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A systematic, mechanical look at a typical department-store day. The workers spruce up the stock, and collect sales slips and cash, before ""the doors are unlocked and the customers come into the store."" Then--and this is the book's distinguishing, 1984 aspect--the store, or department-store-business, viewpoint is retained. ""Popular items on the first floor catch their eyes. The department managers know what will sell quickly and where to place it."" (Says one gulled customer: ""I don't really need this, but. . . ."") In quarter-page cartoons, we see customers making appropriate queries in the various departments; a double-page spread (repeated at the closing bell) presents a cutaway of the four floors. Other pages illustrate the unpacking and ticketing of stock, and the collaboration of display artists and department managers in arranging ""the merchandise in an exciting way."" When a customer decides on a couch, ""the salesperson orders a duplicate from the store's big warehouse or direct from the factory."" Customers pay cash, or charge their purchases. (""The store's credit department will send them a bill later."") Almost totally unimaginative--but reasonably true-to-life (e.g., the woman with a broken clock on line for Customer Service) and undeniably if drily informative.

Pub Date: March 28th, 1984
Publisher: Crowell