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RETAIL TRUTHS - THE UNCONVENTIONAL WISDOM OF RETAILING Paperback – July 1, 2013


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RETAIL TRUTHS - THE UNCONVENTIONAL WISDOM OF RETAILING + The New Rules of Retail: Competing in the World's Toughest Marketplace + Inside the Mind of the Shopper: The Science of Retailing
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 384 pages
  • Publisher: CHIP AVERWATER (July 1, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0983979073
  • ISBN-13: 978-0983979074
  • Product Dimensions: 8.5 x 5.5 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (18 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #618,025 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

"Retail Truths should become a dog-eared companion to anyone who hopes to succeed in retail. It's packed with honest, straight-up assessments of successful retailing--from selling to profits, from hiring and training to operating multiple stores. This is a book you'll be reading and adapting to your business for years."
-Music Inc Magazine

About the Author

Chip Averwater is chairman of Amro Music Stores in Memphis, TN, one of the largest musical instrument retailers in the U.S. He is a third-generation retailer and has spent 38 years building his own stores and working with other retailers on theirs. Chip has an MBA, has written for national retailing magazines, and has been a featured speaker on retailing at meetings and conventions in the U.S., Europe, Australia, and Asia. He served for 14 years as a board member and officer of NAMM, the International Music Products Association, and served as its chairman from 2007-2009. The association represents over 9,000 retailers and their business partners and produces the NAMM Show, one of the largest trade conventions in the U.S. Currently Chip serves on the boards of several retailers and charities, is often called on as a retail advisor, and enjoys talking with fellow retailers about common problems and solutions.

More About the Author

Chip Averwater's grandfather, Mil Averwater, co-founded a small studio in Memphis, Tenn. in 1921 with the intention of only teaching piano lessons. Little did he know that studio would evolve into a multi-million dollar musical instrument business, thriving now for nearly a century, thanks in part to his son, grandson and great-grandson.

Chip's book Retail Truths: The Unconventional Wisdom of Retailing (March 2012) is a collection of more than 400 street-smart lessons on retailing that he gathered from his own experience in business, as well as from his mentors and retailer friends.

Chip is an avid traveller, having visited more than 60 countries. He has been a featured speaker on retailing in the US, Great Britain, Germany, Australia, and China, and often agrees to speak internationally for travel expenses.

Learn more at www.retailtruths.com

Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
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See all 18 customer reviews
The many topics have been great conversation starters.
J. Gallagher
He isn't just writing it, he has lived every one of these 'truths' learning many of the lessons like we all do, the hard way.
flutist0847
This is an absolute must read for Retailers and Consumers alike.
D Ryan

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

12 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Charles F. Myers on September 2, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I agree with other reviewers that this book should be required reading for a BBA or MBA candidate. The book has a ton of information, and it's certainly worth every penny of its modest price.

My gut feeling, however, is that the book doesn't point out enough of the **dangers** of starting a new retail business. For example:

1. The new business should probably be a corporation (Inc. or LLC) from the very beginning. Otherwise, the owner's personal assets may be at risk. In the start-up costs, be sure to allow $2,000 or so for legal fees.

2. Have your lawyer review any lease you are thinking of signing. I have seen landlords double the rent on successful businesses the first time the lease expires. Remember that the landlord probably has a lot of problem tenants who aren't as successful as you. Also, be sure to know if you can be assessed extra for certain improvements, such as a new roof or repaving the parking lot.

3. Be sure to budget some salary expenses from the very beginning. Yes, you'll be doing all of the work at first. However, if you aren't careful, you'll be totally married to the business and never be able to take a vacation. If you assume your labor expenses are zero, your planning process is flawed, and you are underestimating your expenses.

4. Be sure to budget some accounting expenses from the very beginning. If you have formed a corporation, you'll end up with a 50-page federal return, plus all the state and local returns. If you have employees, you'll have even more forms. Saying you will do all of this by yourself (or using QuickBooks) is not realistic, and you are understating your true cost of doing business.

5. There is an old saying: do the very best planning you can before you start the business.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By D Ryan on April 7, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
After reading Chip Averwater's "RETAIL TRUTHS" one is ready for Book Two. It's that good.
This is an absolute must read for Retailers and Consumers alike. It has insight, practical methods for good business, and everyday common sense strategies for leading a better life. Here are some of the highlights and a few Key Points to Ponder.

* It's not whether we can do it; it's whether we can do it best.
* A good retailer is a compulsive improver.
* Just because people don't complain doesn't mean they're happy.
* How the seller comes out is not a consideration in the buyer's decision.
* Where mistakes are frequent, processes, not people, are the problem.
* Develop a Dependable Memory System for names and faces.
* No one should expect a retailer to tend a store for the cost of the merchandise.
* Retailers who manage expenses carefully might achieve a 1-3 percent net profit before paying the government's share.
* Retailers can expect little sympathy from customers.
* Happy customers come and go; unhappy customers have longer memories.
* Tasks are performed more reliably when they're specifically assigned as part of one's daily routine.
* A problem isn't fixed until its underlying cause has been corrected.
* Merchandise doesn't sell in a stockroom -- it gets ignored.
* Courts are focused on punishment of the criminal, not compensation of the victim.
* Big sellers often aren't big sellers until customers have something to compare them to.
* Instead of focusing on better purchase planning and inventory management, the reaction to a crowded store is often "we need more room."
* Because brands come and go, Retailers say a store's advertising and promotion should be focused on the store, not the product.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful By flutist0847 on February 8, 2012
Format: Paperback
As a small business owner, I devoured Retail Truths in one night, and am carrying it around in my handbag for a moment of 'truth' when I need one! Chip Averwater compiled his insights into running a successful business into one book, chock full of wisdom, insight and, well, honest truths that has made his business succeed into the 4th generation. I love books written by people that have been on the firing line themselves, that have actually worked their business, and can speak from true experience as Mr. Averwater can. He isn't just writing it, he has lived every one of these 'truths' learning many of the lessons like we all do, the hard way.

His practical approach is perfect as a springboard for company meetings or staff training. Truth #2: "It's not whether we can do it: it's whether we can do it best.
The challenge isn't merely offering products the public wants to buy; we've got to do it better than all of our competitors. Each shopper chooses only one store for his purchase, the one he feels offers the best value-not just quality and price but convenience, selection, security, atmosphere, etc. The winner takes all. Second place gets nothing, no matter how great the effort or how close the race." Wow. Powerful. And so very true. We had a great discussion with our staff about that truth!

The organization of the book is such that I simply open it up and choose a category : Selling, pricing, systems, design and display, leadership, cash flow, training, firing, people problems, pay, competitors to name just a few.

It is all here. The truth about running your business successfully and the solutions to your questions and problems. I would recommend that key staff members and managers have a copy of Retail Truths to highlight, turn back the pages, underline and absorb! A true gem for anyone running a business, managing people, or thinking of starting a business.
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