As a Fashion Merchandiser: How to Draw Strategy from a Comparison Shopping Report

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How to Draw Strategy from a Comparison Shopping Report
Millard’s Mini-Case

As an FMM student you have already done lots of shopping reports. This exercise is intended to show you how to use this information as an analytical tool.

Comparative shopping is done in the industry constantly. But the point of the task is to identify strengths and weaknesses of your store’s merchandise mix in comparison to the competitors’. Are you offering the customer something unique in one segment of your business, but not in others? Are you just a poor second in comparison to a strong competitor? Are you under- or over-developed in certain classifications? Are your prices in line with the rest of your store? In relation to your competition? Are there business opportunities that no one has addressed yet (market voids)?

In this exercise, you are the buyer for Millard’s Department Stores Men’s Sport Shirt Department. Your boss has asked you to do a comparison shopping analysis in order to determine ways to adjust your assortments to improve sales and profits.

Millard’s is a mostly moderate department store with some business done at better price points as well. Women’s, Men’s, and Kids’ are all carried, along with all the usual Home Store categories. Within Women’s, both Misses and “Women’s” (Plus size) are carried.
The store is predominantly branded, but there is some private label merchandise carried within the departments. For 2013 Private label has not been as profitable as Branded merchandise and the buyer of Men’s sport shirts is seeing a trend toward “labels”

Note: This is a self-contained case study. “Millard’s” is a fictitious store. Therefore, you must limit yourself to information in this write-up only.

Work on the skill of writing with specificity. Don’t answer “Millard’s should adjust their assortments,” or “Millard’s should trade up.” Answer like this: “Millard’s should change their assortments to x, y, and z … based on reasons

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