Why We Buy in praise of Retail Superstars, a book from US retail guru George Whalin.

Not published in the UK, it took me six months to get Penguin to send me a review copy and it was worth it. If you are an independent retailer who wants to make your business more successful then Retail Superstars is a must read and easy to purchase on Amazon.

You will read how much George Whalin loves retailing and the details that he picks on which show that the “25 best independent stores in America” have hit many of the same obstacles that you have hit in your business and overcome them. The book tells you how to run your shop rather than letting your shop run you.

One reader may love Michael Barefoot’s story: “We’re certainly in the food business,” he says. “But there’s a whole other level…we’re here to make people feel better when they leave than when they came in.” What’s his management secret? When he took on his first employee he drew a chalk line down the middle of the shop and said this is my half, do what I do in your half.

Another may enjoy Roger Maxwell’s story about developinghis store, In Celebration of Golf, using the skills he learnt as a vice president of the Marriott hotel group. His golf shops are, according to George Whalin, as good at retail execution as you can get.

“Throughout the research for this book I looked for keys to the long term success of these retailers. Did they have anything in common? One constant I found was the quality of the people hired to work in the stores,” says Mr Whalin. He is a good story teller and you will be inspired by his selection of great independent stores, warts and all. My only quibble is that the photography on the website supporting the book is not great or easy to use.

No good retailer can fail to gain 10 great ideas from reading this book that they can use in their shops. Buy it as soon as you can and use it to invest in your own personal vision. Start right here, right now!