EYECATCHERS: Counter Success

"The only way to learn the retailing business is over the counter," Philip M. Hawley is fond of saying. Hawley, 48, first practiced what he now preaches while dishing up sundaes behind the counter of his Portland, Ore., ice-cream store. Now, as president of Broadway-Hale Stores, Inc., he directs a retailing empire that includes Neiman-Marcus, Bergdorf Goodman, Holt, Renfrew, Capwell's, The Emporium, Weinstock's and the Walden Book Co.

A Phi Beta Kappa graduate of the University of California and Harvard Business School, Hawley sold his four ice-cream shops in 1952 and went to work for a Portland department store. He joined...