The best books for retail managers and owners

Flora Delaney Author Of Retail The Second-Oldest Profession: 7 Timeless Principles to WIN in Retail Today
By Flora Delaney

Who am I?

As a retail consultant and former executive, I work with retailers like Whole Foods, Best Buy, Tractor Supply, and others across the globe who want to transform and improve their business. Fundamentally, all retail is the same. But how that gets done can separate multi-billion dollar dynasties from “everything must go” banners. I help retailers prioritize their investments and create loyal shoppers. I would do this even if I wasn’t earning a living from it…I guess I'm a retail junkie. We are all shoppers and when people have a great retail experience, it really is memorable. I want more people to have that experience and more workers to feel proud of the work they do. 


I wrote...

Retail The Second-Oldest Profession: 7 Timeless Principles to WIN in Retail Today

By Flora Delaney,

Book cover of Retail The Second-Oldest Profession: 7 Timeless Principles to WIN in Retail Today

What is my book about?

In short, simple chapters, this book covers the timeless principles that separate retail winners from chains that shut their stores. Perfect for the store manager, corporate leader, or retail employee with ambitions to become a manager. Each of the 70+ topics includes an action that the reader can take on their very next shift to make improvements. Meant to be read over breaks at the store, each section dissects and explains the way to win with Strategy, Customer Service, Marketing, Pricing, Operations, Managing, and Merchandising. Gain command of these topics and your store (and career) will succeed. 

The books I picked & why

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Why We Buy: The Science of Shopping

By Paco Underhill,

Book cover of Why We Buy: The Science of Shopping

Why this book?

A great first read to understand the psychology of shopping and how retail stores use that to their advantage. A good entry whether you want to understand how store design can influence your customers or how you yourself are influenced when you shop. Paco Underhill is highly regarded throughout the retail design industry as being someone who uses “retail anthropology” to study shoppers in their native habitat. Great whether you are a retailer or a shopper. 

Why We Buy: The Science of Shopping

By Paco Underhill,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked Why We Buy as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Synopsis coming soon.......


Merchant 101

By Daniel J. Moe,

Book cover of Merchant 101

Why this book?

Dan Moe is a savvy former buyer and in this book he explains all of the analysis and decision points that good buyers consider. A great basic primer to help new buyers gain skills or experienced buyers hone their instincts. The examples throughout the book make every concept easy. And it’s a short read at ~140 pages.  

Merchant 101

By Daniel J. Moe,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Merchant 101 as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

1000 WORD EXCERPT Retail is detail. I don


Kmart's Ten Deadly Sins: How Incompetence Tainted An American Icon

By Marcia Layton Turner,

Book cover of Kmart's Ten Deadly Sins: How Incompetence Tainted An American Icon

Why this book?

Sometimes the best way to learn how to succeed is to see how others failed. With a chapter to detail each of the 10 deadly sins (Lousy locations or Ignoring store appearance), the book motivates retailers to focus on what matters and how to thrive. Plenty of great examples that unfortunately, still ring true in retailers today. 

Kmart's Ten Deadly Sins: How Incompetence Tainted An American Icon

By Marcia Layton Turner,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Kmart's Ten Deadly Sins as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

An insightful look at how Kmart's management destroyed the company
Kmart's Ten Deadly Sins spins an intriguing tale of the missteps of a retail giant who once had the industry in the palm of its hand and foolishly let it all slip away. This engaging book weaves corporate history in with financial analysis and commentary that leaves the reader with a better sense of where Kmart has been and what its potential is for a turnaround. This first in-depth examination of Kmart clearly identifies and discusses the ten missteps and miscalculations Kmart's CEOs have repeatedly made, including resisting investments in…


Kiss Theory Good Bye: Five Proven Ways to Get Extraordinary Results in Any Company

By Bob Prosen,

Book cover of Kiss Theory Good Bye: Five Proven Ways to Get Extraordinary Results in Any Company

Why this book?

This book on leadership and management is not retail specific – but it contains the fundamentals of good management that every retail leader needs to master. Bob gives great advice on what to do and how to address issues when you can see your company is not living up to the standards for success. It always motivates me to be a better leader. 

Kiss Theory Good Bye: Five Proven Ways to Get Extraordinary Results in Any Company

By Bob Prosen,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Kiss Theory Good Bye as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

KISS THEORY GOOD BYE

NEW BUSINESS BOOK GIVES TEXTBOOK THEORY THE BIG KISS OFF!

Business Expert Writes the Playbook on 'How To' Rapidly Increase Performance and Profit in Any Company.

Bob Prosen cuts like a laser through the fog of political correctness and business-as-usual in his new book, Kiss Theory Good Bye: Five Proven Ways to Get Extraordinary Results in Any Company.

Prosen says he's had enough of the business books that tell readers what to do rather than how. "Forget the platitudes and feel-good anecdotes from a few CEOs and business gurus. Get to the point, the how-to details…


FYI: For Your Improvement, A Guide for Development and Coaching

By Michael M. Lombardo, Robert W. Eichinger,

Book cover of FYI: For Your Improvement, A Guide for Development and Coaching

Why this book?

As a retailer, you are often critical in a young person’s career. FYI, gives excellent advice for managers looking to give direct feedback and coaching to their team. With outstanding suggestions for how to write clear feedback and suggested development plans, it is the best resource I know when writing performance reviews. 

FYI: For Your Improvement, A Guide for Development and Coaching

By Michael M. Lombardo, Robert W. Eichinger,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked FYI as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Updated forth edition of the 1996 title (see ISBN 0965571203 for further information)


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