have to manage time like any other resource to make the most of the resource. If you have to do more than you have time for - you buy someone's time - the snag is you always get the person with his time!
Sometimes time costs you more or less, depending on the person's value adding skills, experience and abilities. The single most important skill for managers is to manage their staff in such a way that they create the most value with the resources and opportunities they have in the time available - manage their time to make more money. (as an aside: this means that anyone who isn't worth more than he is paid should not be kept!)
Time in a store environment can be spent on: Enabling Tasks and Value Adding Tasks. Spending time with a customer adds value; solving her problems, selling in other words, is the only activity bringing money into the business - that is what business is about!
Unfortunately without enabling activities like ordering merchandise, checking stock, pricing, labelling, packing, cleaning, bookkeeping, tax returns, paying bills and so on you won't have anything to sell your customers.
Balance and focus make the difference
Any time-management consultant will tell you that it is all about prioritisation. You have to 'spend time'; otherwise you 'waste time'. To optimise the amount of value created in time it sometimes means letting someone less skilled do Return On Management Effort (ROME) refers to what you get for your own personal time - that one thing you can't buy or get more of. Hardware retailing is people intensive - customers regard sales people as sources of information and advice. Selling and customer service is interwoven - meaning that your ROME will increase if you spend more quality time with your customers on the floor: but only if your shop is attractive, well stocked and consumer friendly. How you spend your time is how successful you make your money.
Unfortunately, like the other really important things in life, such as love, friendship, health and so on, it is not easy to quantify or measure. Generally though, you will know whether you are putting a lot of effort and time in for a small advantage or the other way round.