Retail Management

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1. What can an independent retailer learn from this case? (Retail management-Case 1, Q.1)

An independent retailer can pull several insights from this reading. First and foremost the market is becoming severely competitive which means that independent retailers will have to adapt to the environment. Adaptations such as; benchmarking other retailers, pinpointing customer needs & wants, developing a long-term strategy for adaptation are to be made. It is imperative that retailers find ways to draw-in and maintain customers by changing with the market. Soft line specialty stores have found that the recent economic downturn has hurt the industry and in turn created intense competition for retailers to find new ways to get more sales from existing customers.

Some good ideas for retailers to consider after reading this case are, repositioning old images, continuing to target the youth market, and creating a life cycle of retailing whereas, when a customer outgrows a particular brand, you have another brand for the consumer to grow into. There are also many ways that our ever-advancing technology can be incorporated into retailing to aid companies in increasing revenues. All of these strategies are good starting points for soft line specialty store retailers to consider when planning strategies.

2. What are the positive implications of this case with respect to the use of leased departments in department stores? (Retail management-Case 1, Q.2)

The major positive implications of this case are: First off - you will pay a rental for the space used which is normally by the square footage however; some companies want a percentage of the business that would need to be fully investigated before taking on this type of facility. However, you will have a building supplied normally the utilities like heat, light, water, etc., are in the rental agreement in some way. You have the maintenance of the department covered, a guaranteed passing trade as customers will be in the store generally anyway. If you are in a niche' market the department store will help to look after you as well to keep customers coming in which in turn be a healthy environment.

3. How can a mid-priced apparel store become a destination retailer? (Retail management-Case 1, Q.3)

One way for a mid-priced apparel store to become a destination retailer would be if the store offered innovative or exclusive products and provide a unique way of operating. The retailer could offer in-store kiosks to enhance the shopping experience. The retailer could also offer products/brands that aren't carried by any other retailer to attract customers who are looking for something new and different.

One more way that a mid-priced apparel retailer could become a destination retailer would be by offering superior customer service. This would attract customers who seek opinions or information while shopping. This would also differentiate the retailer from other retailers whose customer service may be considered sub-par by consumers.

Another way a mid-priced apparel retailer could become a destination retailer is by being convenient. The retailer could offer longer store hours, locations close to residents, and a fairly simple shopping experience. This will attract consumers who are busy and have to work out shopping into their schedules.

4. How is Gap Inc. utilizing the principles of the wheel of retailing through its Gap, Old Navy, and Banana Republic divisions? (Retail management-Case 1, Q.4) ANSWER:
According to the book, "The wheel of retailing is grounded on four principles: (1) There are many price sensitive shoppers who will trade customer service, wide selections, and convenient locations for lower prices. (2) Price sensitive shoppers are often not loyal and will switch to retailers with lower prices. However, prestige-sensitive customers like shopping at retailers with high-end strategies. (3) New...
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