How to Sell

How to Sell

Recipes for Retail


Whether it's ideas or products, in our business or for someone else, we all need to be able to sell. This book guides us through invaluable tips from John Hoerner, who has over 50 years' experience as a retailer.

Divided into chapters covering all aspects of retail, John’s wisdom is summarised in short incisive quotes, including: advice on handling customers, stores, buyers, suppliers, stock management, marketing and PR, strategy, investment and people.

How To Sell is an authoritative guide to becoming the best retailer you can be.


  • An essential read for anyone in retail or anyone who wants to understand retail better
    Mike Sharp, CEO of Debenhams

About the author

John Hoerner

John Hoerner has been a successful retailer for more than 50 years. His work has taken him from Hovland-Swanson speciality store in Lincoln, Nebraska, where he started work in 1959, to Woolf Brothers specialty store in Kansas City, Hahne’s in New Jersey, H. & S. Pogue in Cincinnati and L.S. Ayres in Indiana.

In 1987 he was recruited by the Burton Group to run Debenhams, a chain of 59 department stores in the UK. In 1992 John was made Chief Executive of the parent company with over 2,000 stores in the UK. In 1998 John led the de-merger of Debenhams from the Burton Group.

The remaining chains of multiples were renamed Arcadia Group, which John ran until 2000. In 2001 he joined Tesco, the world’s third largest retailer, to lead the development of their clothing business.

John lives on a farm in Gloucestershire with his wife Lea, their three horses, and their five rescued dogs from Battersea Dogs & Cats Home.
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