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the head, as store manager, general superintendent, or



employment manager. In each case there are usually
an assistant and office clerks.

Floor Superintending. The two chief positions here
are the floor superintendent, who has general charge
of a floor or selling division, and the floor clerk, who
usually acts as an assistant to the superintendent.

Selling and its Positions. The positions here divide
into two classes, the sales force and the stock force.
The sales force includes the selling clerks, often spoken
of as " sales people," who are scattered throughout the
store in its various merchandise departments or sections.
The sales people are distinguished by departments, as
salesman in the cotton-goods section or furniture de-
partment ; they represent the firm to its customers, and
the requirements, and importance of their work will be
treated more fully after this enumeration.

After merchandise comes from the stock room to its
departments it must be cared for before being sold.
This constitutes the work of the stock force. In caring
for stock, boys gradually learn the nature and value of
merchandise, and by watching sales persons they learn
something of selling. In this way boys graduate into
positions as selling clerks, clerical assistants to buyers,
and regular assistant buyers.

In all stores are found floor boys in connection with
selling. Formerly the term " cash boy " was in general
use, but the introduction of the tube system in hand-
ling money has displaced cash boys in most stores. In
heavy-goods sections the term " bundle boy " is in
general use. The floor boy comes to his department
first in the morning, dusts and removes covers from


merchandise, does cleaning during the day, keeps water
tanks filled, makes special deliveries of packages out-
side, and is messenger among departments of the store.
At night he covers merchandise. If there is no stock
boy in a section, the floor boy does stock work.

The floor boy may become a salesman in the section
in which he is serving, but it is advisable that he should
first serve in the receiving room or stock room, to be-
come familiar with merchandise and prices.

The Educational Department. The head of this de-
partment is the educational director, who has charge of
the training for efficiency of all groups of employees
throughout the store. This division is more fully treated
under the title of Social-Service Work, on page 153.

The Division of Expense. This division supervises the
general expenses of the business.

Positions. The leading positions are the expense man
and his assistants. The expense man is usually an as-
sistant to the store manager, though he may be sub^
ordinate to the office manager. He should be able to
deal with and analyze figures, and to pass upon and
control store expenses.

The Division of Supply and Construction. This division
deals with the supervision and maintenance of buildings
and fixtures, the making of contracts, and the buying
and care of office and departmental supplies. It in-
volves a knowledge of construction, of engines, motors,
machinery, and of general building equipment.

Positions. The positions are superintendent of con-
struction, purchasing agent, head engineer and engi-
neers, electricians, carpenters, painters, head elevator


man and elevator men, head porters and porters, night
superintendent, watchman, and cleaners.

The Mail-Order Department. This division has charge
of the mail-order business of the store.

Positions. The positions are the head of the mail-
order department and assistant, and department clerks,
who attend to the routine of filling orders promptly
and accurately.

The Delivery System. This division has to do with
the delivery of goods from the shipping room to the
homes of customers and is an important feature of
department-store trade. Merchandise which is to be
delivered at the home is sent by the selling clerk to
the bundle desk, where it is wrapped; then it is taken
to the shipping room, packed if necessary, and given
to the delivery wagon or express company. A large
business may have a separate packing room.

Positions. This division has the following positions:
the head examiner and assistant head examiner, who
are responsible for the condition in which merchandise
is sent out; the head shipper, assistant head shipper,
and shippers, who are responsible for the actual sending
of goods ; collectors of bundles, who get packages to
the shipping room and sort them according to delivery
districts ; bookers, or entry clerks, who make records of
shipments ; and billing clerks, who make out C. O. D. bills.

The More Important Positions and Features of Superin-
tending and Selling. The leading positions and features
of this great department call for further treatment, that
their importance and place in the entire system may
be clearly seen. The positions are distinctly executive,


and call for the highest business and executive "ability.
Along with the leading places in merchandising, adver-
tising, and the office, they present a high opportunity
to the man of education, training, and capacity who
wishes to advance in the business world, or to the young
man already in the system who has native ability and
determination to succeed.

The Store Manager. The store manager in many stores
is called the general superintendent. He has charge
generally of the employment of help and of training for
efficiency, of the selling of goods and service to custom-
ers, of the construction and maintenance of buildings,
of the mail-order and delivery systems, of alterations
in garments, of correspondence, and of the general ex-
pense and conduct of the department. The duties of
the store manager subdivide into the great, yet inti-
mately associated, branches of superintending and selling.

