Book Title
Business Communication: Building Critical Skills 6th Edition

978-0073403267 Chapter 24 Appendixes Part 2

April 6, 2019
Appendix 24-I: A Long Report Example
Page 4
Twenty-one Redwood and Ross stores are located throughout the Midwest with stores in Illinois,
Indiana, Michigan, and Wisconsin. This chain is privately owned with main headquarters in Kalamazoo,
The University of Illinois Campustown store was founded in 1957 and is located at the corner of Green
Street and Sixth Street, the heart of Campustown.
Redwood and Ross wants to maintain a consistent image across all stores; every Redwood and Ross
store carries the same style and quality of products. To ensure uniformity, the advertising and pricing policies
are controlled by managers at the main headquarters in Michigan.
Redwood and Ross's Product Line
Both quality and style are important components of Redwood and Ross's product line. Redwood and
Ross stores carry only high-quality, well-known name brands.
Redwood and Ross's Prices
Prices are higher than average at Redwood and Ross. As Figure 1 shows (page 5), Redwood and Ross's
prices are higher than those at Sears, a favorite store among U of I college men--over twice as high on wool
blazers and sweaters. The design of the product is similar at the two stores.
Redwood and Ross wants the customer to feel that high quality, stylish clothing is worth the extra
money. Mark Hoover, manager of Redwood and Ross on campus, believes that "clothes are an investment." If
the man buys good clothes, he saves money in the long run because the clothes last longer and will be in style
longer. Redwood and Ross emphasizes that its clothes are a good value because of the styling and workman-
Table 1. Clothes Cost Twice as Much at Redwood and Ross
Item Cost at Redwood and Ross Cost at Sears
Wool Blazer $180 $75
Wool Crewneck Sweater 30-80 24
Striped Dress Shirt 34 18
Appendix 24-J: A Long Report Example
Page 5
Redwood and Ross's Advertising
Redwood and Ross does not believe that extensive advertising is consistent with its image; therefore, it
relies mainly on its reputation as a fine clothing store to attract new customers. Word-of-mouth testimony
from existing satisfied customers is the most effective form of promotion, according to Mr. Mark Hoover. The
only form of media advertising Redwood and Ross currently uses is newspaper ads with pictures of the
clothing and text emphasizing "classic versatility." Most of the ads are placed in The Champaign-Urbana
News-Gazette while a few similar ads are in The Daily Illini.
Redwood and Ross uses brochures more often than media advertising. The brochures enhance the
image as a high quality retail store. The colorful pictures and informative description of each product provide
information about the style, quality, design, and price of the products. Redwood and Ross also promotes its
image with phrases such as "traditional excellence," "classic collection," and "life style of good taste and
lasting tradition."
Problems Facing Redwood and Ross
Redwood and Ross's basic problem is that sales of its product lines have not been as high as
management would like. Redwood and Ross in Campustown has been profitable, but management feels that
sales have not reached their potential.
Four possible causes of the low sales level are
1 The demand for men's clothing is not great enough to support the men's clothing stores which
currently exist.
2. The demand for classically styled clothing is not great enough to support Redwood and Ross.
3. Redwood and Ross does not have the differentiating characteristics which are important when
choosing a clothing store.
4. The male student population is unaware of Redwood and Ross and is unfamiliar with its products
and characteristics.
Appendix 24-K: A Long Report Example
Page 6
My research shows that of these possible reasons, only the last is a serious problem. A tertiary problem is that
while men like the clothing Redwood and Ross carries, they believe that the prices are too high.
Campustown Market Potential for Men's Clothes
The sales potential for all Campustown men's clothing stores is high. My survey shows that
approximately 70% of the undergraduate male students have shopped in the C-U area for clothes in the past
year. This represents about 14,000 of the 20,000 undergraduate male U of I students. Obviously, 14,000 men
is a sizable market for a Campustown store.
Most of the men (65%) shop less than once a month while 32% shop from one to three times a month.
These statistics show that men do shop quite often.
There are currently four men's clothing stores on campus--Get Your Shirt Together, Goldsmith's,
Redwood and Ross, and Shumaker's--trying to satisfy this demand for men's clothes. This shows that
Campustown competition is not that great. If a student wants to shop on campus, he does not have a variety of
choices. Almost half of the men surveyed believe that Campustown does not have enough men's clothing
Most men prefer to shop off campus, but location does not seem to be a hindrance for Redwood and
Ross; over 68% of the sample think Redwood and Ross has an excellent location, as I will discuss in more
detail later. My research shows that even though men may prefer to shop off campus, Redwood and Ross is
conveniently located if they must shop in Campustown.
Redwood and Ross has the potential to capitalize on the student market. With 14,000 men shopping
each year and only four stores on campus attempting to meet the demand, Redwood and Ross has great sales
Perceptions of Redwood and Ross's Products
Another of the potential causes of the low sales problem is that there is no demand for the style, quality,
or price of clothing Redwood and Ross offers. The men who responded to my survey were satisfied with the
product style and quality, but most of them felt that the prices were too high.
Appendix 24-L: A Long Report Example
Page 7
Whether or not a man likes the style, quality, and price of a particular store's product is extremely
important to him when he chooses a clothing store. These are the three most important factors to him when he
selects a store. In the survey, I asked each respondent to rate product style, quality, and price as being either
"Very Important," "Important," or "Not Important" when he chooses a store. Of the men who answered this
question, 73% rate quality as very important; style was the third most important factor with 67% rating it as
very important. Forty percent believe that price is very important, while 98% rate it as very important or
Quality Style Price
4 0%
80% 73%
4 0%
Very Impt. Important
Figure 1 Quality Matters Most to Undergraduate Men
Each of these three factors influences where a man decides to shop. So, if Redwood and Ross is not
offering the style, quality, or price undergraduate men want, sales will suffer. I asked the respondents to rate
Redwood and Ross's products on these three characteristics to see if they are satisfied. The results show that
the men like the style and quality, but they believe prices are too high. Seventy-one percent rate quality as
excellent; sixty-six percent believe the style is excellent, and fifty-three percent say the prices are too high.
