The Making of a Great Retail Store: America Needs to Rid Itself of Fake Companies (Case Study: Retail Store or Restaurant #5)


It is 7:40 Wednesday morning and feels like 9:00 am. I already had breakfast and getting ready to leave. I have some time before work but not that many hours. Today will be no different than yesterday except the weather may be slightly better. I have to admit I work for one of the worst companies in America. The entire day was spent yesterday fixing up the displays of our store by utilizing every manager on the staff. That is more than 20 people working eight hours nonstop. The idea was to make the store appear brand new and matching the company standards. The fact is this store has always been one of the best looking stores they have had. The changes made are purely cosmetic. Many of the new displays were made so they look great at the moment and photographs were snapped. It is too obvious most of these great modifications can last no more than one day. The new arrangements also the place look as the company fantasizes should be. However, most of what is now on display was protected from organized and casual shoplifters only to be easily at their disposal. Is it that corporations cannot think? I think the issue comes on several levels. The managers who helped are cogs in the wheel. I remember when the Fedex delivery man arrived, he was stuck with his handtruck in the doorway and no less than eight managers were literally within armsreach but nobody would move to help him. They were petrified to be on location for this assignment. All they knew is the whole thing is probably a surprise to fire a few of them. At their level, they are just numbers and do what they are told. That however makes sense in an organized and wellrun company to some extent. Is their boss able to think? No. She is doing exactly what she is told in order to snap a few photos and write a report and how great she and everything else is. When I studied management, this behavior was called ‘malicious obedience.’ That is when a subordinate knows following the instructions will result in terrible things happening to the company and its interests but follows it for not caring or most likely (probably not true in this case) to let something bad come out of the order and the superior ends up paying for the damage. Malicious obedience and malicious cooperation are classic American work situations and happen hundreds of thousands of times daily. Is this person able to think? Who cares, the damage is done and will be again. Are the superiors who designed these layouts and arrangements able to think? They may or may not. They however are at a loss both in short and long term. I remember a story from sales training on fixing problems. This person’s car breaks down and instead of fixing the engine, he dedicates much time to washing and polishing the car. That may bring psychological satisfaction to him for the short term for the problems with the car but avoids the real problem. The fixing of the stores (that do not need fixing) may bring some satisfaction but the actual results expected is a fantasy. The company that has always had internal problems and has always covered them up by fraud and exterior means will not turn profitable by doing unnecessary makeovers. The truth is the business model has huge flaws and has failed so many times, they know the only way to make it work is by covering up when it fails and pretending it does. For example, retail sales numbers are essential in many areas beyond the basic sales figures. They reflect in value of the stock and so on. Here is one retail company that has a business model that is inherently flawed and does not work. What does it do to help itself? It has organized itself over the years and when necessary it mobilizes its own fleets of ‘customers’ to shop its stores and create numbers. Last year, they were in trouble with a wireless provider for lack of sales. Does the business model work? No. What is the solution? Is it to fix the company? No. The company solution is to send out legions of its own sponsored ‘customers’ to shop for the products and now sales appear on paper. They recently added a major wireless product and again lack sales to the point of losing the privilege of selling it in near future. What is the solution? Will the business model be fixed? No. They will send legions of own ‘customers’ to make purchases and now we are doing good. This reminds me on the side of the story of Church of Scientology. How did L. Ron Hubbard become such a bestseller? The Church units make purchases of books at retail prices from stores instead of bulk from publishers thus racking up huge numbers as if sold to the public and instant bestsellers. The point of my argument is many American corporations were created at times when if not monopolies, they had little competition. They did whatever they wanted and however they wanted. They were the only game in town. They sucked at everything they did and had to cover it up all the way. Their business models were fiction and stories to be helped by behind-the-scene actions. The economy is not the only thing that is bad. These businesses are inherently flawed and they don’t care. That is the American Way. This is America, and they are big American companies and this is how it is done here. Their specialty is doing what they do without using any input from the environment. A few people at the top make whatever decisions they want and everybody else covers for them so their fantasies of what works in the field, what product sells and how things are appears real. This is a long term problem with American industry and is to everyone’s benefit to get rid of such companies. If an opportunity to buy one such company and throw out its failing business model (out of the lives of millions of Americans) comes up, it ought to be done. That is 100% American and in the best interest of this country. These fake businesses appear to serve needs but are doing much harm while keeping potential providers from reaching the public. The bad economy is a great opportunity to get rid of them and if the needs served are real, the worthless dollar (anyone can come up with a lot of it to start a business because its just paper money though not understood as such by everyone yet) will make it possible for others to start companies serving the legitimate needs. Today’s entrepreneurs are not as shady as those of decades ago. Those eras catered only to the shady and dishonest. That was the American Way. Today, it is possible to honest business and still be an American company. Let’s get rid of these fossils for the better of everyone and the country.

*This post belongs to this week’s edition of Wine by Cush Magazine blog and published early in World of Cush also.

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