Spring 2014 The University of North Carolina at Greensboro

Spring 2014
The University of North Carolina at Greensboro
The Department of Consumer, Apparel, and Retail Studies
RCS 584: Retail Strategy (3 credits)
FACULTY: Dr. B. Jin (212 Stone, b_jin@uncg.edu)
Office Hours: Tues & Thurs 2:00 - 3:00 pm or by appointment.
GRADUATE ASSISTANT: Mr. Bharath Ramkumar (361 Stone, b_ramkum@uncg.edu)
Office Hours: Wed & Fri. 2:00 - 3:00pm or by appointment
COURSE DESCRIPTION: Investigation of retailing from a strategic perspective. Concepts are
analyzed and integrated into applied problem-solving scenarios focused on consumer needs.
PREREQUISITE: A grade of C (2.0) or better in RCS 464 or permission of the instructor.
Student Learning Outcomes:
Upon completion of the course, both undergraduate and graduate students should be able to:
1. Discuss the significance of retailing and its impact on national and global economy.
2. Examine the major concepts of retail management from the global perspectives.
3. Identify innovative strategies in each of major areas of retail management with success
4. Apply various retail strategies in analyzing successful cases.
5. Identify growth strategies in retail management with leading examples.
In addition to the above, graduate students should be able to:
1. Independently analyze problems in retail management integrating the knowledge learned
in the class.
2. Develop solutions for the identified problems in the industry/brand/company.
Teaching Methods and Assignments for Achieving Learning Outcomes: Reading
academic/trade articles/book chapters, discussion via discussion board, and term projects. Each
week consists of i) understanding the major concepts of retail management, ii) discussion of
reading articles, and iii) presentation/discussion of innovative retail strategies.
BLACKBOARD COLLABORATE SESSIONS: “Collaborate” is a real-time virtual classroom
software available at Blackboard. Two mandatory synchronous Collaborate sessions will be held
throughout the semester. (i) Course introduction on Jan 19 (Sun) 7:00-9:00pm, (ii) final
problem-solving strategy paper/retail company analysis presentation sessions (Apr 27 (Sun) 710pm for undergraduate students & Apr 28 (Mon) 7-10pm for graduate students) will be
Please note: A headset is required for each session. A tutorial for Collaborate session will be
given in advance. It is absolutely important for you to understand how to participate in
Collaborate sessions.
Spring 2014
Assignments for Achieving Learning Outcomes:
This class is designed to be a discussion class; Discussion is an essential part of learning so
students are strongly encouraged to actively participate in the discussion. For this, it is absolutely
imperative that you read the readings prior to online discussion. Each week consists of three
discussion forums: two forums for two reading articles (one forum for each article) + one forum
for two leading retail examples. A retail article forum will have three discussion questions posted
by discussion leader/group (See below #1). A forum will have two trade articles posted by a
group/individual (See below #2). Each discussion forum will allow threaded discussions.
Below are components of this class throughout the semester.
1. Discussion Leadership (80pts = 40pts/article x 2; group project; 3 in a group for both
undergraduates and graduate students): Your group will be randomly assigned to two articles
for which you will be in charge of facilitating the online discussion. The grade for this will be
based on quantity and quality of contributions to the discussion at hand. For the assigned
articles, you are responsible for i) uploading PowerPoint file by Mon 9:00am Eastern time
that contains the major points of the reading (no more than 10 slides) (10pts), ii) uploading
three thought-provoking and stimulating discussion questions to the discussion board (10pts),
and iii) leading the discussion during the week (20pts). This means that your group needs to
respond to students’ answers and facilitate discussion.
Please note that the three questions should i) be related to the reading article topic, ii) be based on the
facts in the reading article, and iii) require some thinking. So questions that can be answered without
thorough understanding of a reading article such as sharing experiences or feelings are NOT thoughtprovoking or stimulating questions, which may result in losing points.
Regarding the third components of discussion leadership above (i.e., leading the discussion during the
week, 20pts), your group, as a discussion leader, are required to post at least 2 constructive responses
to other students' discussions (5pts x 2 responses = 10pts) and at least 2 more questions that will
further drive the discussion (5pts x 2 questions = 10pts). These two posts must be posted not on the
same day (i.e., a couple of days apart). The point of this exercise is to ensure that the discussion
leader group is actively leading the discussion throughout the week.
Note: Discussion for each week starts Mon 9:00am Eastern time and ends Sun midnight (i.e.,
Sun 11:59pm). For example, Week 1 starts Jan 13 (Mon) 9:00am and ends Jan 19 (Sun)
midnight. No PowerPoint file for Wk 1. Starting Wk 2, a week will be begun when
Powerpoint file is posted by Mon 9:00am Eastern time (e.g., Wk 2 starts Jan 20th Mon
9:00am and ends Jan 26th Sun 11:59pm). This means that you will need to post questions and
responses during this time frame each week.
