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EMPLOYMENT OUTLOOK IN DEPARTMENT STORES U N IT ED STATES D EP A R T M EN T O F LABOR M a u r i c e J . T o b i n , Secretary B U R EA U O F LA B O R STATISTICS E w a n C l a g u e , Commissioner In cooperation with V E T E R A N S A D M I N I S T R A T I O N O CCUPATIO N A L O UTLO OK S E R IE S Bulletin No. 1020 Employment O utlook in D EP A R TM EN T STO R ES Bulletin No. 1020 U N ITED S TA T E S D E P A R TM E N T O F L A B O R Maurice J. Tobin, Secretary BUREAU O F L A B O R STATISTICS Ewan Clague, Commissioner In cooperation with V E TE R A N S A D M IN IS TR A TIO N For sale by the Superintendent of Documents, U. S. Government Printing O ffice, Washington 25, D. C. Price 20 cents Letter of Transmittal U nited S tates D epartment of L abor, B ureau of L abor S tatistics, Washington, D . 67.,March 15,1951. The S ecretary of L abor: I have the honor to transm it herew ith a report on the em ploym ent outlook in depart m ent stores. This is one of a series of occupational studies conducted in the B ureau’s O ccupational Outlook B ranch for use in vocational counseling of veterans, young people in schools, and others interested in choosing a field of work. The study was financed largely by the V eterans A dm inistration, and the report was originally published as a V et erans A dm inistration pam phlet for use in vocational rehabilitation and education activities. The study was prepared by Raym ond D.Larson w ith the assistance of Jam es J. Treires. The Bureau wishes to acknowledge the generous assistance received from the unions, trade associations, departm ent stores, and governm ent agencies. E wan Clague, Commissioner. Hon. M aurice J. T obin , Secretary of Labor. Contents Page Summary__________________________________________________________________________ 1 The department store industry________________________________________________________ 1 Employment outlook________________________________________________________________ 2 1950-60 decade_________________________________________________________________ 2 Long-run trends_________________________________________________________________ 3 Movement to suburban areas_____________________________________________________ 5 Hiring, qualifications, and training_____________________________________________________ 6 Hiring workers__________________________________________________________________ 6 Qualifications___________________________________________________________________ 6 Training_______________________________________________________________________ 7 In school___________________________________________________________________ 7 In the store_________________________________________________________________ 7 Opportunities for advancement________________________________________________________ 9 Department store jobs----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------10 Merchandising__________________________________________________________________ 11 Selling jobs-------------Buying jobs________________________________________________________________ 12 Receiving_________________________________________________________________________ Customer service________________________________________________________________ 14 Wrapping and packing_______________________________________________________ 14 Delivery___________________________________________________________________ 14 Alterations and repairs_______________________________________________________ 14 Adjust ments_________________________________________________________ Maintenance and operation_______________________________________________________ 15 Maintenance________________________________________________________________ 15 Housekeeping_______________________________________________________________ 16 Elevator operation___________________________________________________________ 16 Protection__________________________________________________________________ 16 Financial control________________________________________________________________ 16 Publicity_______________________________________________________________________ ,17 Personnel______________________________________ _________________________________ 11 13 15 17 Contents— Continued Earnings and working conditions______________________________________________________________ Earnings_________________________________________________________________________________ All store jobs________________________________________________________________________ Sales clerks__________________________________________________________________________ Other nonsupervisory employees_______________________________________________________ Hours of work, vacations, and discounts____________________________________________________ Workweek___________________________________________________________________________ Vacations_____________________________________:______________________________________ Discounts_________________________________ Labor unions____________________________________________________________________________ TABLES 1. —Number of establishments and employees in retail trade, 1948______________________________ 2. —Department store workers by State mid-March 1948______________________________________ 3. —Department stores’ share of combined sales of department stores and nine related kinds of business 1929, 1935, 1939, 1948--'-_______________________________________________________ 4. —Percent of workers by type of job________________________________________________________ 5. —Average weekly earnings of workers in selected occupations in department and women’s ready-towear stores in selected cities May-July 1950______________________________________________ 6. —Scheduled hours and days per week for full-time workers (men and women) in department and women’s ready-to-wear stores May-July 1950_____________________________________________ 7. —Paid vacations for full-time workers in department and women’s ready-to-wear stores May-July 1950___________________________________________________________________________________ 8. —Paid holidays for full-time workers (store and office workers) in department and women’s ready-towear stores May-July 1950______________________________________________________________ 9*—^Discount policies for full-time workers in department and women’s ready-to-wear stores M ayJuly 1950___________________________________________________________________________ CHARTS 1. —Department store sales volume has increased greatly since 1919__________________________ 2. —Employment in department stores________________________________________________________ 3. —Average number of sales transactions for each hour worked in selected large department stores_ 4. —Index of employment in department stores, 1948__________________________________________ 5. —Typical organization pattern of a large department store---------------------------------------------------- Page 18 18 18 18 21 21 21 22 22 22 2 2 4 10 19 21 22 23 23 3 4 5 8 10 Employment O utlook in Department Stores Summary About 2,600 department stores with 750,000 workers are located in cities throughout the Na tion. The largest stores and a large proportion of the workers are concentrated in metropolitan areas. Some department stores have as few as 25 employees; the largest have thousands of workers. Running a department store calls for a wide assortment of workers, ranging from porters to store executives. Selling employees account for almost half the workers. For many jobs, em ployers prefer applicants with training in business methods, but most of the beginning jobs can be filled by workers with no previous retail experi ence. Higher-level positions, on the other hand, frequently call for store experience in addition to specialized training. About two out of three employees are women. The employment trend in department stores has been upward over the years and is likely to con tinue in this direction. Increasing population and income, and the establishment of new suburban outlets will be the chief causes of rising employ ment. Although a number of additional workers will be needed to run new stores and to enlarge the staffs of some established stores, few jobs will result from growth in the industry compared with the number of openings resulting from turn-over. Increased business activity caused by defense expenditures will have little effect on total em ployment, but will temporarily increase the rate of turn-over. By the same token, any small dips in business will decrease employment very little, if at all. In any event, department stores offer employees more security than many other indus tries. Earnings among nonsupervisory employees vary greatly. In general, sales clerks earn more than nonselling employees, and men earn more than women. Pay checks of more than $100 a week are not uncommon among men sales clerks in big cities. In some large cities, on the other hand, many women sales clerks earn less than $30 a week. A large and increasing number of de partment store employees work on a 5-day-week schedule of 40 hours. Most department stores give their workers vacations and holidays with pay, and allow them discounts on items purchased in the store. The Department Store Industry More than 830,000 workers were employed in 2,590 department stores in November 1948. (See table 1.) Census of Business figures show that these stores had about 12 percent of all the workers in retail trade and sold 10.6 billion dollars5worth of merchandise, representing over 8 percent of the dollar volume for all retail trade. Department stores were defined as departmentalized retail establishments with 25 or more employees selling a broad line of merchandise including a variety of apparel and home furnishings. Mail order houses selling a wide variety of merchandise were in cluded in the data for department stores. A growing proportion of department stores are members of chain organizations. Some depart ment store chains cover only a local area and have as few as four stores. Others are Nation-wide organizations with hundreds of stores and many thousands of employees. The biggest department store chain had about 600 stores with 66,000 em ployees in 1945. Many of the units in this chain, however, are small stores not considered depart ment stores. For chain stores, the buying, person nel, credit, and other operation policies are deter mined by a home office or home store. As a result, there are fewer workers at the managerial level, 1 and their duties are limited to a much greater ex tent than in independent stores. For example, buyers in independent stores frequently have the responsibility of deciding not only what merchan dise to buy but how much and where; in chain organizations the central offices do most of the buying. T able 1.