As Fashion Merchandiser

How to Draw Strategy from a Comparison Shopping Report Milliard’s Mini-Case As an FM 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 stores 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 too throng 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 Milliard’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. Milliard’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).

“Mallards” 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 competitor-by-competitor; give one assessment that takes all competitors into consideration.

B. Why are these segments at a competitive advantage?

C. Which components are not at a competitive advantage?

D. Why not? Third Step After finishing your study, you read in the paper that Thomas & Blake is going out of business! Even though they continued to have decent revenues, their debt load finally did them in. They could no longer afford to keep the stores open.

A. Does this change provide an “environmental opportunity’ for you? Does the issue of branded vs Private label enter into this consideration? Why or why not?

C. How might you adjust the assortments in your department to “pounce” on the misfortunes at Thomas & Blake? Be very specific.

A. Yes, When Thomas & Blake goes out of business, that gives you an opportunity to take over Thomas & Flake’s market share with the right merchandising strategy.

B. Maybe , because Thomas & Blake is a typical department store that doesn’t have over Thomas & Flake’s customer. They might want to consider private label.

C. Compare to Thomas & Flake’s shopping analysis. Milliard’s needs make the price range of the better regular classification a bit higher from $80 to $120. Also, the price range of the better big/Tall classification need to be adjusted higher from $50 to $90 in order to meet the need of the customers who used to shop at Thomas & Blake.

D. Fourth Step Of course, nothing stands still in the world of retailing. Just as you start to celebrate the loss of a key competitor, another news item hits the local paper: Wall-Mart is coming to town!! Ouch!

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