2. Leading retail examples (40pts= 20pts for one leading example x 2 examples; group
project; 3 persons in a group; same group as with above discussion leadership): This
assignment is to find leading examples for the given topic for a week (such as niche
positioning, social media, PR, etc.) from trade journals. Trade journals include Apparel
Magazine, The Wall Street Journal, Fortune, Forbes, Stores, Chain Store Age, Business
Spring 2014
Week, etc. Your group will be randomly assigned to a weekly topic. Your group are expected
to i) choose two trade articles in the apparel and/or retail industry that are very current (i.e.,
after 2000) and closely related to a weekly topic (20pts, 10pts each), and ii) upload the article
with very brief summary and implications for U.S. apparel and/or retail industry (20pts, 10pts
each) by Mon 9:00am for the given week. You can put the brief summary and implications in
the forum description, not a separate file in MS word. The trade article itself should be saved
in MS word (not pdf) without advertisement. This means that you will need to edit the trade
article if you download it from a website. Please be sure to include a web link of the article
on top of first page in MS word file.
3. Discussion Participation:
i) Reading article discussion (144pts = 2pts/discussion question x 6 questions/week x
12weeks with reading articles): Article discussion for a week consists of six discussion
questions (3 discussion questions x 2 reading articles). For each question, you must post one
original question (1pt x 6 questions= 6pts) plus respond to one posting of your class peers
(1pt x 6 questions = 6pts). So each week, you will receive 12pts (2 postings for each
question x 6 discussion questions = 12pts) for participating in article discussion. Both
quantity and quality of participation will be graded. Just simple reply such as “I agree with
you” “I like your idea” and “Very good point” will not count. Reply should include your
thinking paths (i.e., why you agree/disagree, etc.). The instructor will monitor and interject as
*Please note that even though you are in charge of leading one article discussion for a week, you
still need to participate in the other reading article for the week as a participant.
ii) Leading example discussion (48pts = 2pts/leading example x 2 examples/week x 12
weeks with leading examples): You will have two leading example articles posted each week.
You will need to post one response as to why/how the posted trade article is related to the
given topic for the week and implication for U.S. apparel and/or retail industry (2pts for a
posting x 2 trade articles = 4pts for a week).
4. Retail company analysis (150pts; undergraduate students only; Group project; 3 persons in a
group): There are numerous successful/failure cases in retail industry. Choose a company
(brand) that has not been discussed in the class and analyze reasons for the success/failure.
There are three components of the final project with due dates throughout the semester.
Detailed instruction and evaluation rubrics will be provided.
Component 1: Company (brand) overview
(History, target market, positioning, financial performance, etc.)
Component 2: Description of success/failure and SWOT analysis
Component 3: Suggest growth directions.
All Components (final retail company analysis paper): Due week #15 (Apr 21. Mon 9:00am).
5. Problem-solving strategy paper (150pts; graduate students only; individual project): This
will be the final product of this class. As such, this assignment will require an integrative
analysis. There are three components of the final project with due dates throughout the semester.
Detailed instruction and evaluation rubrics will be provided.
Spring 2014
Component 1: Identification of problem(s) encountered by the industry/ a company/ or a
Component 2: Current approach and problems of current approach.
Component 3: Potential solutions and action plans to achieve the solutions.
All Components (final problem-solving strategy paper): Due week #15(Apr 21.Mon 9:00am).
*Report Format (retail company analysis/problem-solving strategy): Use 12 Times New
Roman font and double space with 1 inch margin on all sides. Your paper should begin with a
cover page (title of the project, name) and a table of contents, a list of tables and figures (each
of the former items should have a separate page regardless of its length), and should end with a
reference list (APA style)*. Please carefully review and proof read prior to submission. Papers
will be expected to be error-free (spelling, grammar, punctuation, and content).
* You need to refer at least ten sources for each project and these sources need to be
listed in the reference list. Citing only web links will result in losing points.
6. Presentation (30pts; group project for undergraduates and individual project for graduates):
You (or group) will be required to make a 12min presentation to the class via Collaborate
sessions (Apr 27 (Sun) 7-10pm for undergraduate students & Apr 28 (Mon) 7-10pm for graduate
students). The specifics of the presentation will be discussed as the due date approaches. An oral
presentation evaluation rubric will be given prior to the presentation.