Diagram of Store Management. The following diagram
shows the double line of control maintained by the store
manager. The first group, coming closer to him in the
actual conduct of a store, has to do with employment
and all provisions concerning employees. The second
group, somewhat farther removed than the first, deals
with building and equipment and selling with its re-
lated branches. Selling is the main division, for which
all others exist. A chief or head of each division is
directly responsible to the store manager. This diagram
represents a complete and important organization within
the great organization of the modern department store.

The Store Superintendent. This position is next in order
and importance to that of the general superintendent, and



both are found in the highly organized store. The store
superintendent is sometimes called the superintendent


L J.









Selling Organ.-

of Selling




Floor Superintendent
Floor Clerks

Selling Departments or Sections

Erom a few to several hundred
selling sections in department


of selling. He has direct charge of the sales work of
the store, of employing minor help, of arranging mer-
chandise for sale, of keeping merchandise departments


in proper condition, of instructing the sales force in its
duties, of store discipline, of controlling the expense of
the selling departments, of adjusting claims of customers,
and of the work of all floor superintendents.

The Floor Manager. The floor manager, or superintend-
ent, is the floor executive. He is directly responsible
for the duties enumerated under the store superintend-
ent. He is responsible for maintaining a high standard
of salesmanship and prompt and satisfactory service to
customers. He has charge of exchanges, credits, and
refunds for returned merchandise, and of special cour-
tesies to customers. He must see that merchandise is
kept in good condition and so displayed that its sell-
ing properties are conspicuous. He must keep his floor
division presentable and his sales force efficient from
the store point of view, as well as from the customers'
point of view.

The floor clerk is the general assistant to the floor
manager. He handles such details as making exchanges,
credits, and refunds.

Requirements for Successful Salesmanship. The re-
quirements for the successful sales person in the depart-
ment store are both native and acquired. For selling
one should have the utmost tact, self-control, mental
alertness, interest in human nature, and faith in self and
in the business. Training given in the store, in class
work, or in lectures and instruction from buyers and
floor managers lays especial stress upon the following
points, among the many that belong to salesmanship :

First. The care of stock. A neatly kept and artisti-
cally arranged stock is the first step toward prepossessing



customers in favor of merchandise. Clerks are, accord-
ingly, carefully trained in these matters.

Second. The approach to a customer, which should be
cordial and welcoming, within the limits of refinement.
Excessive cordiality is a handicap at the outset.

Third. Talking of merchandise. The clerk must have
an intelligent and thorough knowledge of the styles,
features, and quality points of merchandise, and be
able to present these honestly and 'effectively to the

Fourth. The closing of the sale. Since first and last
impressions are especially strong upon a customer, it
is equally necessary that the last impression be one of
courteous and willing service.

The elements of efficient salesmanship may be fur-
ther shown by the following simple diagram. They are
fivefold, as relating to the sales person, the system, the
merchandise, the store, and the customer.


taste in
dress and

Full com-
pliance with
the store

of merchan-

Keen sense of
to the store
for results

desire to
satisfy the


The Boy in the Selling Department. A boy usually
enters this department between the ages of fourteen
and eighteen, at pay ranging from $3 to $4.50 a week,
and with a maximum of $5 in simple duties before
promotion. He will first act as floor boy or stock boy,
whose duties have already been enumerated. After one


or two years he may be promoted to be inspector, wifti
a maximum of $6 a week. After several years he may
become a salesman, with pay ranging from |10 to $20,
except in the rare cases of great ability in certain lines
of selling. A general progress in selling is, first, on
cotton goods, then woolen goods, silks, linens, house-
keeping goods, furniture, and draperies. This progress
is not at all fixed, and sales people are transferred ac-
cording to the changing demands of departments. The
pay of the salesman in the dry-goods store is on the
average a little higher than that found in the general
department store. The salesman may become floor super-
intendent, with pay ranging from $20 to $30 a week.
From his knowledge of stock he may pass into the mer-
chandise department as assistant buyer, with possible
advance to buyer or merchandise manager.

The Basis of Pay in Selling. While it may be said
that pay follows the law of supply and demand in the
department-store field, the regular wage of employees
is based upon what they are worth in the view of the
store management. In the selling department of some
stores a certain amount of sales constitutes a "quota,"
which varies according to the selling sections. The
sales made by any one person are expected to reach this
quota, to warrant a fixed standard of pay. Often the
sales person receives a percentage of the excess above
the quota of his section. Suppose one's sales to total
above $150 a week, the selling clerk may receive three
per cent of the excess. Again, in some stores all selling
clerks receive a percentage, as one half of one per cent,
on all sales made during the holiday season.



