Sporting Goods Store
Bill Thompson is the new manager of a retail sporting goods store in Vermont that is part of a national chain. Bill, who is 25 years old, has been working for the company for four years. Before his promotion he was the assistant manager for two years at a company store in Delaware. Last week he was briefly introduced to the employees by his boss, the regional manager. The profit performance of this store is below average for its location and Bill is looking forward to the challenge of improving profits. When he was an assistant manager, he was given mostly minor administrative duties and paperwork, so this assignment will be his first opportunity to show he can be an effective manager. The base salaries of the 20 employees who work in Bill's store are set by the company, but appraisal ratings by the store manager influence the size of an employee's annual merit raise. These recommendations must be justified to the regional manager, especially if they are not consistent with individual and department sales. Bill can suspend or fire employees with the approval of his boss, but in practice it is difficult to do so unless the recommendation is supported by a strong case. The store layout and most prices are set by the headquarters office. However, store performance can be affected to a limited extent by the store manager. One way is to keep the cost of employees low by making sure they are working efficiently and not taking excessive sick days. Another way is to ensure that employees are providing a high level of customer service so that customers will return to make other purchases rather than going to different store next time. Customer service depends on knowing the products well, being polite, providing prompt service, and making sure that inventories of popular goods are maintained so that customers can find what they want. Pay is low for this type of retail selling job, turnover is high, and it takes a few months for a new employee to...
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