The Break

When Carl Potts, the DM, came into the Bradford store he was often pretty rough on everybody, always finding something wrong. But Seibert heard that Potts's favorite line of merchandise was suits. Potts was big on profits in women's dresses and hosiery, but his biggest passion was men's suits. So whenever the DM arrived, Seibert managed to engage him with new questions about suits and building the men's suits department. Whereupon, no matter what shape the store was in, they proceeded into a very positive discussion in which Seibert was taken to school on suits , Potts imparting his massive knowledge of the subject. As a result, the DM came to appreciate Seibert's potential. This led to Seibert's first breaksomething he later freely admitted is an important factor in how you move up.

There was a flurry of activity in Bradford as they prepared to reopen the remodeled store. Potts was there and he was sore. "Who the hell wrote these grand reopening ads?" he demanded. It was late and everybody was frazzled, especially the high-strung first man.

"I did. What's wrong with them?" asked the first man, teeth on edge.

"What's wrong with these? What's wrong is that they're piss poor, that's what!"

"If that's what you think, Mr. Potts, then why don't you take those ads and shove them!" After this very un-Penneyish remark, the first man stormed out of the store and nobody expected to see him again.


"Yes, Mr. Potts?"

"Can you redo these ads?"

"Sure he can," said Klepper.

Seibert added, "Come back in the morning and they'll be done."

They were. They were effective. Potts was happy. And when the first man did leave the company soon thereafter, the DM promoted Don Seibert into the job. This led to a position in the new Buffalo suburban store and more career momentum.

Celebration of Fools. An Inside Look at the Rise and Fall of JCPenney
Celebration of Fools: An Inside Look at the Rise and Fall of JCPenney
ISBN: 0814471595
EAN: 2147483647
Year: 2003
Pages: 177
Authors: Bill Hare © 2008-2017.
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