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A non-fiction guide to retailing

Retail-careerConsider the impact for a moment if prospective employees and school-leavers could read the experiences and thoughts of seasoned retailers in a single compendium. In a time of diminishing talent pools, how would you portray your career to inspire the next generation?


A RETAIL ANTHOLOGY discussing, sharing and evaluating the industry at the rock-face by presenting insights and solutions. A pragmatic and inspirational account of one of the world’s largest employers? Featuring the exclusive contemplation of successful retailers who share their career up through the ranks of world-class retail organisations. Debating issues of diversity, conscious business and sustainable practices in a hope to inspire transparency and honesty. A bid to encourage those without the luxury of further education. Offering a solution on how they might earn as they carve out a notable career?

A RETAIL ANTHOLOGY considering the fundamentals without a prescribed agenda of what the future holds.

A deliberation?

About People. The human factor, where few businesses desire or dare exist without, despite efforts of technology to coerce otherwise.

For People. To gain an understanding of what retail is about and the complexities of a vibrant and diverse sector.

By People. Introducing a cross-section of global traders from the hesitant casual to the accomplished chief operating officer.

Not a quintessential ‘how to’ handbook nor with any intent to compete with the babble of highfalutin experts and their gravy train formulae. Unlike other publications, it could challenge micromanagement propensities and bureaucratic indulgence in a quest for meaningful leadership. Shunning bureaucracy and oppressive compliance in preference for the pioneering spirit of choice and emotional intelligence. Perchance a provocative observation without patronising, entwining savvy rationale with controversial editorial. Deliberately avoiding the mindless step-by-step guides to success. A determination to avoid the realms of gutter press lists that care less for content than the volume of copy while steering clear of the rhetoric of vanity publishing?

The compilation might boast no frills and promissory extravagance. That reserved for the mercurial client, consumer, patron, buyer, purchaser, call them what you will. After all, every conglomerate, international, franchise, corner shop or trash and treasure stall depend on their fraternisation. Nor lay claim to destiny or dictate in what direction merchants should steer their business other than to listen, listen and listen some more? Cautioning that success depends upon what is heard, what isn’t said, what is felt and what people are thinking.

A RETAIL ANTHOLOGY to highlight the eccentricities and practicalities of retail by interpreting theoretical governance and idealised red tape. Where ‘gut feel’ outweighs assumptions of pure logic, where the focus is people and results surpass the burden of acquiescence. Even announcing a spectrum of personalities and skill sets necessary in exploiting the bountifulness of possibility depending on inclination, passion and aptitude?

Maybe highlighting modern retail as a slick operation with worldwide sourcing? An increased commitment to sustainability in curtailing human, animal and global exploitation by the manufacturer, middlemen and self. Necessitating a robust and intricate logistical structure to make sure stock is at the right place at the right time at the right price. Illustrating buying specs and how in-house teams conceptualise on-trend demands to create vogue ranges irresistible to the consumer. How expansive interior decor and visual merchandise concepts lure the punter culminating in an ambience for the senses?

Even promoting the notion retail indulges those with artistic tendencies but also gratifies scientific bias, proposing a seamless entrepreneurial and corporate predisposition towards similar goals?

Boasting what a fine and magnanimous career it is, regardless of social standing or educational prowess?

Retail – about people, for people, by people.

Dave Farrell is a retailer and writer with three decades of experience on three continents. He can be reached at Freelance Alliance NZ on

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