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Tokyo Jane is an accessible fashion jewelry company that makes and markets its products as “luxury for less” by designing, importing and selling fashion jewelry pieces that look luxurious but cost only a fraction of the high-priced items that inspired them. Finished products are air-shipped to company headquarters in Copenhagen, Denmark from factories in China, stocked in the head office and delivered to 400 retail partners —small fashion boutiques, big department stores and online shops — who then sell to consumers in Europe, Scandinavia, the United Kingdom and Canada. The two partners who founded the firm in 2005 are facing several problems: the brand definition is not well enough developed to support the next stage in the firm’s growth, certain challenges have outstripped available human resources — they have only three permanent employees and a revolving number of interns — and distribution operations and management need to be rethought as the firm rapidly increases the scale of its operations. Things come to a head in April 2013, when they are confronted by an important customer about quality issues with their products. How can they not only save their company but continue to grow?
This case may be taught in courses ranging from entrepreneurship to marketing, business strategy and human resource management.
- To determine whether a company’s brand has been defined clearly enough to provide direction for its employees and customers.
- To focus on the business model and the operational concepts and processes of a startup company as it grows.
- To examine the problem of getting people aligned with brand and strategy.
- To focus on what makes a successful entrepreneur.
Denmark, Small, 2013
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