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The Edge Retail Academy hires industry vets

Posted on 2010-04-16, By A-Best Staff
Shelton, Conn.--The Edge Retail Academy, a partnership between retailing and management consultancy Retail Edge Consulting and retail-automation provider Abbott and Shapiro LLC, has recently signed on several of the jewelry industry's most respected, admired and accomplished figures.

One of the new arrivals is Dr. Charles "Chuck" Lein, whose accomplishments include 15 years as president and chief operating officer of Lafayette, La.-based Stuller Inc., a leading jewelry wholesaler and manufacturer.

"I have a passion for helping others be successful, and I think the model that The Edge Retail Academy has is ideal," Lein said in a media release.

Also joining The Edge Retail Academy team are Michael and Carol Druan, who have decades of management consulting and jewelry industry experience between them.

Both Druans have worked extensively with independent jewelers. Michael has an MBA in business administration, a bachelor's degree in marketing and a bachelor's degree in business management. His primary skills are helping retailers make the numbers that are available from sophisticated technology such as The Edge work to their advantage.

"The jeweler of 2009 and beyond is going to have extensive amounts of information available to them as far as what their customer base is, what the trends are, what products are available, how well they sell, and the quality and styles and characteristics of their products," Michael said in the release. "The more information they have at their fingertips, the more quickly they can stay on top of things that are changing with styles and trends."

Carol has a degree in business management and more than 25 years of hands-on experience.

"What drives me to do what I do and to work with these people on a daily basis is the ways that I can improve their quality of life," Carol said in the release. "So many independent jewelers work so hard year after year to make ends meet and to figure out how to pay themselves in the process. They have no family life, no personal life. All they have is getting up and going to work and staying late and worrying the rest of the night away. That's no way to live."

According to Carol, effective use of technology can break that cycle and bring prosperity to storeowners.

"My goal is to get [retailers] to understand that if you run this business as a business, you will be able to generate not only a living, but a good living," Carol said in the release.

With their ability to track trends and give stores control over their operations, modern retail-automation systems give stores capabilities far beyond simply ringing up sales and printing out receipts. State-of-the-art automated systems give retailers the ability to see trends evolve on a real-time basis and the insight and flexibility to compete effectively against both other independents and chain stores.

"What The Edge Retail Academy does is to complete the loop," Michael said in the release. "The Edge makes it easier for retailers to do business than ever before. The more information stores have at their fingertips, the more quickly they can stay on top of things. The key here is that the more sophisticated the software becomes, the more imperative it is to have a resource to turn to for assistance and interpretation such as The Edge Academy. You need someone who can not just pull reports, but who can really analyze those reports and make sense of them in a way that is going to generate higher levels of sales and more profits."
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