— 'Number of establishments and employees in , retail trade 19^8 Retail trade group Total General merchandise group_____ ___ Department stores. __ Other general merchandise stores Food group____ _ __ Eating and drinking places _ _ _ Apparel group __ Furniture, furnishings, appliance group. __ Automotive group _ Gasoline service station Lumber, building, h a r d w a r e g ro u p Drug and proprietory stores Liquor stores ___ _ Second-hand stores _____ Other retail stores Paid employees, workweek ended nearest Nov. 15 1 Establish ments 1,769,993 74,140 2, 590 71,550 504,480 346, 555 115, 333 85, 548 86,196 188, 305 98, 797 55, 851 33, 628 16, 964 164,196 6,927,891 1,378,672 833,173 545,499 1,012,934 1,345,338 580, 919 374,812 634,654 287,896 479,888 282,390 52, 613 20,787 476,988 1 Includes employees paid for less than full workweek. Excludes members of proprietors’ families who work without pay. Source: Preliminary 1948 Census of Business data. Closely related to chains are “ownership groups.” These are department stores under com mon ownership, but they do not have centralized buying—a major characteristic of chain organiza tions. For the most part, the stores in these ownership groups operate as independent stores under their original names. They generally do most of their own buying, have their own credit policies, and frequently appeal to different income groups. The degree of control, however, varies considerably from one group to another. Most department stores are located in heavily populated districts—in cities and their suburbs. Employment is therefore greatest in the States with the biggest urban populations. Five States— New York, Pennsylvania, Illinois, California, and Ohio—had 44 percent of the department store em ployees in 1948. (See table 2.) The following cities, in the order named, had the greatest num ber of department store employees: New York, Chicago, Los Angeles, Philadelphia, Detroit, Pittsburgh, Cleveland, Washington, D. C., St. Louis, and Boston. , . T able 2.— Department store workers by State mid-March 1948 State New York......................._ Pennsylvania. . .............. Illinois—.......................... . California—____________ Ohio................................... Total, five States___ Michigan—.____ ______ Texas_________________ Massachusetts_________ Missouri--------------------Indiana________ _____ New Jersey----------------Wisconsin_____________ Minnesota_____________ District of Columbia____ Washington___________ Maryland_______ ____ North Carolina-----------Georgia_______________ Virginia.............................. Iowa_____ ____________ Florida_______________ Tennessee_____________ Oregon_______________ Connecticut—._________ Louisiana_____________ Number of em ployees in midMarch 1948 88,193 73, 206 66, 846 65, 522 64,821 358, 588 36, 562 33, 593 28,185 25,021 23,154 22, 511 21,748 18, 830 15, 872 15, 376 15, 213 14,099 13, 998 13,996 13,844 11, 785 11, 755 10, 933 9, 962 9,167 State Oklahoma_____________ Alabama..................... . Colorado........................... Kentucky_____________ Nebraska_____________ West Virginia.................... Kansas_________ ____ South Carolina................. Utah................................... Arkansas_____________ Rhode Island............... . Mississippi_______ _____ Idaho_________________ Maine________________ Montana._____________ Arizona.............................. South Dakota_________ North Dakota-------------New Mexico___________ Hawaii__ _____________ New Hampshire-_______ Nevada_______________ Delaware----------- --------Wyoming------- ------ -----Vermont____ ________ Total, United States. Number of em ployees in midMarch 1948 8,442 8,211 7,601 7,468 6,985 6, 511 6,392 4, 735 4, 678 4,498 3,865 3,485 2, 828 2, 666 2,440 2, 388 2, 212 2,115 1,627 1,468 1, 062 849 829 819 774 819,140 Source: County Business Patterns, U. S. Department of Commerce from data supplied by the U. S. Bureau of Old Age and Survivor’s Insurance. Employment Outlook 1 9 5 0 - 6 0 Decade Department stores will hire thousands of work ers each year during the 1950-60 decade. Most of them will be taken on for beginning jobs. Workers will be needed to replace department store employees who die, retire, or leave their jobs for other reasons; to fill positions in new stores; and to enlarge the staffs of existing stores when 2 business increases or when hours of work are short ened. Although department store employment will tend to rise slowly in the future, the number of openings created by growth in the industry will be very small in comparison with the openings which will result from turn-over. Because a high proportion of the employees are women who often leave their jobs to get married or to have children and young workers who tend to move from job to job, turn-over is high. For persons who plan department store careers, however, it is important to know that they will be in an expanding industry. To them, growth in department store employment means that there will be greater job security and a better chance to reach top-level positions. International developments in 1950 have led to increased defense expenditures and a conse quent heightening of economic activity generally. The effect of this on the total number of depart ment store jobs will be very slight. In boom periods, department stores have more sales, but these are handled for the most part by the regular staff. As a result of expansion after World War II, the number of stores and employees is now adequate to handle any reasonable increase in sales. Nevertheless, it will be much easier for new people to enter this field during the next few years. Turn-over in department stores will be exception ally high, particularly in the lower-paid jobs. The demand for workers in defense industries and the higher wages offered will induce many people to leave their department store jobs, creat ing openings for new workers. Long -Run Tre n d s We can expect a long-run upward trend in de partment store employment as the population grows and as per capita income continues to rise. Under these conditions, department store business and employment are likely to increase even if the share of retail trade going to department stores should decrease slightly. Department stores had a smaller proportion of total trade in 1948 than in 1939, yet their sales increased tremendously. This rise in sales was a continuation of the trend after 1919, when data on dollar sales were first collected. The volume of goods sold has not increased as much as dollar D E P A R TM E N T S TO R E S A L E S V O L U M E G R E A TLY index HAS INCREASED SINCE 1919 1935-39 = 100 IN0EX SALES INDEX ADJUSTED BY APPLYING BUREAU UNITEO STATES DEPARTMENT OF LABOR BUREAU OF LABOR STATISTICS OF LABOR STATISTICS' CONSUMERS PRICE INDEXES FOR APPAREL AND HOUSEFURNISHINGS Source: FEDERAL RESERVE BOARD 3 volume, however, because of changes in the pur chasing power of the dollar. Chart 1 shows the index of sales and the same series adjusted by roughly allowing for price changes in the major lines of goods handled by department stores. This upward trend in volume is likely to continue. Employment in department stores, like sales, has had an upward trend. Chart 2 shows the average employment in department stores for se lected years since 1929. The number of workers dropped during the depression, but by 1939 rose above the 1929 figure, and continued to rise slowly until 1945. Employment began to climb rapidly in 1946, reached a peak in 1948, and declined slightly in 1949. For the next several years, em ployment probably will remain near the 1949 level. Because of this, most job openings will arise from turn-over, which tends to be high. In department stores employment is more closely related to the volume of business than it is in industries which can more easily make use of labor-saving devices. Many manufacturing in dustries, for example, can expand production con siderably through technological improvements 4 without increasing their work forces. To be sure, department stores have also made progress in reducing labor requirements. They have mecha nized warehouses, introduced office machines to eliminate clerical work, and used various self selling techniques to reduce the number of sales clerks needed. The buildings themselves are being designed scientifically to keep the cost of handling goods and of maintenance at a minimum. Frequently, however, reductions in staff brought about by these means are offset by adding to the services offered by the stores or by shortening the hours of work. Chart 3 shows the year-to-year variations in the number of transactions per man hour for 13 big stores between 1940 and 1948. Except for the rise during the war years, trans actions per man-hour did not change significantly from 1940 through 1948. The amount of the average transaction rose, however, from $2.45 to $4.70. Efforts to reduce labor requirements can be expected to continue, but, because of the nature of department store operations, it is unlikely that there will be any substantial decrease in the num ber of workers needed to handle a given volume of merchandise. As volume increases over the long run, therefore, employment in department stores probably will continue to grow. The experience of department stores in the de pression of the thirties gives some indication of how employment would be affected by a dip in business activity. From 1929 to 1939, their busi ness fell off just as it did almost everywhere, but not as much as that of their direct competitors. (See table 3.) In 1929, department stores had 9 percent of the total retail trade volume, and in 1939,9.5 percent. Of the combined volume of busi ness done by them and the businesses with which they compete most directly, department stores had T able 3. — Department stores9 share of combined sales of department stores and nine related kinds of business, 1929, 1935, 1939, 19^8 Kind of business Percent of sales 1929 1935 1939 1948 Department stores___________________ 29.5 9 related kinds of business_____________ 70.5 Total ____________ ___________ 100.0 39.6 60.4 100.0 39.3 60.7 100.0 134.2 65.8 100.0 1 Lower percentage for department stores in 1948 compared with 1939 partly a result of Census of Business change in definition for department stores. Source: Census of Business. CHART 3 A V ER A G E NUM BER O F S A LE S TRA N SA C TIO N S FOR EA C H HO UR W O R K ED IN SELEC TED LA RG E D EPA R TM EN T STO R ES 1940 1941 UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF LABOR BUREAU OF LABOR STATISTICS 1942 1943 1944 THE NUMBER OF TRANSACTIONS DIVIDED BY TOTAL MAN-HOURS AND BY TOTAL SELLING MAN-HOURS FOR IS DEPARTMENT STORES EACH WITH ANNUAL SALES IN EXCESS OF 5 MILLION DOLLARS 29.5 percent in 1929 and 39.5 percent in 1939. Largely because of these relative gains, employ ment did not drop as much as it did in many other branches of retail trade. For several reasons, jobs are not likely to be af fected by small dips in economic activity. When times are hard people continue to buy many of the types of goods sold by department stores, and, although the volume of trade may drop, depart ment stores probably will continue to provide fullscale services and keep most of their staffs in order to meet customer demand. Moreover, when em ployment must be cut, stores can lay off workers from the sizable crews of part-time employees. The Census of Business for 1948 shows that department stores had a smaller share of retail trade in that year than in 1939. This was partly because the 1948 definition of department stores excluded many stores that were counted in 1939 985552°— 51------2 1945 1946 1947 1948 Source'- "OPERAT ING RESULTS OF DEPARTMENT AND SPECIALTY STORES IN 1948"--MALCOLM P. McNAIR, HARVARD UNIVERSITY, GRADUATE SCHOOL OF BUSINESS ADMINISTRATION. (table 1), and partly because in 1948 customers were spending a larger proportion of their money on goods such as automobiles, furniture, rugs, major appliances, lumber, and hardware, which department stores either do not handle or which do not comprise a major proportion of their total sales. In the long run, the spending pattern is expected to be similar to that of 1939, and the relative position of department stores is likely to improve. Movem ent to Suburban Areas The trend toward establishing branch and chain department stores in outlying, residential areas is likely to continue for many years as an increasing number of people move to the suburbs. This does not mean that the big stores in downtown business sections are likely to be abandoned, but that there 5 will be a greater number of smaller department stores in outlying sections. These stores will ac count for most of the gains in employment in the future. Most of the new suburban department stores will be owned and operated by firms already in the industry. Many of the new stores will be units in large national chains. Others will be branches of local stores already established in downtown business sections. The new stores will need experienced workers who in many cases will be chosen from other stores in the organization. Those who are successful in the branch stores will be eligible for more responsible jobs in the main store or bigger stores in the organization. Although additional jobs will be created by the establishment of suburban stores, opportunities in certain lines of work will not grow correspond ingly. Units in a chain organization and in branch stores need few workers in operations which are handled mostly at the home office or in the main store. Advertising, many personnel matters, fi nancial control, buying, and delivery are largely taken care of by the central offices; and, of course, chain units do not have staffs of top executives. As a result, chain and branch stores have smaller proportions of higher level personnel, and offer fewer opportunities in some departments than independent stores. The over-all occupational pattern in the industry, however, is not likely to change significantly for several years at least. H iring, Qualifications, and Training H irin g W o rk e rs Q ua lifica tions Department stores recruit workers in several dif ferent ways. They take applications from persons who come into their employment offices, advertise in newspapers, contact State, high school, and col lege placement officers, and get recommendations from employees. To an increasing extent, depart ment store employees are coming from the ranks of persons trained under the distributive educa tion cooperative program (described on p. 7). All applicants are interviewed and given tests to determine their qualifications. Applicants hired have a wide variety of personal characteristics, educational backgrounds, and skills. Most new workers start at the bottom in the departments to which they are assigned. Be cause the types of jobs are so different, applicants who fail to qualify for one job may be entirely suitable for another. Even for the jobs which persons without a great deal of experience can fill, there is considerable variation in the personal qualifications demanded. For example, for sales work, only applicants who are presentable and who speak distinctly are considered. These quali fications are not nearly as necessary for persons who are placed in beginning jobs which do not require meeting the public. Among the latter type jobs are those in the office; in stock, ware house, and receiving work; and on the mainte nance and cleaning crews. Sales clerks are an extremely important group not only because they are in the key role of selling merchandise but also because they are in continu ous contact with the store’s customers. A store’s reputation for courtesy, good service, and faildealing depends largely on how its sales clerks perform. For this reason, they are carefully selected. Checkers unpack merchandise and checkit for quantity and condition. 6 To get a sales job in a department store, one should, first of all, have a high school education. There are exceptions, but this is now almost a standard qualification. A pleasing personality and appearance, a good voice, normal hearing and eyesight, and general all-round good health so as to be able to stand all day are other important requirements. About two out of three department store em ployees are women. They are hired mostly for clerical, selling, and office jobs, but many of them are promoted to supervisory positions such as sec tion manager and buyer. Men predominate in warehouse operations, maintenance, receiving, and protection work and have most of the jobs in cer tain selling departments—major home appliances, floor coverings, and furniture. Most of the store executives are men, but more and more women are reaching high-level positions. Large chain organizations, as a rule, use men in managerial positions, and women are confined to lower-level jobs. Some applicants are hired to work a few hours every working day or 2 or 3 days a week, rather than full time. Many of these workers are married women who do not want full-time jobs. During the rush seasons, for the Christmas trade partic ularly, large numbers of workers are taken on for temporary full-time jobs. The seasonal upsand-downs in department-store employment are shown in chart 4. Tra in in g In School A person who wants to work in a department store can readily get special training. Most high schools give courses designed to fit young men and women for general business work. Subjects such as business English, business mathematics, economics, and salesmanship give the student a general background for any business position. To provide specialized training in retailing, high schools have established courses in merchandising, principles of retailing, and retail selling. This movement has been encouraged by the GeorgeDeen Act of 1936 which provides for Federal aid to States which set up “distributive education” programs. Part of the Federal funds are used to help pay the salaries of teachers, who, to qualify for this work, must have had retailing experience. M attaches price tag to hcsiery with marking machine. arker Two main types of programs have been set up under this act. One provides night school train ing and training in the store to persons already working full time in distributive businesses. The other provides for cooperative part-time train ing, whereby students spend certain hours in school classes in distributive education and work part time in local stores. Department stores have been especially willing to cooperate with the schools in training students. The 286,000 trainees enrolled in adult extension classes and the 26,000 students enrolled in cooperative part-time classes in 1949 represented a considerable gain over pre vious years. More and more schools are including this type of education in their programs. Colleges also offer courses which are helpful preparation for work in department stores. Many courses prepare students for the general business field, and a growing number prepare specifically for retailing. A few colleges offer highly special ized courses which lead to a bachelor’s degree in retailing; others offer graduate work. These pro grams usually include cooperative part-time work in stores in addition to specialized courses in re tailing. In the Store Every worker hired by a department store gets some training in the store before he takes over a job. Most stores try to give all new employees at least a brief picture of systems and methods, and of store organization, rules, and policies, in 7 CHART 4 IN D E X O F E M P L O Y M E N T IN D E P A R T M E N T S T O R E S INDEX 1948 INDEX UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF LABOR BUREAU OF LABOR STATISTICS I948 addition to training for a particular job. For some types of jobs, employees can be taught what to do in a day or two; for others fairly long Selling employees attend a training class. 