HKS-Dessous: A Main Street Retail Entrepreneur Handling Digital Change
(9 pages of text)
Late in 2016, the owner of a lingerie business in Düsseldorf, Germany, faced a series of questions regarding the health of her business in a changing environment. The German retail environment had traditionally consisted of many specialized (often family-owned) small- to medium-sized retailers, and many of these stores had not kept pace with globalization and the digital revolution; market changes and increasing competition forced them to close. Other main street retailers managed to grow in these challenging environments, overcoming and moving in front of their previous competitors. HKS Wäsche & Dessous was one of those independent retailers. How could the owner of such a business continue to cope with the changing business environment? How could she deal with the digital revolution or even turn it to her advantage? What can entrepreneurs do to maintain and even develop their businesses?
This case is ideal for courses dealing with general management, innovation management, change management, entrepreneurship, family firms, small- and medium-sized firms, and retailing. The case is primarily designed for use in undergraduate, executive, and graduate business programs. Students will have the opportunity to do the following:
- Understand the principles, functions, and challenges of entrepreneurship in a small business context.
- Learn about the opportunities and challenges in the retail business, complementing offline (main street) and online (digital) retailing.
- Discuss strategies for staying at the top of an industry as market conditions change.
- Recognize key drivers affecting local/regional and national competition and approaches to manage those challenges.
Germany, Small, 2016
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