Sporting World is one of the largest sporting goods retail chains in the United States...DOCX

Sporting World is one of the largest sporting goods retail chains in the United States..

Sporting World is one of the largest sporting goods retail chains in the United States, operating 102 stores across the Midwest. Paula Taylor opened the first Sporting World Store in Beckland, Missouri, in 1953 and sold military surplus supplies. Over the years, sporting World evolved into one of the premier sporting goods chains, offering golf equipment and apparel; footwear; camping, hunting, and fishing gear; and general outdoor apparel. It has established a reputation for outstanding customer service, a great selection, and discount prices.

As an in-house consultant who reports to the vice president of operations, you have been assigned the task of analyzing checkout and customer service lanes to ensure efficient service. Employees have already been cross-trained to work in multiple departments, and all employees already know how to operate the cash registers. Remote cash registers are located in several departments to reduce customer flow at the registers nearest the exit. To improve communication among employees, Sporting World recently started to equip employ- ees in some of its stores with headsets.

Despite these efforts, things can go wrong, and this usually hap- pens during holidays such as Christmas, Memorial Day, Fourth of July, and Labor Day. With the Labor Day weekend only one month away, you want to help avoid the occasional gridlock encountered last Labor Day at one of the chain’s busiest stores.

Sporting World’s goal is to achieve at least a 35 percent Excellent response rating from customers. Often, ratings of Good are accept- able to businesses, but not to Sporting World and certainly not to its founder, Paula Taylor, who accepts nothing less than Excellent ratings.


Customer Survey Data

To gather information from customers, you decide to tabulate responses to questions from surveys the store received last month. You are particularly interested in the time customers spent in the checkout lines. Here are the results of 442 customer surveys:



Responses/Score (5 = Excellent, 4 = Very good, 3 = Good, 2 = Fair, 1 = Poor)

Customer Survey Questions                                                                    5                    4                    3                   2                    1


Based on your shopping experience, how would you rate this Sporting World store?










Based on your shopping experience, how would you rate the likelihood that you will return to this Sporting World store?










How would you rate the likelihood that you would recommend this Sporting World store to a











How would you rate the efficiency of checkout at the register?





How would you rate the efficiency of service at the customer service counter?





How would you rate the service staff’s handling of problems?













Staff Survey

To gather additional information, you conduct a survey of 33 staff members, including cashiers, customer service representatives, and salespeople. Here are the results of your survey:

Which of the following has caused a delay at a register? Soft tag (security tag) removal            64

Approval or override                                                              86

Register malfunction                                                               3


Price check
Purchase of hunting and fishing licenses
Employee error

Figures do not total 100 percent because of multiple answers.

Your Observations

Finally, you selected nine registers at random (five near the front entrance, two in customer service, and one each in the fishing and footwear departments) and observed them for five minutes, as you took notes. You chose Saturday for these observations because of the typically higher volume of business. Following is a summary of your observations:

·         During all five of your visits to registers near the front entrance, you noticed that most of the delays were caused when a manager was needed for a check approval or override. You also observed five instances in which an employee needed to go to another cash reg- ister to remove security tags because the employee’s security tag remover wasn’t working. Finally, you noticed six customers in the line for fishing rods and fishing reels and overheard that they really wanted to buy fishing licenses.

·         In both of your visits to the service counter, only one employee was operating one of two available registers. For this reason, three customers were left waiting in line for service. During one visit, you observed that when a product needed to be opened to make sure

·         all parts were included before it could be exchanged, the employee had to walk to the technical department to locate a technician, causing further delay.

·         During your visits to the fishing and footwear departments, the two highest-volume departments in the store, you saw that floor person- nel were overwhelmed with customers asking questions about the goods. In other words, no one seemed to be available to handle transactions at the open registers. You then walked to the camping department (the department with the lowest sales in the store), where you saw three customers and four employees in the area.


Your Task. After carefully comparing customer and employee per- ceptions, present your findings in a memo report to Red Armbruster, vice president of operations, Sporting World. In your report, include as much information from the tables as possible, but present it in an easy-to-understand way. What conclusions can you draw from your findings? What recommendations will you make to Mr. Armbruster to ensure a successful Labor Day weekend?

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