STORES Magazine - July 2008 - (Page 33)

NUTS AND BOLTS / HUMAN RESOURCES tailer, which operates nearly 500 stores nationwide under the Casual Male and Rochester Clothing banners. The newly expanded training curriculum comes at a time when Casual Male is focused on merchandising for men who are not as large as its traditional core customer demographic. The $6 billion big-and-tall market “really starts at waist 42,” Hernreich says. “We do extremely well with guys whose waist sizes are 48 and higher but, historically, we’ve not really done as well with the smaller end of the market. We are now trying to broaden our reach with the smaller and tall guys. It’s not so much a change in strategy as it is a change in marketing approach.” Part of that approach, and one which will benefit the chain’s entire customer base, is enhanced training for all its 3,000 retail sales associates, a move that will help reduce employee turnover and offer the staff the opportunity to learn Listen and Learn MP3-based program trains Casual Male associates on the sales floor BY LEN LEWIS o boost its training efforts, Casual Male decided to outfit its employees with headphones. “It’s somewhat unique in that we use audio MP3 players to distribute the training content,” says executive vice president and COO Dennis R. Hernreich. “Basically, our people in the stores put on a headset and learn as they listen.” T “It’s active, fun learning,” says Judy L’Heureux, the company’s vice president of sales. “People are not just standing still. They are participating in the learning and it becomes a tactile experience. It enables them to multi-task and we found that audio can result in great retention rates.” The program, called InfoTrain Outsource and developed specifically for the retail industry by Total Sound InfoTainment (TSI) of Teaneck, N.J., combines auditory, visual, tactile and kinesthetic WWW.STORES.ORG Active learning enables sales associates to multitask; we found that audio can result in great retention rates — Judy L’Heureux, Casual Male training into one method. It has become a valuable alternative to the development of expensive — and sometimes inefficient and insufficient — conventional training programs for the apparel re- more about the merchandise in an entertaining way. “What distinguishes us from other retailers is that many of our sales associates connect with us emotionally,” Hernreich says. “They have family or friends who come from the world of big and tall. Now, we are trying to give our associates more guidance and training on how to treat all customers.” Training was an in-house function until early last year, but the department lacked structure and the amount of time STORES / JULY 2008 33 http://WWW.STORES.ORG

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of STORES Magazine - July 2008

STORES Magazine - July 2008
Executive Editor's Page
President's Page
Dearth of Retail Creativity
What Shoppers Think
Wow, Is That a Wawa?
10 Things You May Have Missed
Numbers Worth Counting
Full Price/Markdown
Retail People
Merchandising Strategy
Point of Sale
Human Resources
Top 100 Retailers
Store Design
IT Operations
Systems Managements
LP Vantage Point
Cover Story
Emergency Response Systems
Background Checks
LOEB Retail Letter
Point of View
NRF News
Retail Crossword
Retail Industry Calendar
Last Laugh

STORES Magazine - July 2008