8 training periods are necessary. Porters, markers, wrappers, and elevator operators, for example, re quire only short training periods, whereas sales clerks, cashiers, receiving clerks, and some office workers need longer training periods. Some stores have wT ell-organized training pro grams; others do a minimum of training, usually by having an employee instruct the newcomer. The large stores generally have organized train ing programs, and the small stores informal systems. A number of stores have a special training pro gram for promising young employees who are considered potential supervisors. This training is designed to acquaint the employee with the over all operations of the store so that he may better understand how his particular department should operate to serve the best interests of the store. Classroom instruction is given in all phases of department store operations. In addition, some stores have a squad of college graduates and selected young employees whom they train for junior executive jobs. These train ees work at lower level jobs on a schedule which requires them to spend a certain number of weeks or months working in each of the main divisions of the store. The employees who do well in this program have good prospects for promotion. It must be emphasized, however, that only the bestqualified employees are chosen for promotional training and that selection for training is no guarantee of a speedy rise up the ladder. Opportunities for Advancement Sales clerks have two regular avenues of promo tion. They can be appointed to such positions as head of stock, assistant buyer, and section man ager, or they can be transferred to selling in other departments where average earnings are higher. Successful clerks in some of the departments where earnings are high frequently earn more money than they would if they were promoted to super visory positions. Supervisory and lower-grade executive positions are nearly always filled by persons with retail store experience, usually by promoting workers in the store. The number of outsiders hired for these positions depends on store policy and on the avail ability of qualified people working at lower-level jobs; increasingly, however, department stores are following the policy of promoting their own work ers rather than hiring outsiders. Usually only persons with a great deal of suc cessful retail experience and demonstrated admin istrative ability are considered for top executive positions. Store policies in choosing executives vary considerably. Some stores and chain organi zations rarely select outsiders for executive posi tions. Others have a less rigid promotion-fromwithin policy and sometimes hire buyers, control lers, store superintendents, personnel officers, and other executives from outside the organization. College graduates frequently enter jobs at the same level as nongraduates, since store experience is needed before the principles learned in school can be applied. However, those who have already worked in department stores under cooperative programs and those who have had specialized training in such fields as personnel, advertising, and accounting sometimes start at a higher level than nongraduates. Even with the advantage of a degree and specialized training, the college graduate has no guarantee of rapid promotion. He is competing with all the employees at his level, and unless he can demonstrate superiority, he will progress no faster than the nongraduate. Many of the persons selected for executive train ing in department stores are chosen directly from colleges and universities; others are selected from the store’s regular staff. College graduates are not, however, the only ones groomed for respon sible positions. Generally, employers feel that col lege graduation alone does not set a person apart as executive material. Some employees who have gone directly from high school into department stores are superior to the average college graduate in the basic qualities needed for supervisory and executive positions and have the additional ad vantage of 4 years of store experience. This ex perience is very valuable and is given a good deal of weight in selecting potential executives. Employer attitudes toward the value of college specialization in such courses as business, market ing, and retailing vary widely. Some feel that such specialization is helpful, particularly the training given in certain recognized schools. Others feel that good fundamental training, broad background in college subjects, and basic aptitude for work are the important considera tions, and that potential executives can get their specialized training on the job. A young person starting a career in a depart ment store should try to weigh his chances for reaching supervisory and executive positions. To measure his prospects he should compare his own capabilities with those of the other employees at his level. Does he have an edge in personality, intelligence, and capacity for hard work? Another factor which has much to do with an in dividual’s chances for promotion is the number of supervisory and executive positions compared with the number of lower-level jobs. About 8 out of 100 department store employees are supervisors 9 departments ? Staffing patterns vary widely from one store to another. The largest stores have many employees not found in smaller stores, such as comparison shoppers and workers in testing lab oratories. A number of employees in large stores specialize in advertising and display; in smaller stores this type of work is often combined with other duties. Even among stores of the same size there are wide differences in the proportion of workers in different occupations. Some stores have large numbers of workers in repair shops and restaurants, for example, but other stores have much of the repair work done by outside concerns and have limited eating facilities. Many stores do not have their own delivery service. De partment stores frequently lease sections of the store to outside organizations to operate beauty parlors, photographic shops, food stores, and other specialized departments. These organizations have their own employees. Policies on other customer services, such as merchandise returns, mail and telephone orders, and credit transactions, vary widely among stores, and particularly be tween local department stores and units in Nation wide chains. These differences are reflected in the proportion of workers employed in certain occupations. The various duties in the over-all operations of a department store are described in the fol lowing sections of this report. Because there are about 900 different department store jobs, only those occupations are mentioned which occur in fairly large numbers or are important for other reasons. The occupations are divided into broad groups as shown in chart 5. The degree of skill and experience needed to sell goods in different departments varies widely. For example, many items, such as men’s socks, neckties, and underwear, are sold on a self-service basis. In selling self-selected merchandise, the sales clerk merely writes up the transaction and takes payment. Stores can use employees with little experience and knowledge of salesmanship for this type of work. Selling major appliances or furniture, on the other hand, calls for more sales manship. The clerks must be able to determine what the customers want, be familiar with the stock, and know the characteristics of each piece of merchandise. Experienced employees with a flair for salesmanship are therefore likely to be found working in the furniture and major appli ances departments. They may be found also in several other departments, including those selling floor coverings, women’s shoes, and the more ex pensive items of clothing. The differences in the skill required for selling various kinds of mer chandise are reflected in the earnings data shown in table 5, page 19. Many department stores use what is known as the sponsor system for training sales employees. Under this system, after new clerks have been Salesgirl helps customer select a coat. M erchandising Selling Jobs Selling is the main function of a store. Nat urally we would expect to find that a large propor tion of a store's personnel are sales clerk s. In some departments in large stores, duties of sales clerks are confined to selling goods to customers. In other departments and in smaller stores, in addition to selling, sales clerks often wrap goods and take payment, and sometimes handle stock. The proportion of sales clerks ranges roughly from 40 percent in large stores to 60 percent in smaller stores. 11 given preliminary instruction by the training sec tion, they are put under the guidance of experi enced employees called sponsors until they learn how to carry on the job alone. Sponsors receive additional pay for this type of work. The work of stockmen, cashiers, and wrappers is closely related to that of sales clerks. These jobs are found in large stores, where many sales clerks are mainly responsible for making the sale; other workers receive payment, wrap the packages, and take care of the stock. Stockmen bring mer chandise from stockrooms or warehouses to the selling floor and place it on counters or racks ac cording to size, color, and other specifications. They also inspect the merchandise as it comes in and keep inventory records. In large stores, mail and telephone orders are not usually handled on the selling floor. Tele phone order clerks answer customers’ questions about goods and make out orders, on special forms, from the customers’ descriptions and their own knowledge of the stock. Mail order clerks open letters from customers and handle the orders in the same way. Mail and telephone selling are becoming increasingly popular, especially for standard brand goods. Sales clerks and other workers in selling de partments are supervised by section managers, by buyers, and, in many cases, by both section man agers and buyers, depending on how the store is organized. The supervisors keep records of time worked, arrange work and lunch schedules, and see that the sections of the store for which they are responsible work smoothly and are kept clean and orderly. In addition, they see that customers are satisfied, adjust some types of complaints, and are generally responsible for the carrying out of store policies. Buying Jobs The buying and merchandising operations of a store are handled by buyers and their assistants in each selling department, by division merchandise managers who are responsible for several related departments, and, at the top, by the general mer chandise manager who reports to the general manager. Buyers are expected to anticipate the quantity and the kinds of goods to be sold in their depart 12 ments. Their decisions on the quantity and types of merchandise to buy are based on such factors as (1) past sales, (2) studies of trends in customer preference and in the merchandise being manu factured, and (3) estimates of the amounts cus tomers will spend. Suppose, for example, that an appliance buyer is trying to figure out how many and what types of washing machines he should order. His starting point is the record of the pre vious year’s sales. Then, he must decide whether he is likely to sell more or fewer washers and what types will be in demand. To do this, he needs to answer questions such as: Will his customers be less prosperous than during the previous year? Will they want automatic, semiautomatic, or wringer-type washers? What makes of washer will they prefer? What will the store’s competi tors be doing ? In making his decisions, the buyer must consider these and many other factors and, at the same time, stay within the limits of his merchandise budget. Deciding how much money each buyer can spend is one of the main duties of the division merchandise manager and the general merchandise manager, who work closely with the general manager and controller in making these decisions. Once a