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BUYING AND MERCHANDISING


OPERATIONS RESEARCH EVENT

I. Executive Summary
Business-Loards Ice-Cream Shop: Loards is a widely renowned, vintage, delightful ice-cream
shop that offers succulent frozen treats, catering, and customized orders. It is run as a sole
proprietorship, which includes eight employees and is located at 2200 Wayne Avenue in the John
Muir neighborhood in San Leandro, California. Loards was the first vintage ice-cream shop in
the San Francisco Bay Area and captured the attention of families, teens, and business
professionals relentlessly for years. Nonetheless, a new ice-cream shop that uses online
promotional strategies and offers special discounts has taken more than forty percent of Loards
consumer base. Realizing this situation, Brian Tam the owner, has provided our team with a
mission ; to find effective and efficient marketing strategies to increase sales and its target
markets.
Rebranding Objectives: To create a marketing plan for Loards to boost sales, and to
regain and expand its consumer base.
Our Strategy: Our steps to analyzing, researching and reaching a verdict was based upon the
customers perception of the current brand image of Loads synthesized with the economics of the
John Muir neighborhood in San Leandro. Achieving the reasons why Loards target market made
certain decision s on purchasing products, spending their income on desired treats, what was in
high demand for different target markets, and what their perception of Loards brand was the
foundation of our research.
Research Methods: In the beginning of the project our team began evaluating the current
promotional activities, and service at Loards which involved using two primary resources;
interviewing the employees, and manager, and observing the shop and interactions between
customer and employee. We also used secondary research sources like research databases to
analyze the review left by current customers, developed a survey to determine how Loards
brand was perceived and what were its strengths and weaknesses according to the
customers/consumers and online review sites along with media sites to see customers/consumers
reaction to service, and the number of their clientele using the internet.
Findings and Conclusions:
1. No marketing efforts are being made, there is no growth in the consumer base nor in sales
2. Currently three main target markets; young techs, professional, and family group
3. Community involvement will help increase consumer base as well as modernized decor
5. Prices must satisfy both bargain hunters
Our Propositions:
Objectives
Activities
Mission Operation
Budget
increase sales
-create just prices
-increase customers

-Community
events/charities
-Promote brand
-Technology to

I-internet
C-community
E-Endorsements
A-Apps

II. Introduction
A. Description of business or organization
Loards Ice-Cream is a vintage ice-cream shop located on 2200 Wayne avenue in the John
Muir neighborhood in San Leandro, California. Loards was established as a sole proprietorship
by Russ Salyards in 1950 where he opened his first ice-cream shop at 2825 MacArthur Blvd. in
Oakland California. After WWII, during the Golden Age of America, Russ decided to leave his
teaching job at UC Berkeley to work at his dream. His dream was to make and serve the best
homemade ice-cream all around the San Francisco Bay Area. His charisma, compared with his
unsurpassable recipes brought him humongous success. Two years later, Loards won gold at the
California State Fairs Ice-Cream and Dairy Products category. Since then, Loards Ice-Cream
has permeated throughout various parts in the San Francisco Bay Area and on to Livermore,
Castro Valley, Alameda, Orinda, and right here in San Leandro, serving up a taste of vintage,
succulent creamy confection.
Loards stays active in the John Muir neighborhood frequently. To demonstrate their
support of the community, Loards donates money and ice-cream to local fundraisers and
charities. In this past year theyve donated over three thousand dollars to five organization s one
of them being Relay for Life, an organization for cancer, neighborhood safety programs, school
athletic programs and general school funds they donate money to also.
Loards Ice-Cream hand makes their ice-cream from 7am to 4pm which can be seen in or
outside of the shops windows, behind the pristine marble counter. The shop features pale blue
walls, a white marble floor, blue pastel-colored chairs matching plastic, white circular tables, a
flat screen television right above a see through storage unit for the ice-cream they sell in pints,
and a few vintage arcade games from the late 90s. Loards stays open from 12pm to 8pm
Monday through Thursday, and Friday through Sunday they are open from 12pm to 9:30pm.
Altogether there are sixteen employees working at Loards, eight of them work part-time and the
remaining eight work full-time for eighteen hours a day.
Besides their succulent ice-cream that has over 38 flavors, Loards also sells shakes and
ice-cream cakes, sundaes, candy and for mans best friend delightful doggy treats all between the
price range of $1.50 for a scoop of ice-cream, and $3.00 to$10.00 for the other amazing treats
they sell, affordable for all. There are an infinite number of positive attributes the Loards
possesses like being one of the few vintage ice-cream shops still standing, maintaining great
relationships wit their current customers, and creating high quality ice-cream. They also do not
cheapen their ingredients to save money for their customers are worth much more to them.
Although they have not been professionally rated, they have received a 4 star rating on
user based websites consisting of over 100 reviews. They do not have a specific target market, as
Brian Tam the current owner stated, Everyone loves ice-cream so we try to target everyone.
Notwithstanding that Loards tries to target everyone, an overwhelming majority of their
consumer base contains business professionals of the ages 30 and up according to Brian Tam.
He believes although the shop is profitable due to lack of marketing strategies, and absence of an
online presence its consumer base has greatly decreased. The mission our team has come up with

