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No one ever washed a rental car PDF Print E-mail
Written by Brenda Dumont   
ImageIan MacGregor owns The Lobster Place in New York City.  From two locations they are New York City's largest purveyor of live lobster, selling over one million pounds of sea food to the city's finest hotels and restaurants each year. In addition, they offer a complete line of finfish, shellfish and shrimp where consumers are given daily access to the same top quality, fresh seafood products purchased by Manhattan's most distinguished chefs.

They also have an excellent web site where consumers can order all manner of lobster and have it shipped to their home or office.

Click here to check out this video that was produced by American Express because Ian gave all of his managers American Express cards so they could have the flexibility of buying locally, taking immediate advantage of good pricing, etc. etc.

But, according to Ian, he did this because "nobody ever washed a rental car."

In order to reduce turnover and develop long-term employees with special qualifications that only time and training can give them, he works every day to ensure his employees are "empowered." We all know that empowered employees - those who have a sense of ownership over their working lives, often generated through such things stock ownership plans, bonuses and profit participation - not only perform better but are less likely to leave or steal. That means real savings in the employment column.

I fully understand that most independent retailers can not go around handing out American Express cards to every employee, nor can each employee participate in profits.  But the idea of empowerment at a certain level comes up again and again when employees are asked what is important to them. It seems most retail employees don't want to be able to make the huge decisions (depending on level), but they would like the "power" to deal effectively with customers who need a refund or help with a custom order without checking with three levels up.

Nobody ever washed a rental car. I love this guy

MacGregor's web site can be found at

Brenda Dumont is the founder of, the first ever specialty job board designed specifically for retailers. Prior to that, she founded and operated Dumont & Associates Retail Recruitment, a retail-only search firm for ten years and served as corporate human resources manager and training manager for Woodward's Stores Limited.

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