Build-A-Bear Workshop | My Assignment Tutor

CHAPTER 1 GLOBAL MARKETING IN THE FIRMCASE STUDY 1.1 Build-A-Bear Workshop (BBW): how to manage the global comeback? cLrt In spring 2010 the founder of BBW, Maxine Clark, is enjoying one of the beautiful May days before she will have to pack her luggage for her next trip to Europe, where she will have some further negoti-ations with some potential master franchisees. The last two years have been difficult for BBW after a financial crisis that hit the whole world in 2008. Maxine still believes 100 per cent in the BBW concept, which takes advantage of the new trend in our experience economy — to let consumers par-ticipate in the creation of customer value. However, it seems that the global wave of enthusiasm has been sated, and how can BBW get it back on track again with new international growth as the result?Background Build-A-Bear Workshop, Inc. (BBW) — www. buildabear.com — is the leading and only global company that offers a create-your-own animal service in the retailing experience sector. Founded in 1997, the company currently operates more than 400 Build-A-Bear Workshop stores world-wide, including company-owned stores in the United States, Puerto Rico, Canada, the United Kingdom, Ireland and France, and franchise stores in Europe, Asia, Australia and Africa. Build-A-Bear Workshop posted total revenue of $468 million in the fiscal year 2008. Since opening the first store in St. Louis, Missouri in October 1997, BBW have sold over 70 million stuffed animals. BBW have grown their store base from 200 stores at the end of the fiscal year 2005 to 346 as of 3 January 2009 and increased revenue from $362 million in 2005 to $468 million in the fiscal year 2008. As of January, 2009, BBW employed approxi-mately 1,200 full-time and 4,800 part-time employees. BBW does not own or operate any manufacturing facilities. Their animal skins, stuffing, clothing and accessories are produced by factories located primarily in China. The company’s motto is Where Best Friends Are Made. It is headquartered in Overland, Missouri.How it startedMaxine Clark left Payless ShoeSource in 1996. At that time she was 47 years old and her financial rewards in retailing had been very high. When she left Payless, she could have left retailing or even retired. She had earned enough money to do anything she wanted, even if pay or responsibilities were not comparable. She had the luxury to learn and start up something totally new. Generally, she was bored by shopping, and she was looking to recreate the excitement and magic that she felt as a child when she visited certain stores. Going shopping was an event. Customers became part of the store, and it was special. Maxine Clark remembers:I like to say the lightbulb went off for Build-A-Bear Workshop one day in the summer of 1996. I was out shopping with my friend Katie, who was 10 years old at the time. We were on a mission to find Beanie Babies, but the store that had prom-ised a new shipment had none left. Katie looked at me and said, ‘These are so easy — we could make them.’ She meant go to my basement and do a craft project, but what I heard was so much bigger and the idea for Build-A-Bear Workshop was born. Source: http://www.businessweek.com/smallbiz/content/sep 2007/sb20070912_785676.htm?Chan=search.In the process of developing a retail entertainment concept for children, Clark visited toy factories and children’s retail stores, put together a list of ideas, then consulted the experts: children. Clark consulted first with the children of a friend, then formed an advi-sory board of 20 children, ages 6 to 14, and showed them three of her ideas. The decision to pursue the Build-A-Bear concept emerged from the board’s enthusiasm, combined with Clark’s personal prefer-ence for teddy bears and the high profit margin for stuffed animals. Clark then hired design consultant Adrienne Weiss Co. of Los Angeles, using 80 per cent of her $750,000 personal savings investment, to develop the Build-A-Bear concept. Clark collaborated with consultants in developing every detail, includingO

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