buyer knows what merchandise he is likely to need, he must visit those markets in which it is sold. Often this requires traveling to distant cities and foreign countries. Responsibilities and duties of buyers vary widely* from store to store. In some stores, buyers play a big part in determining the kinds and amounts of merchandise to be purchased. In others, they are much more limited and must have their suggestions for purchases reviewed by their supervisors. Buyers in some stores have direct authority over the sales clerks and stockmen and actually manage their departments, whereas in other stores the sales clerks report to the section managers. A buyer must have a thorough knowledge of merchandise, markets, prices, and consumers’ de sires. He must be shrewd at bargaining and in making calculations. If he manages his depart ment in addition to buying its goods, he must also be skilled in selling, dealing with the public, and carrying on the details of administration. Member stores in chain organizations usually do not have buyers. Department managers, un der the guidance of the store managers, order from Receiving clerk and his assistants check information printed on incoming cartons. cle rk a ssista n ts unload the goods from cars and trucks and place them on tables, racks, bins, or the floor. R e c e iv in g clerk s compare the shippers’ invoices with the merchandise packages to see that the quantities are correct and that there has been no damage. In smaller stores, receiving clerks often do all the receiving, unpacking, checking, and marking. Checking is the next operation. M erch a n d ise ch eckers unpack the goods and check each item for quantity, price, color, and damage. The buyer or his assistant checks the quality of incoming goods and sets the prices at which they are to be marked. When the unloading, unpacking, and checking have been completed, the goods are ready for the third operation—marking. M a rk e rs attach the retail price to each item by using crayons, rubber stamps, or price tickets. Price tickets may be marked by hand or machine. Large stores use special machines that mark the ticket and attach it to the merchandise in one motion. When the prices of goods already on the selling floor are changed, the goods are usually sent back to the marking department for re marking. After the merchandise has been received, un packed. checked, and marked, it is turned over to the selling departments. This is the final opera tion in the receiving department. Porters and stockmen move the goods to the reserve stockrooms and the selling floor. Furniture and other large items are usually received at the warehouse and are delivered direct to customers who have made their selections from floor samples in the store. Receiving M work at one of the many lines of moving merchandise. arkers the central organization. They can select only the merchandise listed by the home office and seldom deal directly with suppliers. Buyers are helped in the proper pricing of goods by co m p a riso n sh o p p e rs. These workers visit other department stores to price and to buy mer chandise similar to that sold by their employers. This work is secret in nature and it requires a good memory and some acting ability. Many stores rotate this job among saleswomen so that other stores will not discover the identity of the com parison shopper. Once a shopper is known to peo ple in the other stores, it is hard for her to get information. The receiving department takes the merchan dise from shippers’ cars and trucks. This depart ment then unpacks, checks, and marks the mer chandise and sends it to the stockrooms or the selling floor. It is supervised by the traffic m a n a g e r who is also responsible for routing incoming goods over the most practical and economical car rier. The receiving department performs four distinct operations, some of which are combined in smaller stores but are further broken down in large stores. The first operation is physically receiving the merchandise into the store. P o r te r s and re c e iv in g 13 Custom er Service Wrapping and Packing When a customer wishes to have his purchase delivered, it must be packaged. The salesperson gives the article to a w r a p p e r , who wraps it neatly and carefully and places it on the shipping belt or in a hamper from which it is taken to the delivery department. Fragile goods and bulky merchandise are handled by special groups of workers. P a c k e rs pack fragile goods which re quire strong, carefully made-up packages to pro tect the contents, and large items which cannot be handled by wrappers. Delivery One of the most important extra services pro vided by department stores is free delivery. Al though many stores have their own delivery de partments, some hire outside organizations to deliver their packages, or, through an arrangement with other stores, run a cooperative delivery service. The delivery department receives the packaged merchandise, sorts it by route, loads it on trucks, delivers it to the customer, and collects c. o. d. charges. The p a c k a g e ro u te r reads the addresses Fitter m gown for alterations. arks to which the packages are to be sent, marks the proper delivery route numbers on them, and places them on the conveyor belt. P a c k a g e so rte rs read the route numbers on the packages, take them from the belt, and place them in the proper route bins. Before the goods can be taken from the bins and loaded on the trucks, a record must be made of their being sent out. Some stores use sh ee t w r ite r s , who go from bin to bin recording on a special form the essential information about each parcel. Other stores use a system in which each parcel has a stub attached with the information printed on it. A stu b b e r goes from bin to bin removing the stubs, which he then files. This job is often combined with that of the router or sorter. The d e liv e r y -tr u c k d r iv e r loads the goods onto the truck in the order that will make delivery easiest. In rush seasons when he has a helper, the driver has the more responsible duty of driv ing the truck and collecting c. o. d. charges, and he joins his helper in loading and unloading. The driver also sets up furniture in customers’ homes, brings returned goods back to the store, and keeps delivery records. Money received from c. o. d. orders is given to the d e liv e r y c a sh ie r , who keeps records of c. o. d. operations. Trucks are maintained by g a ra g e m ech a n ics under the supervision of a u to m o b ile r e p a ir sh o p fo rem e n . In large garages, a ga s a n d o il m a n is responsible for keeping trucks supplied with gas and oil and for keeping records of the amounts of these supplies on hand. Alterations and Repairs Many of the items sold by department stores have to be altered to suit the customer, other items are made to order by the store, and, frequently, merchandise is returned for repairs. These jobs are handled in the various workrooms. Clothing is naturally one of the lines which re quire alterations to give customers the proper fit. Men’s ready-to-wear garments are fitted by a m en's fitte r who makes marks on the nearest standard size in stock where alterations will have to be made to get the best fit. The garment is then taken to a ta ilo r , who makes the alterations. He is aided by a se w in g m a ch in e o p e r a to r , who does the easier ma chine sewing, and by a m a ch in e p r e s se r , who presses the altered garment. Women’s ready-towear clothing is altered in a similar manner. When a customer wants a made-to-order garment, 14 the c u sto m ta ilo r helps him choose the material, takes measurements, designs the garment, and in structs assistants in making it. Alteration of mil linery is another important merchandise service. Drapery and upholstery often require altera tions to suit individual customers. A d r a p e r y c u tte r lays out and cuts drapery material to the size ordered by the customer. These pieces are sewed together by a d r a p e r y sea m stress. Repairs and adjustments to upholstery are made by a fu r n itu r e u p h o lste re r. A slip -c o v e r c u tte r cuts material to fit a customer’s furniture, and a s lip c o v e r sea m stre ss sews the pieces together. In recent years, floor coverings cut to fit the room have become very popular. Department stores employ c a r p e t c u tte rs and c a r p e t se w e rs , who prepare sections of carpet to the customer’s specifications. The flo o r-c o v e rin g e s tim a to r has the job of measuring the customer's room and de termining how to cut the rolls of carpet or linoleum so as to waste as little as possible. The flo o r-c o v erin g la y e r install the carpet or linoleum in the customer’s home. As a convenience to customers, most stores have a cold storage vault for storing furs and employ f u r clean ers and fu r re p a ire rs. Many stores pro vide other services such as watch repairing, ap pliance and radio repairing, and interior decorat ing advice. who listens to complaints, and a tra c e r , who in vestigates the facts and helps make the adjust ment. Maintenance and O peration Maintenance The maintenance department has the job of keeping the store clean, comfortable, and attrac tive. This is a big job which calls for a sizable crew of workers. Most of the buildings are large with complicated systems of electrical wiring, ven tilating, plumbing, telephone lines, sprinkler pipes, elevators, and electric stairways. All of these must be kept in good operating condition. Adjustments Jealous of their reputations for fair dealing, department stores will often go to great length to give a customer satisfaction. For this purpose, large stores operate a bureau of adjustments, known to most people as the “complaint depart ment.” Most complaints arise from such things as nondelivery of merchandise, damage to goods received by the customer, defective or unsatisfac tory merchandise, improper alterations or repairs, bookkeeping errors on charge accounts, and lack of courtesy or efficiency on the part of employees. The a d ju s tm e n t m a n a g e r supervises this bureau. Working under his supervision are a d ju ste rs who listen to complaints and try to work out a solution that is fair to the customer and the store. The adjusters try to satisfy all legitimate requests for adjustment because the stores realize the value of a customer’s good will. In some stores the ad juster’s work is divided between an in te r v ie w e r , Carpenter constructs star for Christmas decoration. Maintenance of the building is the responsibility of the m a in ten a n ce s u p e r in te n d e n t , who directs the work of a number of differently