Its Nature. This is the division with which the firm
or proprietors of a department store have closest con-
nection. It is the division in which all departments
meet and in which the business of the store centers.
Here all finances and accounts are adjusted and con-
trolled. This division is sometimes called the department
of office work.

Simple Office Divisions. Stores differ greatly in office
divisions and methods, according to the magnitude of
business and the number and personality of owners
and managers. The simplest divisions, found in effect
in the actual working of all stores, are the Main Office,
from which the chief activities of the house are directed ;
the Retail or Charge Office, in which credit accounts are
kept ; and the Auditing Department, which reviews the
transactions of the entire business.

Divisions in Office Work in the Highly Organized
Store. The office is divided into the following divisions,
with subheads:

1. The Credit and Collection Department investigates
the financial standing of applicants for credit, approves
the opening of charge accounts, and makes collection
after the bills have been rendered.



2. The Charge Account Bookkeeping makes a record
of all the charge sales, debiting and crediting customers'
accounts, and sees that itemized statements are sent to
the customer at the close of each month, and that all
payments by customers are properly posted.

3. The Cashier's Office, or Accounting Room, as
it is sometimes called, receives and deposits all of the
cash which comes in, and keeps a record of all that
goes out, debiting and crediting the proper accounts
for each item.

4. The C.O.D. Division has charge of the accounts
for all sales made to customers on a C.O.D. basis, keeps
an individual record of each sale, and sees that the
transportation company delivers the merchandise and
that proper returns are made to the cashier's office.

5. The Auditing Department is responsible for a daily
examination and comparison of all transactions. It sees
that the record of each sale as made by the selling depart-
ment agrees with the cash received and charge accounts
billed and the C.O.D. accounts billed, rendering a daily
report of its work and verifying the total transactions
for the day.

6. The Purchase-Records Department keeps a record
of all outstanding orders for merchandise, enters on the
daily sheet all invoices of merchandise, making sure
that they are properly checked with the actual merchan-
dise received, and returns the invoices to the payment
department for entry and payment.

7. The Payment Department has charge of the pay-
ment of all bills by check after they have been properly
approved for receipt of the merchandise, its quality and


quantity, correct price, correct extension and footings,
and for final authorization for payment.

8. The Stock-Record Department keeps a record by
selling departments of the merchandise received, listed
by date and day of invoice, name of manufacturer, total
cost and retail of each invoice, and per cent of profit on
each invoice.

9. The Statistical Department furnishes all kinds of
statistical statements and reports for the information of


I Credits Clerical Bookkeeping |S?fJce|

Auditing Payroll Statistics Stock Cbar * e C. O. D.
| || || I | Records | | Accounts! | Accounts! |



the executives of the business, usually in comparative
form and in great variety.

Positions in the Office Department in the Highly Or-
ganized Store : Treasurer and assistant treasurer ; office
manager, who has charge of the keeping of the records ;
assistant recording manager; credit manager, or credit
man, who has oversight of the credit system of the store ;
assistant credit man; head auditor, who examines all
accounts; cashiers; heads of retail divisions, who have
charge of the office accounts of their division; head
of the division for the payment of bills; head of the


division for C.O. D. bills; head of the division of store
records ; head of the pay-roll department ; clerks in each
division ; collectors who follow up outside accounts ;
stenographers and operators of typewriters ; bookkeepers ;
secretaries ; and office boys.

There are various titles for clerks in the office de-
partment in different stores, determined by the particular
duties of the clerk, such as billing clerks, who make out
bills in the case of credit accounts, authorization clerks,
who pass on sales to credit customers, and ledger clerks,
who keep ledger accounts.

Some stores use an outside collecting agency or have
a regularly employed attorney.

The Bookkeeper. The bookkeepers form a distinct
division. They are really " ledger clerks," or " ledger
men," whose work consists in posting accounts to ledgers.
They are generally young men. Some stores demand
previous training in bookkeeping, others give an
opportunity for a boy to learn it in office routine.

An Actual Case of Advancement. Herewith is given
an actual case of advancement in the office of a depart-
ment store. This advance was almost exactly dupli-
cated in a second store and is typical of the possibilities
of office work.

At the age of sixteen a boy entered the retail office
as office and errand boy; at seventeen he was copying
and adding on books; at eighteen he was figuring on
invoices and on rates of profits; at nineteen, on rates
of profits ; at twenty he was making stock statements
and profit statements; at twenty-one he was assistant
in the stock office ; at twenty-six he was head of the


foreign office ; at thirty-four he was assistant to the
treasurer ; and at thirty -five he became the treasurer
of the corporation.

In these particular cases advancement resulted from
hard and persistent effort and provided opportunity.
Such advantage was taken of the first small promotions
that there was fitness for the larger openings as they
came, and the young man rose high in the service at a
comparatively early age.

