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Retailer Case Study Assignment

MBA Retail Management - Fall 2019

Ground Rules:
 200 points.
 Due October 18, 2019.
 Cases are to be turned in on Canvas.
 Cases turned in after October 18 will receive a 25 point deduction per calendar day.
 Font is 12 point, Times New Roman, 1” margins on all sides.
 Incorporate at least three visual aids (photos, charts, graphs, drawings, etc.) into the case
study to illustrate your points. (You are very welcome to use more if they will be useful.)
Visual aids should be referred to and incorporated into the text rather than slapped on at
the end as an afterthought.
 The paper should be at least 3,500 words in length, excluding title page and references.
 Double space the paper.
 An 8-10 minute narrated video using BBCU will accompany the paper. See separate
instructions for the narrated video.

Task:
Find a retailer who either currently faces or has recently faced a major challenge. The challenge
could be: to its own survival (e.g. traditional department stores), expanding market opportunities
(e.g. off-price retailers), crisis management, or any other key challenge that requires the serious
attention of top level management.

In this case, the definition of ‘retailer’ is broad. The business should generate most its revenues
by selling to final consumers, rather than to other businesses, governments, and institutions. The
retailer may be:
 independent, chain, or franchise
 web-based, mobile app, brick and mortar (or some combination of these)
 good or service (or some combination of these)
 traditional economy or sharing economy

Guidelines:
1. The entity needs to be a retailer, using the broad definition provided above. If it is not a
retailer, the paper and presentation will receive no credit and you will be asked to submit
another case, subject to late work deductions, in order to receive credit. If you are unsure,
I would be more than happy to discuss your proposal with you. It would be best for you
to discuss it before you do a large of amount of work on the project.
2. Use the format below for the paper and presentation.
a. Title page should consist of your name, course name, and name of the company
covered in the paper. The body of the case should contain the following:
b. Organization’s history and current challenge(s): Provide a full description of the
organization. Provide a detailed description of its history. This may/should include
financial status, sales trajectory, mergers and acquisitions, general merchandise or
service assortment, management shake-ups, pricing policies, store atmosphere,
target markets, use of technology, legal challenges, and the like. Describe the major
challenge(s) affecting the retailer.
c. Analysis: Continue by elaborating on issues described above. Discuss in further
detail any relevant matters such as changes in the competitive landscape,
technological issues affecting the organization’s industry, customer tastes and
preferences, demographics, legal and regulatory issues, suppliers, and the like.
Integrate concepts discussed in PowerPoint lectures, videos, and in the textbook
(and possibly other classes) in this section.
d. Alternatives: State alternative ways to deal with the challenge(s) described. Simply
write the alternatives in a numerical list or bullet form. (Two to five alternatives are
acceptable.) Note: Alternatives ought to be mutually exclusive. For instance, a
retailer’s image/target market alternatives may be a) go upscale, b) go downscale,
or c) stay the same. In this case, a retailer can only employ one of these strategies.
Alternatives not mutually exclusive would be a) increase social media advertising,
b) change their target market, or c) decrease prices. These are not good alternatives
because a retailer could potentially do all three of these things. They are not really
alternatives.
e. Evaluation of Alternatives: For each alternative, provide details regarding
implementation of each alternative and your prediction of what might happen if
chosen. Again, concepts discussed in the course may be used here.
f. Recommendations: Choose one alternative, and provide justification for your
decision.
g. Photos: Use photos to better express your assertions. (If you assert that a store has a
poor distribution network, take pictures of empty shelves to support your assertion.)
Place the photos in the text, rather than at the end, and refer to them in the text.

Reference section: Any material derived from primary or secondary sources needs to be cited
in the body of the paper (e.g. Jones, 2018). The full citation should be provided in the
reference section with author’s full name, title of publication, date of publication, and URL.
Reference format may be any legitimate style (e.g. APA, Chicago, etc.). Personal interviews
should also include the individual interviews, his/her title, type of interview
(telephone/text/email/in-person) and date of interview.

Grade for paper will be based on:

1) Demonstration of critical thinking abilities. In other words, you should combine a)


information from the articles, videos and/or personal interviews with b) knowledge you
have gained as a business/Retailing Management student and c) your own knowledge,
experience, and common sense, to generate alternatives and evaluate those alternatives in
order to make a logical recommendation to the organization: 40 possible points.
2) Use of concepts discussed in Retailing Management class: 25 possible points.
3) Thoroughness of the description of the company’s history: 20 possible points.
4) Thoroughness of the analysis of events affecting the organization: 25 possible points.
5) Structure and flow (issues and concepts discussed in one section should carry over into
other sections): 15 possible points.
6) Grammar, sentence structure, readability, spelling, and punctuation: 10 possible points.
7) References. They may be any established format, as long as the format is used
consistently for all references: 10 possible points.
8) Use of photos to illustrate your points: 15 possible points.

Total Possible Points for Paper: 160

Grades for video presentation will be based on:

1) Effective delivery of content in the written case study: 10 possible points.


2) Enthusiasm: 10 possible points.
3) Enunciation and vocal delivery: 10 possible points.
4) Aesthetic appearance of presentation: 10 possible points.

Total Possible Points for Presentation: 40

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