Want to carve out a little time to expand your retail mind? Whether you’re interested in how to space your aisle so people don’t get ‘butt brush’, or shake up the shape of your shops with an Amazon-like strategy, this list is for you.
‘Reengineering Retail’ by Doug Stephens
If you want to see into the future, Doug is your retail clairvoyant. His first book, back in 2013, gave spookily accurate predictions of the retail world we are living in today. This second book turns the fortune cards over once again and includes real life examples and interviews describing a radically disrupted retail world that will shake everything it touches to its core. In a world full of rapid change, we could all do with a little superpower like that right now.
‘Be Like Amazon: Even a Lemonade Stand Can Do It’ Be Like Amazon: By Jeffery & Bryan Eisenberg with Roy H. Williams
This book takes all the long reams of yawn-able data from the most successful retailer on the planet and helpfully puts it into a story book format. It focuses on 4 key areas: customer centricity, continuous optimisation, a culture of innovation, and corporate agility. At 110 pages long, it’s a lightweight, easy-to-read business book you can pop in your backpack and read on the beach while drinking lemonade.
Layout and Design
‘Why We Buy’ Revised Edition by Paco Underhill
‘Why we buy’ is filled with fascinating and funny insights taken from over 20 years of spying on customers. Part one deals with how people react to physical spaces. Part two focuses on demographics where we learn little gems like ‘only 72% of men read price tags on items – for a man, ignoring the price tag is a measure of his virility.’ Part three we see how people respond to products and merchandising. It’s all written in a very witty, enjoyable tone.
‘Silent Selling: Best Practices and Effective Strategies in Visual Merchandising’ by Judy Bell and Kate Ternus
Silent selling is a goldmine of information giving practical and creative problem-solving activities to master the world of visual merchandising. It’s aimed at students but will take readers well into their professional career. We like the Shoptalk statements by visual merchandising experts who chip in with their own gold nuggets on whichever field is discussed in the chapter.
‘The Service Culture Handbook: A Step-by-Step Guide to Getting Your Employees Obsessed with Customer Service’ by Jeff Toister
The Handbook is a step-by-step guide to developing a completely customer-focused culture. We’re talking the kind of customer service where employees are so committed they put their own personal cell phone on twitter so customers could reach them during a power outage – wow. It will create employees obsessed with customer service, but it will only come to those prepared to roll up their sleeves and get stuck in.
‘The Customer Rules: The 39 Essential Rules for Delivering Sensational Service’ by Lee Cockerell
In 39 easy to digest chapters, Lee downloads everything he has learned in his 40+ year career in the hospitality industry. Rules such as ‘Customer Service Is Not a Department´, ‘Don’t Try Too Hard’ and encouraging readers to ´think like mum’. As Einstein said, everything should be made as simple as possible, and these simple rules have been shown to work for both giants like Disney and little local coffee shops.
Books by CEOS
‘Delivering Happiness: A Path to Profits, Passion and Purpose’ by Tony Hsieh
This book could be a mantra for life as well as guidance on running a business. Its main message is to concentrate on the happiness of those around you – employees, customers and suppliers. Company culture is the number one priority for the CEO of Zappos who built a billion dollar business out of kind gestures like unexpectedly upgrading customers shipping service.
‘Shoe Dog: A Memoir by the Creator of Nike’ by Phil Knight
A bit like Batman, the man behind the swoosh has always stayed out of the limelight. But with this book we have an open, honest and touching memoir of his adventures with Nike. We learn how he borrowed fifty dollars from his father and started importing running shoes from Japan. Today, Nike’s annual sales top $30 billion. Knight’s book teaches us courage, as we hear the terrifying risks he encountered along the way.