is to create an effective and efficient marketing plan that helps to increase Loards consumer
base, and sales.
B. Description of the community (economic, geographic, demographic, socioeconomic
factors)
Economics: San Leandro city became promptly renowned during the late 1800s and early
1900s for its enticing cherries. In 1909, to celebrate the bountiful cherry harvest, San Leandro
held its first Cherry Festival which became an annual celebration and symbol for the city. The
San Leandro population as of 2014 is 89,960 females dominating the majority of the population
by 52.0%, and males at 41.0%. The median household average is $60, 703, and seeing as the
state of Californias median household average is $57, 287 San Leandro is progressing and has
average incomes. There are three middle schools, and 7 elementary schools, and 1 high school.
The wealth of San Leandro is mainly in the various small businesses that dominate the city.
These businesses participate in community events and often donate to schools, and other
programs within the city to stay relevant and show their support of the city and its citizens.
Demographics: The percentages of different races in San Leandro are as follows:
African Americans-14.0%
Caucasian-23.3%
Asian-26.3%
Hispanic-31.6%
Other (native American, pacific islander)-4.8%
The majority of the population (about 54%) have a degree higher than a bachelors degree, and
the remaining percentage have a minimum of some community college education to an
Associates degree. 31.3%of the population were never married, 50.2% are married, and 11.1%
are divorced.
Geographics: San Leandros climate is very sunny and radiant with a bit of rain occasionally. In
the John Muir neighborhood there is a car dealer ship a few blocks down, and many Spanish
designed houses circling John Muir Middle School. John Muir is a family neighborhood with
decent houses with approximately five hundred kids living with their parents in the area, which
makes them another potential clientele base for Loards.
Socioeconomic: There a three primary target markets located in the John Muir neighborhood
area. They are the following:
Young techs: These are teens and young adults who fall in the age range of 15-27. They make
approximately around $50,000 annuallyor living at home and are the modernized group. They
have no problems and few bills to pay if any since they have no kids. After bills they tend to
spend the rest of their money on treat and other things they desire. If a place looks good to them
and their friends have mentioned it to them as a great place then theyll try and see what all the
talk is about.

