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Jules Steinberg, Retail Expert, Dead At 88

Tempe, Ariz. – Jules Steinberg, 88, business consultant, longtime
TWICE columnist and former executive director of National Association of Retail
Dealers of America (NARDA), died here on March 20.

During his 25-year tenure at NARDA, the association’s membership
grew from fewer than 600 independent electronic, appliance and furniture
retailers to 4,500 firms.

Steinberg devoted a major part of his efforts to getting all the
links of the distribution chain — from manufacturer to retailer — to work
together for their mutual benefit, and served as management consultant to
suppliers and wholesalers.

He purchased a computer for NARDA and organized an electronic
data processing service for members. Steinberg wrote original computer programs
for tracking inventory movements, and for judging the performance of sales and
product repair personnel.

To lower the discount rate on credit card sales, he started the
NARDA credit union and arranged for a pooling of all sales of association
members. He also provided a group health program for members, their employees
and families.

His annual Costs-of-Doing-Business-Survey, based on a compilation
of member input, provided a yardstick of average expenses for individual

It was at one of his annual week-long “Institutes of Management”
sponsored at Notre Dame University and Stanford University that he perfected
his original “Gross Return on Investment” formula, which entails combining the
gross profit and inventory turns on each product to measure its true
comparative profitability.

He also authored a book on salesmanship called “Customers Don’t

Steinberg was born June 10, 1921, in the Bronx, N.Y., and raised
in Manhattan. After graduating from Stuyvesant High School, he entered New York
University and graduated with degrees in finance and journalism. In June 1942
he joined the U.S. Navy and served on the destroyer U.S.S. Heermann DD532 in
the Pacific.

At war’s end, he organized his own wholesaling and import/export
businesses for several years before he turned to writing as a columnist and
editor for trade publications.

In 1961 he was named to head NARDA, headquartered in Chicago.
Upon retirement from NARDA, he continued to do management consulting, wrote
business articles for the trade press, and published a monthly newsletter,
“Management Digest.”

He is survived by his wife, Marietta Marcin, of Winnetka, Ill.;
his sister, Ruth Schacht of Los Angeles; a son, Jay Steinberg and his wife
Denise of Highland Park, Ill.; a daughter, Jill Guenin, and her husband William
of Cave Creek, Ariz.; a step-daughter, Marietta Marcin II; and six
grandchildren and three great-grandchildren.