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Case from journal
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Reference no. JIACS17-01-02
Published by: Allied Business Academies
Published in: "Journal of the International Academy for Case Studies", 2011
Length: 7 pages
Data source: Field research

Abstract

The Thomas Shop is a women's clothing boutique located in Effingham, Illinois. The business was started in 1936 and has since been handed down through the family with the second and third generations currently handling operations. Originally, the business offered approximately 2000 square feet of space, but was doubled in size in the early 1990's to accommodate shoes and other accessories. The store moved to its current location, (owned by the business owners) in the downtown shopping district of Effingham in the early 1970's. The town's population is approximately 20,000 and is the main shopping district for the surrounding county of approximately 35,000 residents, and further, draws customers within a fifty-mile radius. The nearest major city, St Louis, Missouri is 100 miles to the west. The Thomas Shop has thrived for over seventy years with superior service and merchandise adaptability. However, the recent downturn in the economy has Kathy worried. Kathy is concerned that consumers will become more and more price conscious and may gravitate to the large discounters such as Wal-Mart and other chain stores (ie Kohls) for price reductions, even though the merchandise quality is below that of The Thomas Shop. This case is intended for use in undergraduate marketing, management, fashion merchandising, entrepreneurship, or retailing courses. The purpose of the case is to demonstrate how small boutique businesses can compete against chain stores and large discounters such as Wal-Mart. Particularly, the concepts of key client management and customer delight are highlighted. Students are encouraged to evaluate the company's strategy, tactics and uncover areas of potential customer delight. Additionally, students should attempt to provide thoughts on other strategic and tactical activities the business should pursue considering the recent economic downturn. The case is designed for a one-hour class and should require two hours of outside preparation.
Industry:
Size:
Small

About

Abstract

The Thomas Shop is a women's clothing boutique located in Effingham, Illinois. The business was started in 1936 and has since been handed down through the family with the second and third generations currently handling operations. Originally, the business offered approximately 2000 square feet of space, but was doubled in size in the early 1990's to accommodate shoes and other accessories. The store moved to its current location, (owned by the business owners) in the downtown shopping district of Effingham in the early 1970's. The town's population is approximately 20,000 and is the main shopping district for the surrounding county of approximately 35,000 residents, and further, draws customers within a fifty-mile radius. The nearest major city, St Louis, Missouri is 100 miles to the west. The Thomas Shop has thrived for over seventy years with superior service and merchandise adaptability. However, the recent downturn in the economy has Kathy worried. Kathy is concerned that consumers will become more and more price conscious and may gravitate to the large discounters such as Wal-Mart and other chain stores (ie Kohls) for price reductions, even though the merchandise quality is below that of The Thomas Shop. This case is intended for use in undergraduate marketing, management, fashion merchandising, entrepreneurship, or retailing courses. The purpose of the case is to demonstrate how small boutique businesses can compete against chain stores and large discounters such as Wal-Mart. Particularly, the concepts of key client management and customer delight are highlighted. Students are encouraged to evaluate the company's strategy, tactics and uncover areas of potential customer delight. Additionally, students should attempt to provide thoughts on other strategic and tactical activities the business should pursue considering the recent economic downturn. The case is designed for a one-hour class and should require two hours of outside preparation.

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Industry:
Size:
Small

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