Harvard Book Store: General Manager

Career Center,


General Manager

Reports to:
Jeff Mayersohn, President

Schedule and Location: Harvard Book Store offices, and store locations in Cambridge, MA and Boston, MA

Harvard Book Store is looking for a General Manager to help lead one of America’s prized independent bookstores into its next chapter. This person must be passionate about books and customer service, two hallmarks of our business and the people who work here. Striving to satisfy the needs of our customers and of our employees is at the heart of our endeavors.

Harvard Book Store has been a local landmark with a national reputation since 1932. Located in Harvard Square since its founding, we plan to open a 20,000 sq. ft. location in Boston’s Prudential Center in time for Holiday 2024. Our bookstore is renowned for its extraordinary selection, thoughtful curation, and award-winning event series. Our customers are eager to support us by “shopping indie” at our store. We are a union shop and maintaining positive staff relations while working to build staff morale are of the utmost importance.

A successful candidate will be responsible for managing the operations of the whole business --including two storefronts, the Needham warehouse, the event series, and online operations.

Harvard Book Store thrives by holding to our values while adapting to a changing world. We honor literary traditions as we make available new voices and new ideas. We respect the Company’s past as we seek innovative ways to refine the art of bookselling, while keeping an eye toward operational efficiency.

Job Description

  • Set priorities, departmental objectives, and overall organizational goals for Harvard Book Store, in consultation with the management team, staff, and ownership
  • Directly oversee a team of managers, leading operations and new initiatives covering
    • Inventory management and buying strategy
    • Author event and speaker engagement planning and promotion
    • E-commerce strategy and partnerships
    • Marketing and advertising strategy
    • Staffing and internal human resources policies
    • Store management & operations
  • Work alongside the Controller to conduct and analyze financial performance, including:
    • Tracking daily sales and business trends
    • Analyzing financial documents with an eye towards identifying both problems and areas of opportunity
    • Building annual sales projections and developing and tracking key performance indicators
    • Reviewing and signing checks and other day-to-day needs
  • Facilitate and brainstorm new interdepartmental initiatives, including, for example:
    • Changes to Frequent Buyer Program
    • Analysis and possible expansion of subscription services
  • Schedule and conduct quarterly company meetings to review financial information and other store updates with full staff.
  • Represent the company in contract negotiations and other meetings with the Harvard Book Store union
  • Stay current on industry and local news that affect the business, as well as bring new ideas and opportunities to the attention of the management team, staff, and ownership
  • Train employees and provide constructive performance feedback, while ensuring the development of a culture that is inclusive and focused on career development
  • Work with People Operations Manager and other managers on internal communication to make sure policies are effectively communicated and decisions are made transparently
  • Attend nationwide meetings and conferences (Winter Institute, IBC Idea Exchange, NEIBA Fall Conference, and more) to establish and develop key industry relationships.

Who We Are Looking For:

  • An individual with a passion for books and reading who understands the distinctive needs of the book industry.
  • A background in bookselling and bookstores or in the publishing industry is preferred, however an avid reader with operational experience in retail, media, or general management will also be considered.
  • A self-starting, hardworking individual, willing to get their hands dirty in all aspects of the business. Someone who is passionate about customer service, employee relations, effective operations, and company growth
  • A creative problem-solver who is willing to lead into and embrace new ways of doing things. Experience with change management is paramount.
  • A people-person who can collaborate, motivate, seek feedback from, and lead employees to achieve company-wide goals enhancing our reputation as a premier destination bookstore for Cambridge and Boston.

Anyone who is interested can apply to:  

Gary Belastock