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Management Lessons of a Failed Company

Christopher M. Tingley

This book is a look inside the day-to-day life of a retail manager as he witnessed from the front lines a company take the country by storm. Through a model of selling low priced clothing partnered with celebrity endorsements, the company’s rise was as big as their fall. After over a decade of teaching, the author, now a marketing and strategy professor, recalls his former life in retail. In a light-hearted and funny first-person narrative, the author takes you on a ride through his time with the now defunct clothing retailer Steve and Barry’s. He shares the lessons he learned from inside the store while watching mistakes made along the way. Through stories of being robbed at gunpoint, finding a dead body in the dumpster, and working to the point of exhaustion, the reader is given a firsthand account of the best and worst practices in store management. Designed to introduce students to business, management, entrepreneurship, and retail, it allows students to answer the question "Do I really want to be a manager?"

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4. Loss Prevention

Extract

“Nothing is worse than a thief,” my grandmother used to tell me. My grandparents grew up depression era-farmers in small towns in Pennsylvania. My grandfather spent 30 years in the Marine Corps and was always a very intimidating man. He was the type who you could see yelling at recruits in boot camp. He would tell you not to salute him. He’d say “he works for a living.” The stories of his military days were family legend, as he was notorious for being the toughest guy you could ever meet. He also had a long career as an electrical engineer for which he was given early retirement when the local plant closed. He taught me to work for everything, ask for nothing, but certainly to never steal anything from someone else.

It should come to no surprise that shoplifters are a group of people that I typically don’t like. I remember thinking that maybe if we sold baby formula, or food, or something that would give cause to shoplifting then I could at least understand, if not condone their actions. What I couldn’t understand was stealing costume jewelry or low-priced clothing. I didn’t think getting caught stealing a $3 pair of earrings made a lot of logical sense. I figured the reward was hardly worth the ←27 | 28→risk, and even a bored teenager could find something else to do. I also felt that shoplifting in our store would be rare, but I couldn’t have been further from...

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