Culinarian cookware is sold through retailers and directly to consumers. Culinarian has carefully cultivated relationships with its limited retail network, comprised of three upscale kitchen specialty chains, two department store chains, and 75 local specialty stores. Direct-to-consumer sales are made through Culinarian’s website or its catalogs. Because Culinarian relies on a variety of intermediaries to sell its products through retail channels (see Exhibit A for details), it must be careful how any planned promotions will change incentives for those intermediaries. For example, price discounts offered by Culinarian may not be passed on to end users. Thus, although end users ultimately drive sales of Culinarian products, Culinarian must take care to protect the interests of retailers and their salespeople in order to remain successful.
The Orion Market Research Study reveals a great deal of useful information regarding Culinarian’s target demographic. Despite the many options to purchase remotely (via online vendors or mail order catalogues), purchases from retail locations account for 85% of total sales. See Exhibit B for details. This is strong evidence that consumers want to evaluate the quality and style of the cookware at the time of purchase. 75% of consumers in the study already own more than 5 pieces of cookware. See Exhibit C for more details. The majority of households in the Orion study had either given or received cookware as a gift, which aligns with evidence suggesting that cookware sales are seasonal – purchasing peaks occur in May and June (wedding season) and November and December (the holiday season).
Because cookware is a durable good (i.e. it is not consumed and carries forward from one period into the next) it may be especially sensitive to sales discount cycles. Details on pre-sale losses and post-sale losses due to cannibalization are shown in Exhibit E. See Exhibit F for details on variation in... [continues]
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