Since its inception in 1982, The Warehouse had become an industry leader in general merchandising. In the context of mainstream department store retailing, this case brings modern issues in sustainable business development to the forefront.
Preferences for ‘ethically sourced’ alternatives aligned well with The Warehouse’s core purpose. However, the chain had successfully built its business by merchandising low-cost items and passing value on to customers. It was difficult for marketers to gauge consumer desire for products made from more sustainable materials that were more expensive. Management attempted to resolve the local job losses in the manufacturing sector it had contributed to by off-shoring sources of goods to achieve low prices. Goods imported from developing countries also obliged management to reconcile disparity between home-country values for factory worker conditions with workers in less fortunate situations overseas.
Management knew that while The Warehouse was a leader in sustainable business development, decisions to commit The Warehouse’s resources to various aspects of sustainable business development were complex. Diverse stakeholder interests on a grand scale challenged decision-makers to prioritise business resources strategically and operationally
Discussion questions force the decision-maker to prioritise business resources to meet conflicting stakeholder interests both strategically and operationally.
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|Business Case Study No||UA-2009-006|
|Number of Pages||21|
|Company||The Warehouse Group Limited|
|Industry||Retailing / wholesale / distribution|
|Source||Auckland, NZ. Publisher: University of Auckland Business Case Centre. Pages: 1 - 22|