Cologne Haefren Baum Case

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Marketing analysis:

Located in downtown Cologne Haefren Baum is a high end retailer, which recently expanded its operations by opening three retail outlet stores in nearby Rhineland suburban areas. The company carries Wiegandt’s high-end furniture whose furniture is heavily advertised and carries a much recognized name. Due to the economic conditions and new competitors entering the market Haefren Baum had to decrease its prices in order to maintain sales volume. The new competition and economic conditions caused sales to decline by -19% and -5% between 1993 and 1995 which portrays cyclical demand, rather than seasonal since different seasons have insignificant sales on furniture sales. The German recession has recently been improving, however this has not helped the German furniture market, and the outlook for the near future does not look very promising as the company will need to adapt to the growing competition.

Operations analysis:

Although the sales of the company have declined significantly their cost of goods sold has remained high, especially between 1994 and 1995 the company had a decline in sales and an increase in cost of goods sold. This is evidence the company is having problems passing costs to its consumers. The company is not very asset intensive and its decrease in total asset turnover can be due to their decrease in sales, however their rather low total asset turnover which is also decreasing from 2.1 to 1.5 shows their assets are not being used very efficiently. As a result of their sales decrease their Fixed Asset turnover also decreased from 7.0 to 5.4. The decrease in sales and increase in competition also means more shelf time for their inventory which has increased from 103 to 129, which makes Haefren Baum’s price cutting strategy questionable. The company is already experiencing a loss of revenue due to their lower prices; however this is not stimulating the number of different sales because the inventory is sitting in the...
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