The Boy in the Office Department. The boy may enter
this department at the age of fourteen as an office boy
at $3, $3.50, or $4 a week. After several years he
would not generally receive over $5 or $6. If of suf-
ficient ability he might be promoted to some clerical
position in a division of the office or be transferred to
some other department of the store. Older boys with
evident ability or previous experience may enter in an
advanced position as office clerk or assistant at $8 or $9
a week, advancing to $12 or $15. A boy may some-
times enter as a stenographer and operator of type-
writer at $6 a week, and advance to $15 or $20 after
several years. The usual limits of pay for bookkeepers
are $12 and $18. Heads of office divisions receive from
$20 to $50 a week, while managers are paid salaries
of several thousands of dollars a year.

Service in this department is generally permanent,
whether one masters only routine duties or becomes a
division head or manager. In .every case efficiency is
of permanent value to the entire system and receives
proper reward in the matter of promotion and salary.


Its Nature. This is the division of publicity. Its
work is to make known to the public the merchandise
of the store. This is done in the daily papers or other
periodicals, and by catalogues, circulars, placards, and
store display, by a clear, concise, and attractive presen-
tation of the nature and prices of goods for sale. The
department must be in constant touch with all branches
of the business.

The Modern Trend. The advertising department is
making great advancement in scope and in methods at
the present time. Modern advertising is opening up a
new field of occupation in all lines of trade, and no-
where is it more effective or noticeable than in the retail
advertising of the great department store. The matter
of department-store publicity is often a question of the
personality and ability of the head of the business. In
many of our great stores the owner is a better advertiser
than trader. In other stores the converse is true; the
proprietor may be a good buyer and seller but have little
or no ability in advertising, succeeding largely by means
of his superior trading qualities. On the one hand, a
merchant who is a natural advertiser finds it necessary to
surround himself with men who can bring to the busi-
ness more skill and natural aptitude and experience in



merchandising than he himself may possess. On the
other hand, the man who is a natural trader but lacks
the faculty of advertising will need more the services of
men skilled in publicity. The newer conception, which
is likely to be followed in the development of the
function of retail advertising, is to take a larger view
of both merchandising and advertising to regard one
as the buying and productive function and the other
as the sales or distributing function, comprehending all
forms of selling. This is the line on which the trade
of the larger stores of 'the country is developing.

Divisions in Store Advertising. The customary divi-
sions of the publicity department of the store are news-
paper advertising, art department, sign department,
circulars and announcements. In some stores the mail-
order department is an advertising division ; in others
it is entirely separate. In some stores the advertising
department is responsible for windows; in others this,
also, is a separate division of the business. In some
stores the advertising department is really a subdivision
of merchandising; in most, however, it is an entirely
separate department, responsible only to the head of
the entire business.

Positions. The usual positions are the advertising
manager, assistant advertising manager, and office assist-
ants ; the head of the art department and other artists ;
the head window dresser and assistants ; the head of
the sign department, sign writer, and assistants.

The Publicity Manager. The head of the advertis-
ing department must have versatility, breadth of view,
and extensive knowledge of human nature. He is the


spokesman of the business, and must present it in such
a manner as to attract and hold the patronage of the
public. While leading in the work of his department he
must also follow the established policy of the house.
He must keep in touch, as well, with methods used in
the general field of advertising. His best preparation
is threefold, coming from experience in merchandising,
selling, and newspaper work. The publicity manager




1 1


Style Expert

Competition Records
Reports and Results

I Assistant Publicity Manager


[Windows) JNewspapers| | Signs] [illustrations] [Decorations | [Fixtures |

is the composite of an active newspaper man and an
enterprising merchant.

By a natural division of the duties of the department
the manager may be assisted by men who occupy impor-
tant places in the store publicity.

Important Assistant Positions. There is usually an
expert copy writer who understands also the use of
types in printing. This writer knows exactly how much
material will fill a certain amount of space and how
to make the fewest words possible bring the greatest


results. Copy writers go into departments for material
or call for it from the departments. There may be
another person whose work consists in looking after the
newspapers. He should know the nature, circulation,
and advertising rates of all the papers in his city and
suburban towns. He sees that a set of scrapbooks is
kept in which are pasted all the advertisements of the
store, cut from the various papers, as well as advertise-
ments of other stores. Such information is of the
highest value to the department and to the buyers of
merchandise. Another assistant may keep a record of
appropriations for advertising purposes and of the

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Online LibraryFrederick James AllenBusiness employments → online text (page 9 of 14)