The Changing Environment of Retailing
In the case that we discussed in class, a retail clothing store had been the leader in its market for 15 years. However, the effects of the task environment caused a decline in sales of 30 percent. In class we discussed how the major forces in the task environment of a retail clothing store result from actions of suppliers, distributors, customers and competitors. I learned that the company's ignorance to the results of the actions of the task environment weakened various components that once caused them to be the leaders of the industry for 15 years. I also learned that in order to confront these negative effects, management must define the forces of the task environment, identify which forces impact the organization and develop a plan to proactively respond to those forces. By identifying the forces and relating the actions to the company helps provide validity to the customer surveys and explain the cause for declining sales. In order for the company to remain the leader of the industry, management must apply effective strategies to change potential threats to a competitive advantage. In class, we also discussed how forces in the general environment (technological, demographic and sociocultural) could have severe effects on the task environment. Managers must constantly analyze forces in the general environment because theses forces affect long-tern decision making. Through class discussion, I learned how to examine a case, frame the problem, develop propositions to analyze the problem and offer solutions.