Topics: Brand management, 1997 Asian Financial Crisis, Marketing Pages: 10 (3551 words) Published: March 27, 2009
Giordano is a Hong Kong retailer of affordable casual wear for men, women and children. Founded in 1981 by Jimmy Lai, it has 8000 employees in 1500 store operating in 31 countries worldwide. Giordano specialize in merchandising economic quality clothes ranging from T-Shirt, Long Sleeves, Shirts and Denim Jeans. With their cooperate mission that commit them to provide their customer with value money merchandise , professional customer service and comfortable shopping experience at their convenient location make them become the pioneer in Asia apparel retailing in customer service. The founded of Giordano believe that service was the best way to make customer return to their store again and again. He emphasis that they not just a shirt retailer or apparel retailer, they are also a service retailer because they sell feeling that make everyone feel good about coming into their stores.

Their organization emphasis on service and value for money concept has proven to be successful when Giordano commitment to provide excellent service was reflected in the list of service-related awards they had received. Giordano was ranked number one by the Far Eastern Economic review for three consecutive years from 1994 to 1996 for being innovative in responding the customer needs. In Singapore, Giordano has won numerous service awards for the year. One of the awards is the Excellent Service awards which they received from 1996 till 1998. Beside that, they also received tourism awards, namely the Store of The Year in 1991, Retailer of The Month in 1993, and The Best Shopping Experience for Retailer Outlet in 1996. This recognition began with the customer service campaign on 1989 where yellow badges bearing the words “Giordano Means Service” were worn by every Giordano employee. This badge reminded employees that they were there to deliver excellent customer service. To ensure that every store and individual employee provide excellent service, performance evaluation were conducted frequently at the store level, as well as for individual employees. The service standard of each store was evaluated twice every month, while individual employees were evaluated once every two months. Internal competitions were designed to motivate employees and store team to do their best in selling customer service. Beside willingness to accept employees’ mistake, the factor that contributes to success of Giordano in having a dedicated, trained, ever-smiling sales force is to considered front-line workers to be its customer service heroes. They had stringent selection procedures to make sure that only those candidates who matched the profile of what it looked for in its employees were selected. Selection continued into its training workshop. The workshop is called the “attitude training” where the service orientation and character of a new employee were tested in these workshops. Every one who joined Giordano, even office employees, has to work in a store for at least one week as part of their training. However, providing training program was not as important as ensuring the transfer of learning from the workshops and seminar to the store. By encouraging their worker to transfer what they have learned to their work, they reward the staffs who practice what they learned. Giordano has offered an attractive package to their employees’ to attract and keep its staff. They pay higher wages which more than the market pays to their staff. With higher wages and training resulted in a corps of eager-to please sales force.

To beat the market competition prevalent in Asia, especially in Hong Kong, Jimmy Lai felt that Giordano must have a distinctive competitive advantage. He started to benchmark Giordano against best practice organizations in four key arrears which is computerization, a tightly controlled menu, frugality and value pricing. Giordano was able to consistency sell value for money merchandise through careful selection of supplier, strict cost control...
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