January 1, 1948
AGOOD BOSS has to know how to handle people considerately to get maximum results,” boomed Bernard F. Gimbel,
62, the 6-foot, 210-pound president of Gimbel Bros. department stores. Gimbel, a former Penn fullback and wrestler, had guided his family’s chain from its humble roots in Philadelphia to a preeminent spot in New York City retail, fighting neighborhood rival Macy’s every step of the way. His management theory: “As Gimbel’s head man, it’s my job to be a builder-upper, to strengthen the morale of my
team, never to reprimand anyone in public, to give everyone a clearheaded, followable conception of what has to be done.” Gimbel would retire five years later with his stores’ sales having grown 40 times over, to $600 million (nearly $6 billion in today’s money), during his tenure.