Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)


Economics & Finance


STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM It was the primary goal of this thesis to examine in detail the formal training practices of selected North Dakota retailers. Another goal of this study was to gain insight into the opinions of North Dakota retail executives concerning the value of formal training to their employees.

METHODOLOGY 1 A sample was taken of durable goods retail firms located in the nine major trade centers of North Dakota. Information was collected through the use of personal interviews with retail executives.

RESULTS It was found that approximately 80% of the North Dakota chain retailers used formal training, as did 13% of independent retailers. Of the three categories of employees which received training-salespeople, non-selling employees, and management trainees — salespeople were more often enrolled in formal training programs. Merchandise knowledge and salesmanship were subjects frequently taught in North The method of instruction most conmcnl" ;ec was psrsoA-n conferences wish supervisors, .-lost uortn Dakota training programs employed "decentralized" methods rather than the "centralized" technique. Considerable emphasis was placed on evaluation of the trainee's progress by North Dakota retail executives. Supervisors' evaluations and professional shopping service reports were commonly used. The primary objective of all North Dakota training programs was increased productivity of employees.

CONCLUSION The acceptance of formal training as a useful tool of retailing was related to store size, ownership of the firm, and management attitude. Not all North Dakota retailers can use formal training, due to the small size of many of the stores. Several firms included in the survey were of sufficient size to benefit from formal training, but did not use it. Lack of acceptance of useful tools of retailing such as formal training by retail firms may lead to lowered profitability.