The sales potential does exist if Redwood and Ross can combat the dissatisfaction with its prices.
In general, male students are very price-conscious about clothes. In the survey, 73% agreed that
clothing prices were too high.
Appendix 24-M: A Long Report Example
Page 8
Some of the people who wrote comments on the questionnaire expressed strong feelings about the high
price of clothes. Some typical comments were
Bring the prices down a bit and you'll see me much more often! I like buying clothes
(nice clothes) and would like to do so more often if it was affordable. Remember
students are on a limited budget.
I really enjoy nice clothes, but seldom can afford them.
In relation to how much money I have, men's clothing prices are too high.
I'm on a tight budget during the school year. Tell the University to lower tuition and
fees and the rest of Campustown to lower prices.
A survey conducted for The Daily Illini by Belden Associates, a marketing and communications research
and counseling firm, shows where students get their money. Most students are at least partially dependent
upon their parents. Another major source is part-time and summer employment. (See Table 2, page 9.)
This research also shows that students have a limited money supply; they must pay for tuition, housing,
food, books, and any other items from the money they get from their parents, employment, scholarships, and
loans. The money earned by employment, especially part-time and summer, is restricted, as is scholarship and
loan money. Also, the money received from parents is limited unless the parents can afford and are willing to
give unlimited amounts to their child.
This information about price sensitivity has an important implication for Redwood and Ross: unless
Redwood and Ross can lower prices, sales of its clothing will not increase.
Competitive Advantages
Competitive advantages are qualities which differentiate one store from another. These characteristics are
unique to a store and may include the store personnel, atmosphere, and location. Product quality, style, and
price are not competitive advantages because the same products and prices can be found at a number of
stores in the C-U area. For example, Baskins, Carson Pirie Scott, and Kuhn's all carry a classically designed
product at prices comparable to Redwood and Ross's.
Appendix 24-N: A Long Report Example
Page 9
Table 2 Most Students Depend on Parents for Income
Percentage Who Receive Income
Source from This Source
Parents 37%
Part-time Employment 27%
Summer Employment 19%
Loan 15%
Scholarships 10%
Full-time Employment 5%
Other 13%
Note: Percentages total more than 100% because multiple answers were permitted.
Source: Belden Associates, College Newspaper Audience (Champaign, Illini Publishing Company,
1985), p. 20.
According to my survey, service, atmosphere, and location influence where men shop. Redwood and
Ross is judged to be average on service and atmosphere, the two most important characteristics, and excellent
only on location, which is considered least important.
Importance of Service, Atmosphere, and Location
Service was by far the most important characteristic with 80% of the respondents believing it to be
either very important or important. But what do men want the service to be like? Do they want the sales
clerk's opinion, or would they rather that the sales clerk left them alone to shop? A majority (60%) want
someone's opinion when they shop, but, according to some of the comments on the questionnaires, men do not
like pushy or overly helpful salespeople. One respondent wrote, "I don't like them to drag out a bunch of
clothes for me to try on. All they want to do is make a sale." Men prefer helpful, but not pushy, salesclerks.
Atmosphere was also an important advantage with 65% rating it as an important factor when they
choose a store. I found that men prefer a bright, friendly, warm, informal atmosphere rather than a dark, quiet,
formal one. The store decor can create an uninviting or even intimidating look by seeming unfriendly, dark, or
too formal.
Appendix 24-O: A Long Report Example
Page 10
A good location is the least important competitive advantage a men's retail clothing store can have.
Over half of the sample rated location as not at all important to them.
Redwood and Ross's Rating on Service, Atmosphere, and Location
In my survey, Redwood and Ross rated average on service and atmosphere, the two most important
characteristics, and excellent on the least important quality, location.
Redwood and Ross's service could be improved. A majority rate it as being just average. One man was
so dissatisfied with the service that he stopped shopping there. He commented, "The personnel were so
snobby that I won't go in there any more." This is an isolated example, but it demonstrates that people can be
negatively affected by snobby or rude personnel.
The personnel should be helpful by approaching every customer and asking if he needs help. If he
answers "No", the salesclerk should still watch him to see if he needs help later. The salesclerk should never
flatter the customer and say he looks good in everything. The salespeople should be friendly, honest, available,
and willing to help.
Ninety-nine percent of the people who know about Redwood and Ross's atmosphere rate it as either
good or excellent. This terrific response cannot be accepted at face value because half of the respondents have
no perception of the atmosphere. This may be a real problem because the people who responded "No
perception" may be the ones who would not like the atmosphere if they did know about it.
I found that a positive relationship exists between the importance of the atmosphere and Redwood and
Ross's rating on it. Redwood and Ross should not change its atmosphere because those people who think it is
important are satisfied with Redwood and Ross.
The final and least important competitive advantage is the location of the store. Redwood and Ross
received excellent ratings on this factor. Of the people who answered this question, 75% rate Redwood and
Ross as excellent. Research by Belden Associates shows that 68% of the students shop in Campustown at least
once a month. So students do spend time and money on campus.
I had also asked "Where do you prefer to shop?" Only 16% said they preferred Campustown. A
majority would rather shop in their home towns. Figure 2 shows where U of I men prefer to buy clothing.