UVa | A R C H 2013

Retail Systems

One Summer, I worked at the mall. That summer, I didn’t just accumulate way too many clothes and spend all of my earnings, but I actually learned about the complex system of running a profitable store. Instead of looking at how much the store sold in a day, we had to meet a certain goal each “segment” or a certain time of the day. The goals of each segment were dependent on several variables, the time of day, the day of the week, the time of the year, if any promotions were going on, if we had new merchandise in the store, and were also based off of our past performance and the performance of other stores in the company. For example, a Monday morning segment might have a goal of $600, while a Saturday morning segment might have a goal of $1500. What these segments do not take into account is the weather, which can have a huge effect on the amount of traffic the store would see. Another variable that is not calculated into the goal, is the people who are working in the store that day. The ability for a sales associate to sell more product is a feedback loop, however, because the manager bases our performance off of the amount of segments met. The more segments an associate meets, the more hours they will get in a week. A store’s ranking in the company is also based off of the amount of segments met, rather than the gross profit of the store, and a high ranking will be rewarded in bonuses for the store’s employees. By focusing on segments, this allows stores in small malls in the midwest to compete with flagship stores in New York City. It also directs associates to strive to sell during their shift and not feel as if their performance is hurt by other associates.



  sonaduygur wrote @

I really like this example because it enlightens up how the feedback loop works. It is easy to understand and I actually like a lot how you transferred your own experience to explain how the cycles we have around us work.

  charchitecture wrote @

This is actually really interesting way of using systems. It not only provides the best way to look at sales, but to evaluate workers as well. Though it may be stressful to try and meet those goals, it pushes you to work towards something and keeps you on track throughout the day rather seeing how much you profited at the end. I think it would be interesting to see how the different variables in this system changes these goals such as the holiday season. I imagine these goals are also good to know what sales work as well. Nice example!

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