Brown Books, $22.95, 360 pages
If you’ve ever walked through a Target, Wal-Mart, or Kmart, you’ve experience the legacy of Clyde “Smitty” Smith. John Trice and Helen Hosier tell Smitty’s story in Pioneering the Superstore. In the 1970s, Smitty owned a supermarket chain that combined a full-line grocery store with a full-line clothing store. This revolutionary new idea became the prototype for the “superstore” concept and allowed Smitty to double the market share over his competitors. Smitty’s biography shares his code of business fundamentals that he developed over seventy years of experience. You’ll read about common sense basics for hiring, customer service, and management skills. Between points are anecdotes from Smitty’s life. After every chapter is a section called “Worth Thinking About” which includes Smitty’s secrets to success and quotes from people like Dale Carnegie and Winston Churchill. The book ends with family photos. Readers should be aware that the authors and Smitty attribute much of life’s success to faith. You’ll find lots of religious discussions. It appears the authors have two goals: 1) to tell Smitty’s story, and 2) to spread the gospel. If you’re looking for a faith based biography about business, this is the book for you.
Reviewed by Kathryn Franklin