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The New Rules of Retail: Competing in the World's Toughest Marketplace Hardcover – Dec 7 2010


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Palgrave Macmillan Trade (Dec 7 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0230105726
  • ISBN-13: 978-0230105720
  • Product Dimensions: 24.2 x 16.2 x 2.4 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 431 g
  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #131,106 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents


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Format: Hardcover
While the book is interesting, the style is off-putting. It suffers from trying to be Malcolm Gladwell pop-science book, and I actually have a hard time accepting a lot of the claims they make because of it. While they provide some evidence to some of the more thought provoking claims, it is not sufficient and not in any systematic way. The authors should have taken a more academic approach rather than the easy popcorn one they chose. Books like this need more rigor, not less.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful By M. Marquis on Aug. 27 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
A lot of research went into this book. It provides an excellent historical perspective of retailing in America, filled with pertinent examples, and thought provoking views of the new reality of the retail industry. A must read for anyone working in retail.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 18 reviews
14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
Thought provoking! Jan. 16 2011
By drstephens - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is a must-read for anyone working or investing in the retail space or in consumer/market research. The core of the book is a provocative belief about a disruptive change for retailers/suppliers and the shape of the industry -- the authors don't just believe this change is coming, they believe we are in the midst of it. The book offers a brief historical perspective, which is a helpful capsule... but what will start a conversation is its rich core content: the predictions, the vivid examples and case studies, and the presentation of how technology is helping/hindering the relationship with the consumer. Fascinating and thought provoking, yet extremely readable -- good mix of a research-based academic and colloquial style.
21 of 25 people found the following review helpful
Some interesting content, unlikable style Dec 25 2010
By algo41 - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
I am a stock market investor, and for that reason I already knew most of what this book has to say, but for the general reader the material might crystallize what they have probably observed: the increased importance of private and exclusive brands; the creation of "life style" brands, which take advantage of the consumer attachment to the brand to vastly broaden the type of products sold under the same label; stores stressing atmosphere in order to enhance the shopping experience, such as Holister; brands trying to control contact with the consumer through their own stores, or "stores within a store". Behind the scenes, multi-brand companies allow each brand to focus on what makes it unique, while consolidating back office, logistic and procurement functions.

I totally dislike the style in which the book is written, with that breathless, repetitive style characteristic of bad popular science books. And, incidentally, a number of the companies so admired in this book have, just since the book was written, fallen flat on their faces (based on earnings, stock price), especially Charming Shoppes and Liz Claiborne, but also Chico's and Best Buy.
7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
Interesting but not earth-changing Jan. 25 2012
By Deborah Hunter - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
If you are looking for a broad, easily accessible understanding of the challenges that face retailers today (as well as a retailing retrospective), The New Rules of Retail will be an informative and quick read. However, if you are an experienced retail or investment professional, you'll likely find the recommendations and insights too vague and soft for practical use. This book is more about the "art" of retail rather than the "science".

In discussing their three new rules, Lewis & Dart highlight some of the attributes that can indeed make a retailer successful. Creating a positive neurological experience and being highly responsive to customer demands is more important than ever. Additionally, the recommended transformations for both department stores and wholesalers were insightful.

Unfortunately, the "New Rules" are so broadly defined and cross so many strategic areas that it was difficult to come away with any concrete execution ideas. A discussion on the importance of customer analytics, data mining, etc. or any other cutting edge methodology useful in getting inside the customer's head would have been helpful.

The level of analysis and research is not terribly rigorous - the statistics are meaningless and the stories primarily anecdotal. A handful of successful retailers were cited or discussed repetitively. I would have enjoyed a more rigorous approach in which a broad range of retailers were systematically analyzed and their performance evaluated against the New Rules criteria (I'm a finance geek though).
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
A unique gift to both practitioners and academics Jan. 23 2011
By Kasra Ferdows - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
Lewis and Dart delve deep into issues, yet also manage to show us the big picture. This is a tough act. You need the unusual combination of years of experience working in or with a variety of retail organizations and the ability to put that experience in a broad historical context. The authors have done that superbly, and for me, it makes the book stand out among many others.

The authors' model for anticipating future challenges in the retail industry is both thought provoking and convincing. What the authors call "neurological connectivity" (creating an experience, not just a sale), in particular, is a fresh insight. The other two principles, "pre-emptive distribution" and "value-chain control," are also intriguing. Together they pose new challenges for both those who run retail businesses and those who study, consult, and teach in retail and supply chain fields. For the first group, they call for a fresh look at how they should run their business; for the second, they show new areas for research. What makes the book compelling is how the authors manage to support every argument with observations in a large number of famous and familiar retailers--from Apple to Zappos and Zara.

This last point--presence of a large number of real-world examples throughout this book--would also delight the academic reader. Those of us doing research and teaching in supply chain management appreciate the historical perspective and the elegant model presented in this book. But the most value in this book for many of us lies in the presence of such a rich variety of real-world examples. It is rare to find so many wonderful examples, nicely organized, in one place. This is a precious gift--even if we may not have been the intended audience for this book.

Kasra Ferdows
Heisley Family Chair Professor of Global Manufacturing
McDonough School of Business
Georgetown University
4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
Very insightful book Dec 31 2010
By richard kestenbaum - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
The New Rules of Retail doesn't just give the reader a history of retail. Lewis and Dart have a unique perspective. Immersed as they are in the industry, they outline what the future will look like and why it will come to pass as they predict. The book is insightful, interesting and well documented. If you're interested in where retail is going, read it.

Richard Kestenbaum, Partner, Triangle Capital LLC.

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