Explain the role that Urban Outfitters’ employees play in the company’s success.
The chain relies on its workforce to connect with its customers. New employees are usually fresh graduates and belong to an age group similar to the target market so that they can give maximum input to product design and enable the company to stay abreast with new trends. These employees are usually motivated by chances for promotion to the top tiers once they gain sufficient experience from rotations and on-the-job training programs. Urban Outfitter’s realizes that a key ingredient of the shopping experience is the interaction one has with the sales force. This is why the sales executives are trained not to be too pushy and are often dressed in casual outfits much like those sold at the store. In this way they are able to connect with the target customers who visit the store. The focus on bottom-up communication channels displays managements’ concern and need for feedback from employees to keep them updated with latest trends through a team leader whom they themselves select. Employees not only benefit from a shared-profit plan but also have the power to jointly vote out department managers (Steinhauer, 1996).
5. Explain why it is crucial that managers understand the business.
Since the managers have to act independently and do not receive top-down instructions on how to furnish, maintain or manage their individual store, it is essential that they understand the dynamics of their business. It is up to them to create the most attractive atmosphere in order to catch the attention of the maximum number of women shoppers and give them a taste of what Urban Outfitters stands for- a unique shopping experience that will make it a must visit every time they think of shopping for apparel. Since the company emphasizes power-sharing, managers can be voted off if the fall out of favor with store employees. Within an individual store, the store manager must create a responsive environment and motivate his employees to live the unique culture within the store; this would help give a single, unique message to customers entering the store.
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