My friend Dawn lent me a copy of Minding the Store, a true story about the history of Neiman Marcus. I never seem to find time to read so when I do the book has to be really good to keep my attention. My attention was captured within the first few pages of this book, I loved the history of the way the store began, the background of the Neiman and the Marcus families, and all of the fashion discussed between the covers.
As a small business owner, I was able to take away a lot of great advice about customer service and client relationships. Neiman Marcus built their success by finding the right item for each customer, being honest, and having an innovative to their sales and marketing.
So many times I meet other business owners what want to get ahead by cutting corners and taking advantage of their customers by selling them products or services that they don’t really need or want. One of the most memorable stories in the book was about realizing that their is not an ideal client. Stanley Marcus saw a little old lady looking at an art exhibit they were hosting at their flagship store in Dallas. She was wearing ratty clothes and instead of carrying a handbag she was carrying a brown paper sack. Instead of walking past her he stopped to explain the story behind the artist and tell her about each piece in the exhibit. After he finished she said she wanted to buy one of the pieces and she opened up her brown paper sack and pulled out 50 one hundred dollar bills. He said his jaw almost hit the floor and from that moment on he looked at all of his customers differently.
The book is filled with great stories about fashion designers, World War II, the Kennedy Assassination, Frank Lloyd Wright, the new Oil in Texas and much much more. If you have a small business, enjoy history, or like fashion, you will enjoy this book.