In an industry that employs more than 12% of the American workforce, and handles consumer spending worth $4.1 trillion, the retail sector provides a rich source of humor stemming from the unique interactions between employees and shoppers. Norm’s daily comic strip, Retail, presents a hilarious look at the retail industry by chronicling the daily events at the fictitious Grumbel’s department store. The humor of Retail plays out through the day-to-day trials and triumphs of four main Grumbel’s department store employees (Marla, Cooper, Val, and Stuart) and the customers they encounter.


Retail is distributed worldwide by King Features and appears in about 90 newspapers throughout the US and Canada. If your local paper doesn’t carry Retail, you can read it online every day at

Fans of the strip are also encouraged to join Retail’s fan page on Facebook and visit Retail’s listing on Wikipedia.


In 2007, Retail became the impetus for Norm’s first book, “Pretending You Care: The Retail Employee Handbook.”

“Pretending You Care” is a parody guidebook for retail employees that includes over 200 Retail comic strips.

Retail has lured in the best of us with promises of employee discounts (a sham), the “fun” of working with people (not so much), and flexible hours (don’t make me laugh). What we got instead: cranky customers, sadistic managers, idiotic coworkers, and, oh yeah, the hell that is doing inventory.

But there are ways to lessen the pain, and this retail handbook will show you how. Inside you’ll learn how to handle the crazies (both customers and coworkers), feign product knowledge, and make the best of working the register, all the while, of course, pretending you care. This book takes years of retail experience and condenses it into a guide that is as funny as it is useful.

If you work in retail now, have done so in the past, or plan to do so in the future: this is the book for you.

“Pretending You Care” is available through Amazon, Barnes & Nobles and other fine booksellers.