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Shopportunity!: How to Be a Retail Revolutionary

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 6, 2006

    Highly Recommend This Book

    As a commercial actress who makes her living selling everything from paper towels, body lotion, and automobiles I was mesmerized by this book and had to take a figurative 'look in the mirror' about my own consumer habits and responsibilities as a 'peddler' of these products. Kate Newlin's literary prowess and indomitable wit make these 'hard facts' regarding the downward spiral of our consumerism, the ever-growing (and ever related) obesity epidemic, and the disregard for the 'hourly' workers in this country almost palatable. Her true love for the ideal 'Shopportunity' is infectious and makes us want to be more conscience, responsible and truly fulfilled members of the human race. I highly recommend this book.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 29, 2006

    Compelling, superb reporting, incisive analysis

    You know from the start the Kate Newlin¿s Shopportunity is going to focus on a large human canvas. One of the many joys of this book is the humanity with which Newlin explores the rise and fall of retail organizations as well as the talents of the people who work and thrive within them. It should be a hit with anyone interested in understanding the important interplay between what we buy, how we buy, where we buy it and society. Retail organizations are no different than other organizations, in that they are living, adapting organisms. Individuals serve as parts of all organizations. As individuals develop, mature, and die, organizations have their own life cycles. Some organizations live for a short period of time, others for hundreds and even thousands of years. The question is why. Organizations, like individual life is finite and timed: there is a natural course for each. However, there are times when individuals as well as organizations fall not as a result of having finished their natural life, but because they were not able to transform at the right time as part of their development. Newlin¿s journey inside the box of big box stores reveal how we may again be on the cusp of an enormous change. It is comparable to what a physician can see in a patient. Even a physician needs a physician for health maintenance because every organism has a blind spot about itself. It is through an understanding of the dynamics of an organization ¿ its history and identification of the forces for change that conflict with the present situation ¿ which can help them lead through conflict, not around it. In a personally provocative chronicle, Kate Newlin gives us the feeling of actually being there during the heyday ¿ in another time, in the stores and in the minds of customers and proprietors alike. Her time and effort researching the book, her personal journey through it, result in fluency with her topic and a fluency of writing that makes the reading almost effortless.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 29, 2006

    Must Read!

    I loved it and bought 10 copies for friends and colleagues. It's the first business-focused book I've read that reads like literature. She's an excellent and entertaining writer and poses some very interesting points. E.g. We save money at Wal-Mart but pay more in taxes to cover the healthcare costs of Wal-Mart's un-insured employees. She reminds us to EXPECT great service, quality and product-performance that aligns with its advertising claims -- rather than just buying the cheapest thing available from a surly clerk in a disorganized big box store. Support the little guy and feel better about spending your hard-earned money!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 30, 2006

    What Kind of Consumer Am I? Does it Matter?

    Kate Newlin's book was an easy and delightful read, yet, it also prompted me to thoughtfully reflect on the type of consumer I am and want to be -- let alone, the type of consumer I want my children to be. I am no scholar, or book critic, but it was wonderful to read something sensitive, impassioned and committed to the possibility that we can reverse the overly indulgent, mindless and irresponsible behavior that ultimately makes our culture obese, in debt, and significantly detached from the ramifications of our choices (even if those ramifications include supporting child labor or inadequate working conditions, wages and health insurance). At times I felt the book offered a rather 'urban perspective.' BUT, there was no mistaking the pervasive voice and intelligence in the book that called on an awakening of our cultural conscience and responsibility. Do we know: What we are buying? Why we want what we want? (Holy smokes! There was a marketing/advertising team that pined for my childhood attachment to B-O-L-O-G-N-A and French's Mustard, and I didn't even know it as a little tyke? Let alone if they were up to any good. Did my mother know? Did I know when I bought a bottle after years of never buying one, simply because my child's sandwich just wouldn't be right without French's?) When a visit to Canal Street is a must do in NYC, are we thinking about the impact of our collective purchases? Do we care? Have we really thought about it? Really? What makes this book special is the humaneness embedded in each and every idea and morsel of knowledge won by decades of working closely and carefully with large corporations. Newlin's book is sincere, smart, approachable and full of faith in our culture's capacity to 'do the right thing.' Now, let's do it! ...see, it was inspiring, too! Don't you have to be inspired to take action, let alone change? If Newlin's mission was to evoke thoughtfulness, accountability and change, mission accomplished. I love the heart of this book.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 31, 2006

    Some Retailers Do It Right!

    What an interesting read! This book really made me take a good look at the way I shop and why I shop the way I do. The author raises a lot of great points about consumers¿ constant need for ¿cheap¿, no matter what the cost (in workers¿ health care, wages, etc.). While not a fan of Wal-Mart myself, the author also points out the NUMEROUS things wrong with that retailer. One of the most interesting things about this book is the author¿s ability to show you retailers that are doing it ¿right¿-- doing it right for their customers AND their employees. Those are the stores I want to spend my money at ¿ and this book shows you how to choose those great retailers. If you¿re interested at all in retail or consumerism, give this book a read. You¿ll learn a lot ¿ I did (and I work in retail ¿ at a store that, thankfully, does it RIGHT).

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