Shoulberg PUBLISHER/EDITORIAL DIRECTOR

Help Wanted

April 17, 2017

In their never-ending quest to stay relevant and keep up with the changing retail landscape, America’s top stores have brought on a number of new personnel over the past year.

You may have missed the individual announcements so in the interest of public service, here is a summary of recent developments:

Chief Extortion Officer: Several retailing organizations announced appointments in this department in an effort to extract more value from their supplier partners. Not to be confused with the CEO – chief executive officer – this new corner office title – shortened to CHEX – is in charge of finding new sources of revenue, like opening order discounts, reorder discounts, closing order discounts, discount discounts and discounts for responding to offers of discounts. On your org charts, for those of you keeping score, the CHEX position is just slightly to the left and below the chairman of the board.

Sales Prevention Manager: While this job function has been in existence almost since the dawn of retailing, it has now been codified under this title. Executives holding this office are required to stop buying successful products and brands because a competitor might be carrying the same merchandise. They are also tasked with cancelling orders for goods preferred by store buyers because the terms of the agreement did not meet the requirements as set by the CHEX (see above). Sales Prevention Managers are legally prevented from giving out their phone numbers or answering emails in a timely manner.

Millennial Maven: Retailers, realizing they are generally run by old white guys – even when they are not necessarily old, white or even guys – have created this very important office to identify the new emerging demographic that is the answer to all of their problems. The MMs – not to be confused with GMMs, DMMs, old MMs or even Ms – are critical pieces of the new strategies retailers are adapting. Job requirements for this new position are 20 years’ experience in retailing.

Director, Department of Redundancy Department: Coming to the conclusion that they didn’t have enough people doing the same thing, retailers have created this new department whose function it is to create duplicate, even triplicate reports and studies, allowing for multiple copies to be filed away in underground bunkers for future generations to ponder.

Chief Fun Officer: Having decided that customers are now guests and employees are associates and cast members, retailers are taking the next step and will from here on out no longer use the word “work” when referring to the tasks of its staffers. It will now be known as “fun.” And therefore, a Chief Fun Officer will need to be in charge of said activities. Associates and cast members will from this day forward have fun… whether they like it or not.

Al Gorithm: This gentleman was hired by one of the very largest American retailers to be in charge of programming all merchandising decisions based on information culled from Excel spreadsheets. He has never been to a trade show or market before, has never actually seen any products in person, and to our understanding may never have used a cloth towel during his lifetime. His exact location is unspecified and in fact there are those who question his very existence. But our sources tell us he is very…very real. All too real.

And who said there weren’t any new jobs in retailing anymore?