The ABCs of Retail Management: The Handbook for Retail Store Executives, Managers and Small Business Owners
by Negusse Negash

"The retail store manager has a very stressful job. As a corporate-owned retail store manager, I experienced twenty-two stressful years."

Because the manager is responsible for everything that happens in a retail store, he or she must be available every working hour—and outside of those hours. The pressure is intense; the author states that the divorce rate among retail managers is fifty per cent. He divides his book into seven categories. Merchandising describes how regular, special, and seasonal items have to be inventoried when they arrive and may represent a deficit at the end of the selling period. Loss prevention is an examination of theft—how it happens and how to guard against it. For human resources, he recommends hiring people who can deliver excellent customer service with flexibility on scheduling. He makes simple suggestions for sales/marketing, such as walking through the store to see where customers might be too crowded or ensuring impulse items are easy to reach. He offers tables to calculate financial profits and sample lists to facilitate taking yearly inventory.

An experienced manager, Negash, who holds a Masters in Business Administration, has written this book for those who are in the retail business or considering it. He writes in a comfortable style, occasionally quoting from other experts but just as often recalling incidents from his own 37 years of retailing experience. He knows that anyone undertaking a management position will face situations such as the many scams perpetrated by shoplifters, will need alert, willing staff, and must have an understanding of the bottom line. He presents simple formulas for ordering new merchandise and off-loading old stock, for maintaining smooth employer/employee relations, and for keeping track of finances. His practical guidelines, offered in a personable way that any reader can readily grasp, could potentially help a new manager handle the work and avoid common pitfalls.

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