Management: Suddenly Loyalty Is Back In Business

Amid the slump, smart companies are boosting profits by cultivating loyalty among workers and customers alike

Loyalty was supposed to be dead. During the labor shortages of the late 1990s, ambitious workers found that the best way to get ahead was to jump from job to job. Then when the economy cooled, long before Sept. 11, the first response of many managers was to shed lots of employees. Little wonder that the average 32-year-old today has worked for nine companies. And she has probably bought nine brands of shampoo from a dozen drugstores, supermarkets and websites. For many customers, loyalty to a product or retailer seems quaint in an era when buying decisions are made at the...

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