Over the years I have had to do some real digging to come up with good retail math books. There are several out there, and I thought I’d list a few of my favorites. Some of them are out of print now, but the mathematical information in them is as good as ever. This is by no means a comprehensive list, rather it is a listing of those books I tend to use for reference purposes in teaching my classes. (The below are in no particular order.)
1. Retail Merchandise Management by Wingate, Schaller & Miller – This is my all-time favorite. The version I use was given to me by one of my professors (thank you Dr. Ashton!) It never wanders too far from my desk. While many parts of the book are dated, the math concepts are as solid as ever. And, the many examples it offers are extremely valuable. The best part of this book is the extreme breadth and depth of coverage it gives to retail math concepts and formulas. (Note: this book is out of print, but can be found on www.amazon.com.) Wingate, J.W., Schaller, E.O., & Miller, F.L. (1972). Retail Merchandise Management. Englewood Cliffs, N.J.: Prentice-Hall, Inc.
2. Problems in Retail Merchandising, 6th edition by Wingate, Schaller & Bell – Dr. Ashton gave this workbook to me also. It was written as a compliment to Retail Merchandise Management, covering the same concepts but giving many more examples and homework problems. I have found these problems and examples to be very helpful when I need to go deeper into retail math for my graduate level classes. (Note: this book is out of print, but can be found on www.amazon.com) Wingate, J.W., Schaller, E.O., & Bell, R.W. (1973). Problems in Retail Merchandising, 6th Edition. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice-Hall, Inc.
3. The Buyer’s Manual by the Merchandising Division of the National Retail Merchants Association – There are many versions of this particular book. The one I use is from 1965. I have tried some of the later versions and have not found them to be as helpful in their coverage of math concepts. Much like Retail Merchandise Management, this book is dated concerning other concepts, but I have found many parts of it to be helpful in understanding how math principles and formulas apply to analyzing a retail operation. National Retail Merchants Association. (1965). The Buyer’s Manual, Revised Edition. New York, NY: The Merchandising Division of the National Retail Merchants Association.
4. Math for Merchandising by Moore – I really like the way Moore takes a section of each chapter to explain industry jargon to students. This is something that I often overlook doing in class. This text also does a very nice job explaining profit measures. However, I feel it lacks in the areas of asset efficiency. Moore, E. (2005). Math for Merchandising, Third Edition. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson Education, Inc.
5. Merchandising Math by Kincade, Gibson & Woodard – Like most books about retail math, this one has a distinct fashion orientation. The book includes an interesting chapter on fashion forecasting where it looks at some of the more qualitative aspects of this task. From a math perspective, I found the book to have good coverage of pricing and P&L statements. Kincade, D.H., Gibson, F.Y., Woodard, G.A. (2004). Merchandising Math: a managerial approach. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson Education, Inc.
6. Mathematics for Retail Buying by Tepper – This book has been around for some time and has gone through many editions. It is a favorite in many apparel studies programs. I appreciate the author’s simple explanations and many examples throughout the book. Tepper, B.K. (2008). Mathematics for Retail Buying, 6th Edition. New York, NY: Fairchild Books, Inc.
7. & 8. I really can’t end up this post without mentioning Retailing Management by Levy & Weitz and Retail Management by Berman & Evans. Both of these books are good general retailing texts and have begun to include more and more retail math with each edition. I have used each as the main retail textbook for my classes at different points in time.
**Please note that I have cited the edition of each book that I have on my shelves, newer editions may be available in several cases.