skilled crafts men. C a rp e n te rs build and repair store fixtures, display stands, and other woodwork in the build ing; p a in te rs keep walls, floors, and fixtures neat and attractive; and p lu m b e rs install new pipes and repair the piping systems. E le c tric ia n s are 15 responsible for the- store’s lighting and wiring systems. Minor repairs on elevators, electric stair ways, ventilating equipment, and other machines are made by m a in ten a n ce m ech an ics. Heating, air-conditioning, and ventilation are the respon sibility of the c h ie f s ta tio n a r y en g in eer and his crew. Among the workers in the engineering crew are electricians, pipefitters, firemen, and oilers. Housekeeping Housekeeping is supervised by the h o u sek eep in g His porters do all the janitor work, such as scrubbing and sweeping, removing trash, wash ing windows, and rearranging fixtures. M a id s or p o rte re sse s do the same sort of cleaning work ex cept for the heavy jobs. Most of the cleaning is done before the store opens in the morning or after it closes at night. m a n a g e r. Elevator Operation Since most stores have three or more stories, they must have elevators and/or electric stairways. E le v a to r o p e ra to rs convey passengers from floor to floor, call out the main lines of goods located on each floor, and answer questions about the location of merchandise. The e le v a to r s ta r te r stays on the main floor and regulates the departure of elevators so as to keep traffic moving smoothly. He also instructs and supervises the elevator operators, from whose ranks he himself has usually been promoted. Protection Protection against fire and theft at night is the responsibility of the 'w atch m an , who patrols the store looking for signs of fire or disorder and sends in an alarm in serious situations. During the day, the sto re d e te c tiv e polices the store in street clothes, watching carefully for any signs of shoplifting. He must be so skilled in detecting thievery that he will catch anyone stealing mer chandise, but, at the same time, he must never ar rest a person without proof of guilt because of the store’s liability for damage suits. In addition to detectives, the stores employ uniformed g u a rd s to safeguard the public and protect property. Financial Control As in every large enterprise, department stores must keep accurate records of all the operations. 16 A large number of workers are engaged in col lecting and analyzing all the figures coming in from every part of the store. The director of these activities is called the co n tro lle r. He is re sponsible for all bookkeeping, accounting, credit and collections, cash disbursements, and budget control. Working with other store executives, he helps to keep the store on a sound financial footing. Among the workers in the financial and recordkeeping departments are b o o k k e e p e rs , who collect information from the various departments and record it on standard forms, and c a lc u la tin g -m a ch in e o p e r a to r s , who make routine computations. There are also a c c o u n ta n ts , who check the figures for accuracy and consistency and then prepare financial statements, such as balance sheets, profitand-loss statements, and reports to stockholders. High-level accountants determine the most efficient systems for recording costs and other operating data. Workers with a basic knowledge of arith metic can be trained on the job for clerical work and lower-level bookkeeping jobs. For account ing and the more difficult statistical work, on the other hand, a high degree of skill and training is needed. Ordinarily, the training is acquired out side department stores—in colleges and business and correspondence schools. Persons already working at lower-level jobs in the stores need addi tional training to be eligible for promotion. The credit bureau headed by the c r e d it m a n a g e r keeps records of customers’ accounts, investigates applicants for charge accounts, sends out monthly bills, and makes up reports for the controller. Among the workers in this bureau are c r e d it a p p li cation c le rk s , who check local sources of informaFile clerks handle the voluminous credit records of a large store. tion about the reliability of applicants, and c r e d it who award charge accounts in rou tine cases. Customers' account cards are kept in order by -file clerk s. B illin g -m a c h in e o p e ra to rs type monthly bills on special machines. Remind ing customers that their accounts are overdue is the responsibility of the c o lle ctio n clerk s. in te r v ie w e r s , Publicity Making the public aware of the store, its merchandise, and its services is the function of the publicity department. The main activities of this department are preparing advertisements and planning and setting up store displays. The a d v e r tis in g m a n a g e r is responsible for the store’s advertising program. He finds out what merchandise the buyers want to advertise and after he decides where to advertise—in newspapers, or through radio and television stations—he sets up a general plan for the ad. His subordinates work out the details. The c o p y w r ite r composes short, simple sentences describing the chief selling points of the merchandise. Sketches and drawings of merchandise in use or in a natural or attractive setting are created by the co m m ercia l a r tis t. When photographs of the goods are needed, they are taken by the c o m m ercia l p h o to g ra p h e r. The la y o u t m a n arranges drawings, photographs, and copy so as to make an effective page of advertising. The p ro d u c tio n m an proofreads the finished ad vertisement, clears it with the buyer and the adver tising manager, and sees that it is printed at the right time. For these specialized jobs in adver tising, department stores prefer persons with pre vious training. Sometimes, however, workers in clerical or helper jobs in the advertising depart ment acquire the needed skills and thus earn pro motions. The d is p la y m a n a g e r plans and directs the con struction of window and floor displays. The d is p la y a r tis t designs, constructs, paints, and sketches backgrounds and fixtures used in window or interior displays. The sig n w r ite r paints or prints signs. Window dressing is supervised by a w in d o w tr im m e r , who arranges merchandise in showcases and windows so that it will attract passers-by. Under his direction, w in d o w trim m e r h e lp ers put backgrounds in place, move display fixtures and signs, and place merchandise on racks, Acommercial artist prepares a newspaper ad. pedestals, and mannequins. The display of fashion merchandise requires the services of the d is p la y s ty lis t , who keeps the publicity department in formed of the latest trends in fashions and styles. Personnel The personnel department is responsible for hiring and training good workers and keeping them contented with their jobs. Establishing per sonnel policies and conducting labor relations are the responsibilities of the p e rso n n e l d ire c to r. He and his staff handle grievances of individual work ers ; in stores in which the workers are organized, the}7deal with the union and, in many cases, with several unions. Before applicants are hired, they are screened by one or more in te rv ie w e rs. Often, tests are given to determine the type of work for which they are best suited. If they pass the interviews and physical examination satisfactorily, they are hired. The training section is responsible for teaching new employees store policies, how to do their work, and how their jobs are related to other store operations. Promotional and executive training programs are supervised by this section. 17 Responsibility for the safety, morale, recreation, and insurance of employees lies with the welfare section. Employee morale is promoted through outings, company newspapers, and athletic pro grams. Other matters for which the personnel department is responsible are transfers, discipline, job evaluation, wage payment plans, and counsel ing. Because the personnel department is respon sible for the many activities which affect the relations between the store and its employees, the key employees should have thorough training as well as a wide knowledge of many general sub jects. For this reason, more and more college graduates are being selected for work in personnel departments. As in other departments, though, they must usually start in lower-level jobs. Earnings and Working Conditions Ea rn in g s All Store Jobs Earnings of department store employees below the supervisory level have a very wide range. Sales clerks generally have the highest earnings, many of the men having weekly pay checks of more than $100. Elevator operators and porters usually are at the bottom of the earnings scale; some of them earn less than $30 a week. Earnings for the same types of work differ greatly from city to city, and from one store to another in the same city in both supervisory and nonsupervisory occupations. Even within a single store, indi vidual earnings differ greatly among buyers and sales clerks. Information on earnings of nonsupervisory de partment store employees in 1950 is available from a survey covering 17 metropolitan areas.1 (See 18 table 5.) The earnings shown for these 17 areas are not of course typical for cities not included in the survey. These average weekly earnings data do not reflect that the employees on the regu lar staff of department stores usually have steady year-round employment, and that they generally have other advantages—vacations, paid holidays, and discounts on merchandise. Sales Clerks Sales clerks in department stores are paid in one of four ways: (1) straight salary; (2) salary plus commission; (3) straight commission; (4) and salary plus a bonus after they have sold an estab lished quota. 1 The information in this and the following section is based on a survey made by the Division of Wage Analysis, Bureau of Labor Statistics, U. S. Department of Labor, in May— July 1950. Selected occupations were studied in 158 department and women’s ready-to-wear stores, each with more than 250 workers, located in 17 areas in various sections of the country. —Average weekly earnings1 of workers, selected occupations in department and women's ready-to-wear stores in selected cities, May-July 1950 2 T able 5. Occupation and sex Atlanta Baltimore Boston Buffalo Chicago Dallas Denver MinneapolisSt. Paul WOMEN Store occupations Cashier-wrappers. ________ ___ ___ _ Elevator operators, passenger________ ______________ Fitters, women’s garments__________________________ Sales clerks, regular or upstairs departments: Bedspreads, draperies, and blankets_______________ Blouses and neckwear._____ _________ ________ Boys’furnishings____________________ ___ ___ Housewares (except china, glassware, and lamps)_____ Men’s furnishings.. _ ______________ _____________ Notions and trimmings. ______________________ Piece goods (yard goods, upholstery fabrics)_____ __ Silverware and jewelry (excluding costume jewelry)__ Women’s accessories (hosiery, gloves, and handbags).