Retail Environment: Employee Relationship, Channel Strengths and Weaknesses

Introduction: Customer service philosophies

Retail merchandise involves the sale of goods from a fixed location or by post for direct consumption by the buyer. Retail industry has brought in unique changes in the whole process of production, distribution and consumption of consumer goods all over the world. In the nine west companies, the most of the developed retail industry has developed enough loyalty and incentive programs for customers to obtain the general reward. This forms their vital growth instrument. At present, among all the industries of the U.S.A, the nine west retail industry holds the second place in terms of cash–back offers, gift certificates and other usual customer boosters. (Borking, 1998)

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The strategy of loyalty programs takes a hard look at the value position of their particular offering. They strategize the programs so that customers do not participate in programs in which they can not afford the rewards. In the past five years or so, they have witnessed rapid evolution of enhanced value for consumer desires for new, value-added, and emotional, experiential, unique and compelling rewards.

Most customers receive reward values of five percent for every hundred dollars spent. This means they earn a reward of $5. This value remains to be the threshold for most programs. Other programs offer a promotional currency that allows customers to earn points on every dollar spent and the customer is entitled to redeem those points for something of value later on. This point program acts as a deferred discount that builds relationship equity and has more perceived value than what it actually costs for their delivery. (Kowinski, 2002)

The in-kind rewards are offered for the delivery of ones own goods and services to generate perceived value. They offer better leverage than rewards that are bought from outside vendors specifically for your catalog. Merchandise rewards help their customers acquire at a glance the price points for the entire spectrum of inexpensive to luxury goods like televisions. Experiential rewards are offered to members who have been operating with the company for several years. Generally, the premise is very straightforward.

Employee Relationship

The employment relationship field is at the forefront of the human of human resource management. They high consider good employee relations as they not only desirable but also consider them for their commercial importance. The strength of retail industry not only generates large volume of employment opportunities but also offers them training programs. Nine west companies give these chances to their employees as they are highly committed in avoiding unnecessary costs in their operations.

This helps them to have optimum performance effectiveness at the workplace. The employee relations office counsels employees and provides consulting services in informally resolving work-related problems. They also provide consulting to managers and other human resource officers on the interpretation of collective bargaining agreements and work related policies and procedures. Managers and supervisors are not supposed to chase away employees or terminate them in their absence. (Frank and O’brein, 1991)

The employee relations office facilitates a number of professional development programs to help employees develop the necessary skills to work and manage effectively. Employers are offered courses on prevention and resolving work performance problems, recognizing and preventing harassment in the workplace, legal aspect of role of today’s manager, investigating workplace incidents and brown bag lunch series.

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Their policy of employment is to search for the most talented and best-qualified candidates who are seeking for jobs. There are many opportunities and advantages offered to employees in the benefit programs. The benefit office assists employees and their families in accessing, understanding and maximizing the value obtained from the benefit programs.

Observations on channel strengths and weaknesses

Like any other retail merchandise, they strive for better retail environment that favors very much their advancement in form of market. This is due to the high competition they face from wholesale companies together with those companies combining both retail and wholesale businesses. For retail businesses to realize the full benefits in the long run, they need to transform the old ways of operations and impress the contemporary methods. (Hardwick, 2004)

The change in the manner in which they receive, distribute, execute and merchandise goods to customers is a challenging issue. Retailers today need to embrace the new technologies that will provide them with efficiencies and value beyond the traditional supply chains. These old methods are not only below today’s standards, but also they are typically too expensive and costly hence leads to losses.. Backroom operations offer challenging retail environment. (Chung, 2001)

Some of the philosophies used in Nine West Company as key areas of strength are building Win/win relationships with all customers through delivery of 100% of what’s promised, on time, quality standards, and with a positive attitude. Win/win is a frame of heart and mind that constantly seeks mutual benefit in all interactions, and as a result clear expectations are established. Their commitment to their customers doesn’t begin when they sign a contract; it begins at the first contact.

Their service commitment, limited warranty and commitment to integrity all form a promise to the customer. The on-time philosophy means that they have to keep their promise of delivery if a specific time or date were given.


Borking, S. (1998): The Fascinating History of Shopping Malls, MAB Groep BV, The Hague University. Prentice Hall, New York.

Chung, C. J. (2001): Harvard Design School Guide to Shopping, Taschen, Köln; Prentice Hall, New York.

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Hardwick, J. (2004): Mall Maker: Victor Gruen, Architect of an American Dream, University of Pennsylvania Press.

Kowinski, W. S. (2002): The Malling of America: travels in the United States of Shopping, Xlibris Corporation; Prentice Hall, New York.

O’Brien, L. and Frank H. (1991): Retailing: shopping, society, space, David Fulton Publishers, London.

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