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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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7. Time Off


In retail, district managers are the person that store-level employees always dreaded seeing. Cashiers know anytime that the district manager shows up that we are going to have to be on our best behavior. No more music in the stockroom, we would all have to have shirts tucked in, and we had to be sure to wear our uncomfortable ear pieces in our walkie-talkies. Everyone needed to do everything by the book. District managers were the one insight to corporate that many of the part-time employees would ever see, and none of my part-timers ever wanted to have to work on the day that they were doing a store visit.

Our district manager’s name was Beverly. She was the manager who interviewed and hired me, so I always felt that if nothing else, my paycheck, my job and my health insurance had her to thank. While my salary was modest, I was glad to have a salary and I was making ends meet. I was also working for an exciting company. I kept hearing on the news that our company was one of the biggest success stories in recent history. I can remember being proud when I told my friends from home that my company was the one to keep their eyes on. I had Beverly to thank.←49 | 50→

I’m not entirely sure that Beverly liked me very much, which I blame entirely on my rather rebellious nature. While I gave her no reason to...

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