__ Women’s and misses’ dresses_____________ ________ Women’s shoes__ _______ ________________________ Women’s and misses’ suits and coats________________ Sewers, alteration, women’s garments________________ Stock girls, selling sections___ ____________________ $27. 59 (3) (3) (3) (3) 34.31 (3) 37.64 31.01 (3) (3) (3) 72 37. 042.08 30. 45 22. 22 $27. 43 25. 55 38. 44 33.39 29. 88 32.28 32. 57 33.64 30. 04 33.21 37.28 31.68 35. 47 36.18 39.63 31.58 27.75 $29. 29 30. 34 38. 79 33. 45 33. 24 34.11 35. 21 33.83 31.68 32.57 (3) 33.51 34. 90 40. 59 41.59 34. 41 (3) $28.31 26.74 (3) (3) (3) (3) (3) 66 35. 30.03 (3) (3) 32.12 36. 86 43.62 40. 96 29. 54 (3) $40.82 37.09 53.14 54. 24 46. 03 47.66 49. 21 47. 84 42. 27 47.28 47. 95 43. 96 49. 22 58. 42 57. 79 41.04 34. 07 $29. 99 0 0 42. 96 42. 30 43.86 37. 59 44.03 31.80 38.25 44.38 39. 81 44. 47 57.39 70. 57 027.32 0 08 $35. 0 0 0 0 046.12 040.48 040.16 44.23 048. 81 35. 99 0 $32. 45 36.11 43.60 40. 67 34. 80 39. 44 37.18 38.98 33. 77 37.10 41.05 38.68 40. 74 49.29 45. 99 35.15 32.28 (3) (3) 62 37. (3) • (3) (3) (3) 40 39. 35. 82 42. 20 36. 97 33. 27 33. 51 (3) 34.03 39.31 35. 96 40.70 (3) 32.89 33.13 40. 91 34.83 32.94 41. 67 44.17 40.10 44. 39 44. 66 40.79 37.12 0 042.93 40.20 34.63 035. 67 36.39 41.74 38. 70 38.82 35. 89 41.67 37.53 41.35 41.56 38.41 (3) (3) (3) 0 (3) 29.10 (3) (3) (3) 70.19 95. 71 (3) 74.04 86. 62 (3) 48.64 (3) 35.35 56. 50 69.87 (3) 74 51. 59. 44 36.24 30.88 34.04 (3) 43.40 63.49 88. 21 (3) 52 82. 60. 40 42. 38 47. 82 29.16 38.39 (3) 73.14 (3) 51.64 (3) 37.60 38. 46 40.36 39.64 45.19 76.73 111.89 (3) 95.32 76.33 40.34 61.52 31.77 45. 41 60. 40 63. 02 0 0 0 034.04 0 0 0 083.09 0 064. 46 51.76 56.19 0 054. 27 92.48 058.24 74.83 44. 79 42.24 44.48 64. 55 69. 81 94. 89 98. 61 086.27 85. 91 67. 81 68.70 39.06 46.85 62. 67 82. 01 32.03 47.24 0 031.74 0 0 0 0 0 079.69 81.84 62. 26 66. 09 30. 79 38.25 60.94 80.71 0 0 0 39.18 34.81 0 0 0 0 0 0 078.25 57. 79 0 0 0 0 84. 41 0 61.20 63. 70 47. 37 41.91 50.16 53. 03 65.14 84.90 93. 30 56. 25 86. 75 75. 82 61.41 63.00 37.24 50.03 46.43 Office occupations Billers, machine (billing machine) .. _. _________ Billers, machine (bookkeeping machine)______________ Calculating-machine operators (Comptometer type)____ Clerks, payroll_______ __________________________ Stenographers, general__________ ____ ____________ Switchboard operators. ___ ....................... ..................... MEN Store occupations Carpenters, maintenance______ ________ ___________ Elevator operators, passenger_______________________ Finishers, furniture__ _________ ______________ ... Fitters, men’s garments____________________ ______ Packers, bulk_______________________________ ____ Porters, day (cleaners)______________________ . . . . Beceiving clerks (checkers)--------- ----------------- ... _ Sales clerks, regular or upstairs departments: Bedspreads, draperies, and blankets________________ Boys’ clothing__________________________________ Floor coverings.. _____ _________________________ Furniture and bedding____________________ _ ......... Housewares (except china, glassware, and lamps)____ Major appliances (refrigerators, stoves, washers, etc.)4.. Men’s clothing_____________________________ ... Men’s furnishings_____ __________________________ Women’s shoes ____________ ___________________ Stockmen, selling sections_____ _______ ______ _ ... Stockmen, warehouse_____ _______________________ Tailors, alteration, men’s garments________ ______ _ See footnotes at end of table. 19 T able 5.— Average weekly earnings1 of workers, selected occupations in department and women's ready-to-ivear stores in selected cities, May-July 1950 2—Continued Occupation and sex New Orleans New York Philadel Pitts burgh phia Provi San Fran- Seattle ciscodence Oakland Washing Toledo ton, D. C. WOMEN Store occupations Cashier-wrappers-- ... _ ______________________ _______ (3) Elevator operators, passenger . __________________ ______ $24.25 Fitters, women’s garments. _ ___________________________ (3) Sales clerks, regular or upstairs departments: Bedspreads, draperies, and blankets_______ __ _ . . _____ 38.53 Blouses and neckwear________________ __ ____________ (3) Boys’ furnishings_____________________________________ 34.35 Housewares (except china, glassware, and lamps)_________ (3) Men’s furnishings. __ _ ______________ _______ ______ 35. 49 Notions and trimmings____________ _____ ... ______ 29. 41 Piece goods (yard goods, upholstery fabrics)___________ _ _ 35.13 Silverware and jewelry (excluding costume jewelry)_______ (3) Women’s accessories (hosiery, gloves, and handbags)______ 34.18 Women’s and misses’ dresses. ______________ ________ 38.20 Women’s shoes.. ______ ____________________________ (3) 44.69 Women’s and misses’ suits and coats____________________ Sewers, alteration, women’s garments_____ ______________ 26.66 Stockgirls, selling sections-------------- -----------------------------(3) $40. 94 39. 45 61.15 47.38 41.66 47. 57 46.65 46.11 41.70 50.43 53.68 42.76 46.73 67. 42 51.37 47. 80 37.79 $30.59 42.11 44.31 44.90 36.53 40. 47 39. 67 38. 59 35. 77 38.79 40.19 38. 61 44. 41 49.64 54.73 42.08 27.12 $40.82 44.61 54. 45 49. 80 43.37 46.33 45.68 47. 78 42.00 45.32 50.37 43.35 48. 56 55. 92 63.15 46.36 43. 77 $30. 71 30. 56 38.11 35.20 33. 96 (3) (3) 35. 51 (3) (3) (3) 34.29 34.40 (3) 36.85 35. 41 (3) $42. 65 46. 5S (3) (3) (3) (3) (3) 49.88 44.69 (3) (3) 48.44 51. 09 59. 41 57.02 47.02 (3) $38.16 38. 78 47. 67 41.42 38.43 39. 02 39.24 40. 07 38. 50 39.31 39.73 38. 50 44.94 (3) 06 53. 40. 95 (3) $36.17 37.70 45.08 45. 82 39.73 41.57 43.00 42.15 41.05 40.94 (3) 43.28 45.18 (3) 56.70 41.39 (3) (3) $30.20 44.16 38. 44 34. 56 39.76 36.38 41.25 34.82 37.15 44. 02 36.16 40. 46 48.88 43. 26 38. 47 27. 21 36.64 (3) 32.38 40.42 33.00 31.25 49.86 45. 97 44. 01 47.20 42.97 43.10 (3) 38. 50 34. 54 37. 67 37.10 36. 87 (3) (3) (3) 96 48. 42. 59 43.93 (3) 39. 41 35. 02 40.23 33.34 32.80 (3) 49.62 45. 54 50. 56 47. 77 46.04 41.87 (3) 39. 55 46.17 43.52 40.93 40.88 (3) 97 38. 42. 88 42.24 39. 59 (3) 72 39. 40.36 42.11 42. 67 39. 22 (3) (3) 44.79 (3) (3) 02 27. 36.81 47.30 (3) 71 73. 99.94 57.84 105. 70 63. 92 52.00 56.60 31.29 (3) (3) 78.20 45.83 65. 27 74.83 48. 49 44.26 43. 54 58.09 70.69 114.32 153.27 48. 47 121. 87 98.96 57. 50 83.02 40.05 53. 46 62.11 99. 47 42.70 56. 54 68.65 38. 66 40. 46 41.68 60. 65 64. 66 102. 42 115. 72 47. 07 94.15 95. 06 48.96 63. 78 33. 57 45. 51 58. 56 95.63 48.48 76. 21 72. 21 59.83 47.60 54. 01 (3) 37 65. 104. 46 115. 87 (3) 104. 48 107. 56 55.53 60. 51 45.14 59. 42 63. 99 (3) (3) 67.31 (3) (3) 37.23 44.20 (3) (3) (3) 62.32 (3) (3) (3) (3) 52.03 (3) 42.15 (3) 89. 56 50. 46 (3) (3) 52.37 48. 37 (3) (3) (3) (3) 92.43 (3) (3) 78 71. 53. 85 72.96 (3) (3) 57 69. 87.05 (3) 67.22 69.17 54.64 43.01 54. 88 (3) (3) 81.71 86.72 (3) (3) 55 85. 50. 32 65. 89 50. 86 52. 66 70. 92 75. 27 (3) 67.66 (3) 41 46. 46. 69 (3) 55. 27 (3) 91 83. 97. 54 (3) 87.00 73. 07 (3) 01 59. (3) 54 63. 65. 59 82.62 (3) 44 52. 70.11 (3) 31.96 38.73 (3) 50.76 79.72 112.10 (3) (3) 82.94 62.60 65. 86 (3) 36.58 62.43 Office occupations Billers, machine (billing machine)________________________ Billers, machine (bookkeeping machine)---------------------------Calculating-machine operators (Comptometer type)------------Clerks, payroll._ _ __________ ________________________ Stenographers, general-______ _________________________ Switchboard operators..................................................................... MEN Store occupations Carpenters, maintenance________________________________ Elevator operators, passenger-----------------------------------------Finishers, furniture_____ _______________________________ Fitters, men’s garments_____________ :---------------------------Packers, bulk__________________________________________ Porters, day (cleaners)--------------------------------------------------Receiving clerks (checkers)-------------------------------------------Sales clerks, regular or upstairs departments: Bedspreads, draperies, and blankets... ______ ______... Boys’ clothing_____________________ __________________ Floor coverings_________________________ ____________ Furniture and bedding________________________________ Housewares (except china, glassware, and lamps)__ ______ Major appliances (refrigerators, stoves, washers, etc.) 4 ____ Men’s clothing.. ___________ _____________ _. ----------Men’s furnishings_____________________ ______________ Women’s shoes.. ... . ... _______ .. ... ------------------Stockmen, selling sections__ _____ .. _________ . -------Stockmen, warehouse . . . ___... . ... . --------- -------------Tailors, alteration, men’s garments ______ . ______... .. 1 Excludes premium pay for overtime work. 2 Data for Buffalo and San Francisco relate to January 1950. In these cities as well as Denver, the occupational coverage was primarily designed for other studies and was smaller than that used in the regular study of department and women’s ready-to-wear stores. 3 Data not available. 