For Undergraduate Students
Discussion leadership
Leading retail example
Reading article discussion participation
Leading example article discussion participation
Retail company analysis
Collaborate session participation (4pts x 2 times)
For Graduate Students
Discussion leadership
Leading retail example
Reading article discussion participation
Leading example article discussion participation
Problem-solving strategy paper
Collaborate session participation (4pts x 2 times)
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For Graduate Students:
A = 470-500
A- = 450-469
B+ = 435-449
B = 415- 434
C+ = 385-399
C = 350- 384
For Undergraduate Students:
A+ = 485-500
A = 470-484
B+ = 435-449
B = 415-434
C+ = 385-399
C = 365-384
D+ = 335-349
D = 315-334
F = 299 or below
B- = 400-414
F = 349 or below
A- = 450-469
B- = 400-414
C- = 350-364
D- = 300-314
Specific reading assignments for each week will be comprised of book chapters, academic/trade
articles, consulting reports and case studies. Most readings will be posted on the blackboard
with the exception of seven HBR (Harvard Business School) cases with copyright issues. These
seven cases (highlighted in yellow in the reading list) can be purchased at below link at
discounted rate ($3.95/case). For the purchase, you will need to create an account and the cases
can be downloaded upon payment. https://cb.hbsp.harvard.edu/cbmp/access/23839815
Below is a suggested text for this class but we will not review/discuss each chapter. I recommend
you read suggested chapters each week before reading articles.
Levy, M., & Weitz, B. A. (2011). Retailing management (8th ed.). Boston, MA: McGrawHill Irwin.
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Spring 2014
1 (Jan 13-Jan 19)
Class overview, Introduction to the world of retailing
Collaborate Session (Jan 19. Sun. 7-9pm)
2 (Jan 20-Jan 26)2
Customer buying behavior
3 (Jan 27-Feb 2)
Differentiation & Niche positioning
4 (Feb 3-Feb 9)
Human Resource Management
5 (Feb 10-Feb 16)
Information systems and SCM
Problem-solving paper component #1 due (graduate)
Retail company analysis component #1 due (undergraduate)
6 (Feb 17-Feb 23)
Merchandise development/ buying & assortment management
7 (Feb 24-Mar 2)
8 (Mar 3-Mar 9)
Retail communication & social media
Problem-solving paper component #2 due (graduate)
Retail company analysis component #2 due (undergraduate)
9 (Mar 10-Mar 16) Spring Break (No Class)
10 (Mar 17-Mar 23) Managing store, store layout, design and visual merchandising
11 (Mar 24-Mar 30) Customer service
12 (Mar 31- Apr 6) Retail strategies: Growth opportunities
13 (Apr 7-Apr 13)
Retail strategies: Global opportunities
Problem-solving paper component #3 due (graduate)
Retail company analysis component #3 due (undergraduate)
14 (Apr 14-Apr 20) Success/Failure Cases in Global Markets
15 (Apr 21-Apr 27)
Chap 1, 2, & 3
Chap 4
Chap 9
Chap 15
Chap 16 & 17
Chap 18
Chap 5
Chap 5
Final problem-solving paper/ retail company analysis due
(Apr 21. Mon.9:00am) &
16 (Apr 28- Apr 29)
Presentation and discussion
Collaborate Session (Apr 27. Sun 7-10pm: Undergraduate)
Collaborate Session (Apr 28. Mon 7-10pm: Graduate)
: Textbook chapters are required to understand before class discussion. There will be no lecture
for each chapter while a summary of each chapter may be given.
: Martin Luther King Jr.’s Holiday is observed, so Week 2 starts Jan 21 (Tues), not Jan 20
Tentative Reading List
Wk 2 (Jan 22-Jan 27). Customer buying behavior __________________________________
Dimofte, C. V., Johansson, J. K., & Bagozzi, R. P. (2010). Global brands in the United States:
How consumer ethnicity mediates the global brand effect. Journal of International
Marketing, 18(3), 81-106.
Atsmon, Y., Dixit, V., & Wu, C. (2011). Tapping China’s luxury-goods market. McKinsey
Further reading
Anderson, T. (2011, October 23). Luxury retailers banking on China. The Wall Street Journal.
Spring 2014
Retrieved from
Rein, S. (2011, Mar 29).Who Buys Guccis and Omegas in China? Not Just the Billionaires.
Retrieved from http://www.cnbc.com/id/42315036
Wk 3 (Jan 28-Feb 3). Differentiation & Niche positioning ___________________________
Parrish, E. (2010). Retailers' use of niche marketing in product development. Journal of Fashion
Marketing and Management, 14 (4), 546 – 561.
Surchi, M. (2011). The temporary store: A new marketing tool for fashion brands. Journal of
Fashion Marketing and Management, 15(2), 257-270.