Family Group: These are parents that fall in the age range of 30 to 40s. They usually tend to
have one to two kids and the majority of those kids go to John Muir because of how close it is to
their home. The parent annual income is approximately $76, 000 and that is when there are two
parents if there is a single parent then the annual income is around $50,000. These families are
always on budget, and looking for healthy options for their kids with an occasional treat every
now and then. They tend to listen to their kids wants and try to compromise with them on their
wants, which produces a nice leverage for Loards since it is a few blocks down the street from
John Muir.
Business Professionals: These are people who work in corporations or local businesses and fall
in the age range of 30 to57 and have no children. Their annual income is approximately $80,00
to $82,000 and after bills they go and buy what suits them. They are patrons of San Leandros
fine arts and local businesses, one of them happening to be Loards Ice-Cream and frequently
participate in community events.
C. Description of the business or organizations mission, target market and existing
branding efforts
Loards mission statement goes as follows: Our mission is to serve, and create succulent,
homemade ice cram all while staying loyal to our dedicated, awesome customers. Although
their mission is to serve people that is currently all they do in terms of customer service. Many
customers have complained that Loards is great however, the attitude and friendliness of its
employees are not there. It feels as if they are just robots and would not like to interact with
anyone., claims monicarevera@yahoo, on Yelp.com. Nonetheless many of their current
customers appreciate the homemade frozen ice-cream and say, Its how grandma wouldve
made it.
In a recent interview with Brian Tam, current owner of Loards, he stated that he has tried
to target to people of all ages, young and old because everyone loves ice-cream, yet he believes
that his consumer base right now only consists of adults in the age range of 390 to 60 years old.
In a recent survey our team conducted, we found that the actual percentage of who comes into
the shop goes as follows: Teens of the age 12-18: 14%, adults with one or two kids: 37%,
business professionals 30-48: 45%, and elders around the age of 50+: 4%. Brian Tam has often
had plans of setting out flyers and spreading the word about Loards and their special flavors and
discounts yet, he has not had the time to do it and eventually forgets. ]
In April of 2013 Loards remodeled its look. Brian Tam claimed that the business was
remodeled to get away from the corporate look, the way it looked was too plain. He wanted it to
be remodeled to give that down to earth feeling, a comfortable pace to eat ice-cream and chat to
your friends. When customers were asked if they liked the new look of Loads an overwhelming
50 out 63 people answered yes. Loards wants to have a comftorabe feeling shop and wants to be

portrayed as that, and their slogan, Ice Cream from the good ol days only solidifies that theme
they are going for.

III. Research Methods Used in the Study


A. Description and rationale of research methodologies selected to conduct the research
study
The objective of our research was to analyze current marketing strategies used by Loards
Ice-Cream and to understand the current and potential customers/consumers perceptions of
their existing brand. The purpose of doing our research was to propose a functional and
efficient marketing plan that would improve sales and increase Loards consumer base. Both
primary and secondary research methods were used and the outcome was examined in order
to create an adequate, cost-effective, unique marketing plan.

Primary Research
Method

Rationale

Interview with current owner, Brian Tam

To understand attempts of marketing


and gain knowledge of how shop is run
and the background of shop history as
well as financial history.

Interview with Nubi

To acquire information on how similar


businesses in the same industry to
create/have success wit their marketing
strategies
To understand what their flaw is and
how to portray it in an efficient
marketing plan.

To learn what the target market desires


To see what marketing strategies

Interviewed customers

customers respond to

Secondary Research
Method

Rationale

To understand and access

Research Databases
1)
2)
3)
4)

information about the city,


town and business our
project is focused on
To find specific information
about the target markets and
what actions lead them to
spend their income

www.city-data.com
www.loards.com
www.zipskinny.com
www.sanleandro.org

Online Review Sites

To evaluate our consumers

1) Yelp.com

perception of the existing


brand
To take into consideration
comments to incorporate
into our marketing plan

To understand the

Business Textbook

rebranding and economic


concepts that are needed to
piece the marketing plan
together

1) Marketing Essentials

To determine how to rebrand

Online Rebranding Articles


1) www.brandingstretgyinsider.com/rebranding
2) www.entrepreneur.com/article/159470

B. Process used to conduct the selected research methods


Owner Interview:

the business for our project


and develop our marketing
plan around those concepts