First BookWriting your first book is a daunting task. Not the hours at the keyboard. Not finding a publisher. What’s hard?

Something To Say in a Loud World.

What is so important in the world that people need to hear another voice? Why add to the racket of the information age? What could I do for my peers struggling in the retail world? Every retailer is pummeled with shrill warnings of technology and increasing customer expectations destroying the foundation of their business. Every technology vendor makes retailers question their IT investments. Every HR service is berating retailers for not doing enough to engage their employees. Media loudspeakers terrify retailers with doom and gloom announcements about the death of retail on a regular cycle.

But I knew the hype wasn’t true.

Simplifying a Complicated Industry. 

Despite daily changes in technology, shopping habits and the retail landscape – there are still just 7 Timeless Principles to succeeding in retail. Every retailer I know that is putting more money into the bank than withdrawing from it stays focused on the 7 things they need to succeed:

  1. Strategy
  2. Customer Service
  3. Merchandising
  4. Pricing
  5. Marketing
  6. Managing
  7. Operations

That’s it. Laser focus on those 7 items and knowing what to do to make improvements every day, takes a good retail idea and turns it into a thriving retail business. 

With that in mind, I wrote Retail The Second-Oldest Profession and determined to bring a real-world “retailing handbook” to life. My goal is simple: I want this book to be the how-to manual that every store manager and owner turns to when they have a problem in their business.

Making it Universal

Topics are easy-to-digest in a quick read during a 10 minute break.

A WIN Today section to every topic (over 70) provides something concrete each reader can do to make an immediate improvement.

Elements are as appropriate for a retailer in India or Mexico as the USA. Principles translate to e-commerce as well as brick and mortar retailers.

Solutions work for all forms of retail. Mega-billion chains out of Bentonville and single etsy or eBay sellers. The person who is flipping antiques every few months at flea markets and the Rodeo Drive boutique owner with Kardashian customers.

A Student of The Industry

My first boss told me that the path to success was to “be a student of your industry.” Don’t just work in it. Study it. Learn what the great ones do and why other businesses fail. He was right. This book is what a student  of the retail industry can learn in over 25 years.

I walked a new store with a client in 2005. As I pointed out the things that seemed obvious to me about how the store could capture more sales and how employees could have more fun in their job, he said “I wish I could see stores through your eyes.” When see stores – and websites – and work in hundreds of different store concepts, you start to see the fundamental and timeless principles that lead to success.

It’s what the book lays out. And why I thought I should add one more voice to the cacophony.

Retail: The Second-Oldest Profession is available wherever books are sold. Independent bookstores are an important part of the retail community. If you can, please consider asking for the book to be ordered by your local independent bookstore and spend time with a local retailer. 

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