Wk 4 (Feb 4-Feb 10). Human Resource Management________________________________
Bendapudi, B., & Bendapudi, V. (2005). Creating the living brand. Harvard Business Review,
83(5), 124-131.
Ton, Z. (2012). Why “good jobs” are good for retailers. Harvard Business Review,
90(1/2), 124-131.
Wk 5 (Feb 11-Feb 17). Information System & SCM _________________________________
Fisher, M.L. (1997). What is the right supply chain for your product? Harvard Business Review,
75(2), 105-116.
Marks, M., Holloway, C., Lee, H., Hoyt, D., & Silverman, A. (2011). Crocs: Revolutionizing an
industry supply chain model for competitive advantage. GSB No. GS-57. Standford, CA:
Stanford Graduate School of Business Publishing (Can be purchased at HBR).
Wk 6 (Feb 18-Feb 24). Merchandise Development/Buying & Assortment Management ____
Fisher, M. L., & Vaidyanathan, R. (2012). Which products should you stock? Harvard Business
Review, 90(11), 108-118.
Yen, B., & Farhoomand, A., & Khan, S. (2006). Polo Ralph Lauren & Luen Thai: Using
collaborative supply chain integration in the apparel value chain. Asia Case Research
Centre Case #HKU596. (Can be purchased at HBR).
Wk 7 (Feb 25-Mar 3). Merchandise Development/Buying & Assortment Management
Abernathy, F. H., Dunlop, J. T., Hammond, J. H., & Weil, D. (2000). Control your inventory in a
world of lean retailing. Harvard Business Review, 78(6), 169-176.
Nunes, P. F., Narendra, M., Giorgio, B., Taggart, M. J., & Cummings, C. S. (2008). Can
knockoffs knock out your business? Harvard Business Review, 86(10), 41-50.
Spring 2014
Wk 8 (Mar 4-Mar 10). Retail Communication Mix & Social Media_____________________
Ofek, E., & Wagonfeld, A. B. (2011). Sephora direct: Investing in social media, video,
and mobile. HBS No. 9-511-137. Boston, MA: Harvard Business School Publishing.
(Can be purchased at HBR).
Tripp, T. M., & Gregoire, Y. (2011). When unhappy customers strike back on the internet. MIT
Sloan Management Review, 52(3), 37-44.
Wk 10 (Mar 18-Mar 24). Managing Store, Store Layout, Design and Visual Merchandising
Michon, R., Chebat, J-C., & Turley, L. W. (2005). Mall atmospherics: The interaction effects of
the mall environment on shopping behavior. Journal of Business Research, 58, 576-583.
Lohse, G. L. & Spiller, P. (1999). Internet retail store design: how the user interface influences
traffic and sales. Journal of Computer Mediated Communication, 5(2). Retrieved from
Wk 11 (Mar 25-Mar 31) Customer Service ________________________________________
King, T. (2004). Deshopping: Retail perspective on the mismanagement and prevention of
deshopping. European Retail Digest, 14, 61-64.
Frei, F. X., Ely, R. J., & Winig, L. (2011). Zappos.com 2009: Clothing, customer service,
and company culture. HBS No. 9-610-015. Boston, MA: Harvard Business School
Publishing. (Can be purchased at HBR).
Wk 12 (Apr 1- Apr 7). Retail Growth Opportunities _________________________________
Fox, E. J., & Sethuraman, R. (2010). Retail competition. In Kraft, M., & Mantrala, M. K.
(Eds.), Retailing in the 21st Century (pp. 239-256), New York, NY: Springer.
Keinan, A., Avery, J., Wilson, F., Norton, M. I. (2012). Eileen Fisher: Repositioning the brand.
HBS No. 9-512-085. Boston, MA: Harvard Business School Publishing.
Wk 13 (Apr 8-Apr 14). Retail Strategies: Global Opportunities __________________________
Welsh, D. H. B., Alon, I., & Falbe, C.M. (2006). An examination of international retail
franchising in emerging markets. Journal of Small Business Management, 44(1), 130149.
Gao, G. Y., Lu, J., & Fung, H-G. (2008). Ports: China’s walk on the global luxury fashion
boulevard. Asia Case Research Centre Case #HKU749. (Can be purchased at HBR).
Wk 14 (Apr 15-Apr 21). Success/Failure Cases in Global Markets________________________
McFarlan F. W., Chen, M. S-T., & Wong, K. C-H. (2012). Li & Fung 2012. HBS No. 312102PDF-ENG. Boston, MA: Harvard Business School Publishing. (Can be purchased at
Burt, S., & Sparks, L. (2006). Wal-Mart’s world. In Brunn, S. D. (eds). Wal-Mart world: The
world’s biggest corporation in the global economy (pp.27-43). New York, NY: