Strategic Planning and Management in Retailing Looks to the Future and Completes 2012 with Another Program at Babson College
The Strategic Planning and Management in Retailing Program was conducted at Babson College in Wellesley, Massachusetts, in September 2012. Begun in 1983, this year represents the 30th year the program has been offered, a significant milestone.
This program is offered annually twice in North America (at Babson College and at The College of William and Mary), once in Australia, and once in Singapore (hosted by the Retail Academy of Singapore). The program is scheduled to be offered next on April 27–May 3, 2013, at the College of William and Mary. Those interested are encouraged to register early. For more information, please visit the Strategic Planning and Management in Retailing program page. You also may email Dayle Lipsky, Assistant Manager, Business Development, or call 781-239-3915.
The programs kicked off with The Eight Ways to Win in Retailing, and featured cases on Target Stores (2006, 2009, and 2012), Midwest Markets, Zappos, Tesco, Meijer, and a brand new case on the improving customer satisfaction performance of Home Depot. In addition, the faculty delivered lectures and exercises on financial and productivity analysis, strategic thinking and planning, category scorecards, customer relationship management, and customer and associate satisfaction.
On Wednesday afternoon, September 12, the group participated in a store tour with visits to BJ’s Wholesale Club, Target, Walgreen’s, Whole Foods Market, Trader Joe’s, Staples, Shopper’s World Power Center (including Best Buy, DSW, Toys R Us, Barnes & Noble, T.J. Maxx, Sports Authority, and others), and the newly reconstructed Natick Mall, now called the Natick Collection (Nordstrom, Neiman Marcus, Macy’s, Lord & Taylor, Sears, JCPenney, and numerous specialty stores). The highlight of the trip was our visit and guided tour of Jordan’s Furniture, including a viewing of its Mardi Gras show and its IMAX Theater.
A new feature of the program was our multichannel shoe shopping exercise. It was incorporated into our store tour activities, described above. This exercise was designed to analyze shopping experiences in different channels. Participants compared the following shopping channels in the footwear category:
- Shopping through search engines (Google)
- Shopping via retail websites
- Shopping via Zappos
- Shopping via traditional bricks and mortar stores
Participants visited several sites online, including Nordstrom, Macy’s, DSW, Clarks, Footlocker, and Payless. They evaluated the online sites on a variety of criteria, and then visited the bricks and mortar stores and compared the clicks with the bricks for each. This exercise was followed by a visit to Zappos, and a lengthy case discussion of the Zappos model.
As the program enters what we hope will be its second 30 years, we anticipate that our content will begin to feature more multichannel or omni-channel cases, lectures, and exercises. The shoe shopping exercise was the first major step in that direction.
Participants in the programs represented seven countries: the United States, Ecuador, France, Germany, Netherlands, New Zealand, and Sweden. The participants came from companies in a wide variety of retail sectors, and the class was composed of senior level executives representing all the functions of a retail organization. Professors Larry Ring, John Strong, and Ron Hess were the primary program faculty for each of the programs. Janet Dewsnap served as Program Manager.