4 Excludes radios and television receivers. Many sales clerks—both men and women—have high earnings. Earnings, in the various selling departments in 1950 varied widely from city to city. (See table 5.) For example, the intercity range for saleswomen in women’s accessory depart ments was from $48.44 to $31.68, in women’s dresses from $51.09 to $34.40, and in women’s suits and coats from $70.57 to $36.85. Moreover, earnings wuthin a city for clerks sell ing the same kinds of merchandise differed greatly from one store to another. For example, 11 women selling women’s and misses’ dresses in Denver earned less than $35 a week, 3 others earned more than $95, and the earnings of the rest were scat tered between these figures. Generally, sales per- sonnel in large stores had higher earnings than those in small ones. Men sales clerks generally had considerably higher earnings than women, mostly because men clerks are concentrated in the selling departments which pay the most, and women in the selling departments which pay the least. Very often only a small proportion of the women remain with the stores long enough to be promoted to higher-pay ing departments. Salesmen of furniture and bedding had the highest earnings in most of the cities. In 5 cities these employees averaged over $100 a week; average earnings were between $80 and $100 in all other cities except Providence ($62.32). Men selling floor coverings or major 20 the upstairs departments. Although the earnings of sales personnel generally wrere higher in large stores than in small stores, there was no such pat tern among the nonselling occupations. appliances (excluding radios and television re ceivers) in 3 cities and men’s clothing salesmen in 1 city were the only other workers whose weekly levels of earnings exceeded $100. Men’s furnish ings salesmen had substantially lower average earnings, ranging from $40.34 in Boston to $67.81 in Chicago. H o urs o f W o rk , Vacations, and Discounts Workweek Full-time employees in most of the stores sur veyed had workweeks of 40 hours or less. (See table 6.) A 40-hour workweek was scheduled for all full-time employees in all the establishments studied in Atlanta, Denver, New Orleans, San Francisco-Oakland, Seattle, and Toledo. A ma jority of the stores in Baltimore, Buffalo, Chicago, New York, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Providence, and Washington had this schedule. Regular wmrkweeks of over 40 hours were scheduled in more than half the stores in Minneapolis-St. Paul. In Boston and Buffalo different stores reported workweeks of 40 hours, more than 40 hours, and less than 40 hours. Ten of the 26 New York stores studied had workweeks of 37y 2 hours or less, and none had workweeks longer than 40 hours. A majority of the stores included in the survey had their employees on 5-day workweek schedules, but in 3 cities all reporting stores had 6-day workweeks. Other Nonsupervisory Employees Nonselling department store employees below the supervisory level are usually paid by the hour or by the week. Their average earnings generally were lower than those of sales clerks. However, women fitters of women’s garments had higher average earnings in every city than did the women sales clerks in the majority of the selling depart ments. In New York, fitters had average weekly earnings of $61.15, a figure which was topped only by women clerks selling women’s shoes in New York and women’s suits and coats in Pittsburgh. Among the men in nonselling jobs, carpenters, tailors, and fitters generally had earnings that com pared favorably with earnings in some of the sell ing sections. In every city, however, earnings of the nonselling groups shown in table 5 fell con siderably below those of the clerks who sold furniture and beddings and major appliances in T able 6.— Scheduled hours and days per week for full-time workers in department and women’s ready-to-wear stores , May-July 1950 San MinneWash At Balti Boston Buf Chi Dallas Den apolis- New New Phila Pitts Provi Fran- Seattle Toledo ington, Or York del burgh dence ciscover St. leans falo cago lanta more OakD. C. phia Paul land Item Total establishments studied Scheduled hours: Less than 37$i _ 37^ Over 37M, less j than 40. __ 40_________ 42 43 or 43^ 44 45 Other _ __ Scheduled days: 5 - _ 6 5^ 2 4 8 11 9 1 4 1 7 6 3 7 6 2 10 1 8 11 4 2 6 1 6 1 1 7 4 3 26 13 8 5 11 7 1 4 18 1 1 1 5 18 2 8 i1 1 3 1 6 3 1 21 1 1 2 23 8 5 4 4 16 2 8 4 7 •2 2 26 2 1 10 8 18 7 5 8 1 7 7 5 7 1 4 8 1 One store had a 34-hour week for women only and a 40^-hour week for men. 2 On alternate weeks, employees in 1 establishment work a 5-day (36^ hours) week. 21 Labor U n io n s Vacations All stores studied had provisions for paid vaca tions. The usual practice was to give a vacation of 1 week after a year’s service and 2 weeks after 2 years. (See table 7.) Regular store and office workers had paid holidays in all but 10 of the 158 stores studied. (See table 8.) The number of paid holidays ranged from 1 to 10, with 6 or 7 days granted most frequently. Discounts All but one of the stores studied gave discounts ranging between 10 and 20 percent on merchandise purchased by full-time employees. (See table 9.) Three out of five stores allowed discounts as soon as the employees were hired. Most stores extended this privilege to members of the employees’ im mediate families. T able Som6 department store workers are members of labor organizations. Union strength is concen trated in several large cities. The principle union organizing all types of department store workers is the Retail Clerks International Association, AFL. Several unions concentrate mostly on cer tain specialized types of department store work ers that are within their jurisdiction. Deliverymen and warehousemen are organized by the Inter national Brotherhood of Teamsters, Chauffers, Warehousemen and Helpers of America, AFL. Tailors and other store personnel are organized by the Amalgamated Clothing Workers of Amer ica, CIO. Persons working on dress alterations, salespeople in women’s apparel, and in some cases other store personnel are organized by the Inter national Ladies Garment Workers Union, AFL. Other smaller unions also organize department store workers. , 7 -Paid vacations for full-time workers in department and women's ready-to-wear stores M ay-July 1950 Vacation policy Total establishments studied-------- At Balti Bos Buf Chi Dal Den Minne- New New Phila Pitts Provi San Se To Wash apolis- Or del lanta more ton falo cago las ver St. Paul leans York phia burgh dence Fran- attle ledo ington, ciscoD. C. Oakland 4 8 11 9 7 2 1 1 4 3 1 9 9 2 2 2 4 2 7 3 2 1 4 4 3 1 8 7 1 11 2 9 9 4 5 4 8 11 3 1 8 2 1 1 6 8 11 4 26 13 8 5 18 3 3 1 1 2 2 17 9 8 5 5 1 1 1 1 6 5 10 2 9 8 7 3 2 1 2 7 3 4 6 5 1 8 5 3 11 11 4 2 2 26 19 2 5 13 12 1 8 7 1 9 7 8 7 4 1 3 13 3 6 11 4 7 26 10 1 6 1 5 23 3 4 3 1 9 9 2 2 1 1 3 3 2 2 2 2 2 4 2 7 3 2 1 4 5 5 9 4 3 1 8 7 1 11 2 9 9 4 5 7 3 4 6 5 1 8 5 3 4 8 11 9 7 8 3 1 8 10 1 3 6 7 6 1 5 7 5 8 4 4 2 1 1 Store w orkers After 6 months of service: Total establishments with vaca tions _ _ -- __________ -Under 1 week_______________ 1 week... __________________ Over 1 week, under 2 weeks___ 2 weeks.. _________________ Establishments with no vacations. After 1 year of service: Total establishments with vaca tions_____________________ 1 w eek ...----------------------- .. Over 1 week, under 2 weeks___ 2 weeks _ _____________ Over 2 weeks._ ___ _____. Establishments with no vacations. After 2 years of service: Total establishments with vaca tions................................. . -. 1 week _ _________ _ . Over 1 week, under 2 weeks. 2 weeks.. . ___________ _ Over 2 weeks.____ _ .. Establishments with no vacations. 8 17 7 1 6 5 1 2 2 18 16 2 7 7 5 5 8 7 1 8 5 18 7 5 13 8 3 2 18 7 5 8 1 7 17 9 8 •5 5 1 1 1 1 2 9 8 7 3 2 1 2 11 11 4 2 2 26 19 2 5 13 12 1 8 7 1 11 4 7 4 1 3 26 13 23 3 13 Office w orkers After 6 months of service: Total establishments with vaca tions . _____ ___ . __ Under 1 week____ ___ ._ 1 week _ ____ _ ____ . __ Over 1 week, under 2 weeks__ 2 weeks ___ __ _. Establishments with no vacations. After 1 year of service: Total establishments with vaca tions-------------- --------------1 week________ _ ---- --------Over 1 week, under 2 weeks___ 2 weeks.. _ ___________ . ... Over 2 weeks.______________ After 2 years of service: Total establishments with vaca tions___________________ .. 1 week _ ... Over 1 week, under 2 weeks. 2 w eeks..________ ____ ___ O ver 2 w eeks _ _ 22 8 4 4 2 1 1 17 7 1 6 5 1 2 2 18 16 2 7 7 5 5 8 8 8 5 18 7 5 8 3 2 18 7 5 8 1 7 T able 8.— Paid holidays for full-time workers in depar tment and women’s ready-to-wear stores, May-July 1950 Item San Wash At Balti Bos Buf Chi Dallas Den Minne- New New Phila Pitts Provi Fran- Seattle Toledo ington, apolis- Or York del burgh dence ciscolanta more ton falo cago ver St. Paul leans OakD. C. phia land Total establishments studied __________ Total establishments providing paid holidays_._ __ ________ N umber of holidays: 1___ 2____________ 3___ 4_____ _____ 5____________ 5 H ______________ 6____________ 6V9 ___________ 7_____ 71/2___ 8______ 9___ 10___ Establishments with no paid holidays 4 8 11 9 7 6 8 11 4 26 13 8 5 18 7 5 8 4 8 6 2 9 7 6 8 11 4 26 13 8 4 18 7 5 4 8 11 3 1 1 1 23 1 1 12 8 1 16 1 7 4 5 1 8 8 1 2 1 1 5 7 4 1 5 4 4 JL „ , T able 9.— Discount policies for full-time workers in department and women’s ready-to-wear stores May-July 1950 Item Total establishments studied. __ _____ Total establishments with discount privileges______________________________ Discount on merchandise wearable to work: Upon employment_______________ __ 5 percent_____________ _ 10 percent_____________ __ _ 15 percent__________ ______ 20 percent_______. __ _ _ Over 20 percent __ _ ___ __ Other_______ ________ ______ After waiting period. ______________ 10 percent______________ ________ 15 percent__ _______________ _ _ 20 percent_____________________ _ Over 20 percent ... __ _ ___ No discount on merchandise wearable to work Discount on other wearable merchandise: Upon employment____________ __ ... 5 percent __________ _ __ _ 10 percent______________ _____ 15 percent____________ 20 percent______________ __ _ Over 20 percent __ _ Other After waiting period____ . _ __ 10 percent 15 percent______ _____ _ 20 percent _ __ ______ Over 20 percent _ . Other __________ Other discount policies. . __ __ No discount on other wearable to work merchandise __ Discount on other merchandise: 1 Upon employment.. . . . . . . . ._ „ 5 percent 10 percent______ _________________ 15 percent 20 percent__. . . Over 20 percent Other_______ .. _______ ______ After waiting period _________ _ _ __ ___ _ 10 percent__ 15 percent__ . ______________ 20 percent .. _____ _ Over 20 percent _ ______________ N o discount on other merchandise _. Discount privileges granted to other members of employee’s family: Yes____________________________ No . . San Minne- New At Fran- Se To Wash Chi New Phil Pitts ing lan Balti Bos Buf cago Dal Den apolis- Or York adel burgh Provi cisco- attle ledo ton, las ver St. leans dence Oakphia ta more ton falo Paul D. C. land 4 8 11 9 7 6 8 11 4 26 13 8 5 18 7 5 8 4 8 11 9 7 6 8 11 4 25 13 8 5 18 7 5 8 1 1 7 4 3 3 2 1 6 3 3 4 3 1 4 2 1 1 2 2 3 1 2 5 5 4 5 1 4 5 1 4 8 1 2 4 1 3 3 2 1 3 2 1 1 6 1 5 4 2 1 1 3 2 1 10 3 5 1 1 8 2 5 1 5 1 4 1 10 2 3 3 2 1 1 3 2 1 10 ] 2 6 1 15 1 2 8 4 1 10 7 2 1 15 7 2 2 4 9 4 1 4 3 2 1 10 2 3 3 2 1 1 9 5 1 3 5 5 4 1 2 1 3 2 1 10 6 3 1 1 1 3 2 1 7 5 1 1 5 5 4 1 3 1 1 1 1 3 1 1 1 1 11 4 10 3 8 1 1 1 7 4 3 3 2 1 5 3 2 4 3 1 4 2 1 1 2 2 3 1 2 1 8 1 2 4 1 4 1 2 1 3 3 2 1 1 6 1 1 4 1 1 1 7 4 3 3 2 1 6 6 4 3 1 4 2 1 1 2 2 3 1 2 1 8 2 3 2 1 3 2 3 2 1 1 6 1 2 3 9 2 9 6 8 4 1 7 1 1 3 5 2 1 1 1 1 1 9 7 1 1 8 5 2 1 13 13 1 1 2 1 1 4 3 1 1 1 1 3 2 10 3 4 2 1 8 2 6 2 3 1 1 3 5 1 4 5 1 4 5 2 1 1 10 3 4 2 1 8 2 6 18 7 5 2 2 5 2 3 3 1 2 5 1 4 3 1 2 5 5 5 7 1 1Not applicable to women’s ready-to-wear stores. 23 U. S. GOVERNMENT PRINTING OFFICE: 1951