HIGH-END RETAIL CLOTHING CHAIN
Columbia Southern University
As the division vice-president of a major retail company, it is important to continually evaluate the performance of the organization as a whole compared to expectations and projections. Our company specializes in consumer-specific items tailor made for the individual. While pride in craftsmanship has led to a solid returning customer base for us, advances in technology may allow our competitors to offer mass-produced garments that could potentially rival what we are offering. In fact, they may be able to do this at a lower cost which could negatively impact our ability to attract new customers.
IS THIS A PROBLEM OR AN ISSUE
Securing new customers in the high-end retail clothing market is always a tough issue. On-line shopping has grown over the last several years as millennials take hold as a large customer base. Many of these young adults are simply looking to spend less and will search the internet for the best price for the same item. They will sacrifice quality and the personal touch of something being hand-tailored for them as an individual for the ability to save a few dollars and have it shipped to them in a plain brown box (Landry, 2017). That is not to say that they do not appreciate the higher quality craftsmanship that they saw their Gen X or baby boomer parents purchase while growing up, but rather finding that product by searching & shopping on-line is how they go about doing it. These customers are also facing other challenges that their parents may not have faced such as, higher gas prices & increased traffic headaches because centrally located shopping malls are dying off (LexingtonLaw, 2020). Whereas the previous generations would travel slightly to find and then return to their trusted source of clothing and shoes, this younger generation will simply search for what they are want on-line and either buy it from the computer, or make the decision to travel for that specific item they looked up.
Because we are dealing with several ill-defined complex sets of problems that may be affecting our ability to attract new customers, we have an issue (Boss, 2017). If we were able to identify a specific value or experience that we, as a company, were not providing that other retail establishments did provide and that was driving customers away, we would have a problem. As such, we have an issue in that we may, or may not, be losing new customers for a variety of reasons.
IDENTIFYING THE ISSUE
As the vice-president, I need to determine a few things in order to decide if we need to change the course of direction to correctly identify and address these issues or if the status quo will suffice and maintain the settings we currently enjoy. Through open communication with all departments within the organization (Boss, 2017), we would ascertain if we are actually missing out on new customers and therefore losing market share. By empowering managers throughout the company to survey subordinates about their own shopping habits, they could report back to administration as to ways we might be able to incorporate some of those trends & ideas into our current operations so as to supplement and grow our high-end customer experience.
ARGUMENTS TO ADDRESS THE THREAT
Taking what was gleaned by our employee’s shopping habits, an argument could be made to produce and launch an app while updating our current web-site & on-line presence. During the survey process, establishing buy-in from employees would aid in research & develop aspects of what they like or dislike in shopping apps. By continuing to offer an exceptional in-store experience, new customers could be enticed into the store by way of an app-based point system wherein new purchases are applied toward in-store upgrades and tailoring at discounted rates. By staying away from conditional statements instead reaching for arguments based on good premise, staff members and management alike will share and guide the company’s movements (Boss, 2017). Should the company get to a point where status quo in certain areas, like shipping for example, is sufficient, there will be no need to waste resources dedicated to that non-issue. This keeps members involved and stakeholders invested in overcoming the issues without spinning their wheels on trying to fix something that is not broken.
Boss, J. A. (2017). THiNK: Critical thinking and logic skills for everyday life (4th ed.). New York, NY: McGraw-Hill Education.
Landry, Lauren. (2017). The Importance of Creativity in Business. Northeastern University Graduate Business Programs. Retreived from: https://www.northeastern.edu/graduate/creativity-importance-in-business/
Lexington Law. (2020). Millennial Spending Habits. Retrieved from: https://www.lexingtonlaw.com/millennial-spending-habits.html