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Sales Managers

History

U.S. retailing grew tremendously in the 1850s and 1860s, with the establishment of such chain organizations as the Great Atlantic & Pacific Tea Company, and firms like Macy's and Marshall Field's, which grew into sizable department stores. Mail-order firms such as Sears& Roebuck and Montgomery Ward gained popularity due to the introduction of low postal rates. Self-service stores came about after World War I, enabling people to make their own shopping choices based on merchandise and displays as opposed to salespeople. The movement to the suburbs in the 1950s and 1960s gave rise to one-stop shopping centers, which were smaller versions of today's malls. Large department stores and merchandisers also established branches in the suburbs to meet growing demand. Shoppers today can choose from a variety of merchandise in specialty stores, department stores, strip malls, mega malls, or discount warehouses, and in person, through catalogs, or on the Internet.

For as long as products and services have been sold, there has been a need for sales managers to manage staff, create sales strategies, oversee the distribution or delivery of goods and services, and establish training programs for sales workers. Sales managers are key players in businesses of all types and sizes.

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