Summary of Winning at Retail

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Winning at Retail book summary


7 Overall

8 Applicability

7 Innovation

7 Style


Montgomery Ward, Woolworth’s and stumbled into irrelevancy before they knew what hit them. Authors and retail consultants Willard Ander and Neil Stern explain what went wrong and tell retailers how to stay alive and thrive. They prescribe their theory, called "Est," as in the superlative suffix. Be the best, they say, in assortment (biggest), price (cheapest), customer service (easiest), speed of service (quickest) or fashion (hottest). Being "pretty good" at everything no longer works. The abundance of choices in today’s transparent, digital marketplace has spawned information-overloaded, fickle, demanding customers. The authors tend to generalize about what good companies are doing right rather than describing how also-ran retailers might turn things around, but there is plenty of advice here for those who are willing to take it. getAbstract recommends this glib pep talk of a book - if for no other reason than to jolt retailers out of believing they’re doing everything possible to keep customers coming back.

In this summary, you will learn

  • How to be the best at offering customers five key values: good prices, great selection, trendy products, easy service and convenience;
  • Why you must offer at least one of these values; and
  • Why today’s customers are more demanding.

About the Authors

Willard Ander and Neil Stern are senior partners at McMillan/Doolittle, international retail consultants. Ander consults on retail strategy, new store development and retail best practices. Stern consults on strategic planning and development of new retail concepts. He also edits the firm’s Retail Watch newsletter.



The Black Hole of Retailing
Faced with increasing competition, more retailers are crumbling. How can you avoid their fate? The "Est" theory of retailing recommends devoting your organization, top to bottom, to becoming first in one area. Commit everything from employees to marketing to...

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