Pam and Susan

In: Business and Management

Submitted By lforkin
Words 2168
Pages 9
Pam and Susan’s: Locating New Stores

Situation
Pam and Susan’s is a chain of discount department stores.* The original store was opened in the South in the mid-1950s by Pam and Susan’s father. About 10 years ago, Pam and Susan took over operational control of the stores, working together under a joint power sharing arrangement. The unusual management arrangement and consensus decision making by the two women, for which they have received a great deal of publicity, have contributed in part to sales growth and to the recent upsurge in new store openings. Fundamentally, however, their success is based on an uncanny ability to appropriately stock stores and underprice competitors. State-of-the-art business processes are at the core of their low price structure.

There are currently 250 Pam and Susan’s stores, mostly located throughout the South. Expansion has been incremental, growing from its Southern base into the Border States and increasingly into the Southwest. Identification of the most appropriate sites for new stores is becoming an issue of increasing strategic importance.

Store location decisions are based upon estimates of sales potential. The traditional process leading to estimates of sales potential starts with demographic analyses, site visits, and studies by the company’s real estate experts (augmented by input from local experts). The demographic data judged relevant for a given store location is that for people within a store’s estimated “trading zone,” usually operationalized as consisting of those census tracts within a 15 minute drive of the store. Planners in the real estate department consider current and expected future competition, ease of highway access, costs of the site, planned square footage of the store, and estimates of average sales per square foot, based on data from all existing stores. They judgmentally combine the…...

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