THTR 2242 – Fall 2018 FINAL EXAM; Retail Anthropology

THTR 2242 – Fall 2018 FINAL EXAM; Retail Anthropology 150 150 Affordable Capstone Projects Written from Scratch

This exam requires you to conduct some retail investigation in the field. Consider informing the stores that you are doing research as a student at Northeastern University as some managers may be willing to give you additional information you could use in your analysis.} Corporations often hire consulting firms to conduct analyses that watch how consumers move and act in retail stores and evaluate the overall store setting. This is called “Retail
Anthropology.” Retailers want to make sure that their store design is optimized for their customers. You will compare two fashion retailers on several different attributes. Visit two different types (reference your textbook, if needed) of fashion retail stores. For example, you could use a department store (Nordstrom) and a discount store (Target), or a specialty store (Ann Taylor) and an off-price store (TJ Maxx), etc. You may not use the same retailer you used for your midterm exam!
In your analysis, you need to answer the following questions:
1. Name the stores you picked, give their exact location (for example, Old Navy at South Bay
Center, 8 Allstate Rd, Boston, MA 02125), and tell why you selected the stores. The stores
do not have to be in Boston.
2. Customer traffic flow:
a. At each store, watch how customers move through the store. Do they follow similar
paths? Are they attracted by certain displays or areas of the stores? Is the traffic flow
efficient? How can the retailer improve upon their current flow?
b. Compare how crowded each store is. Are the aisles wider in one store versus the other?
Do customers get in each other’s way? What causes any issues and how can it be
c. Are the stores equally accessible to people with disabilities? For example, do they have
items such as automatic doors, ramps, handicapped accessible restrooms/fitting rooms,
lower checkout counters, etc.? Fully examine what each retailer does to accommodate
people with disabilities. What aren’t they doing but should consider implementing?
Don’t forget the Americans with Disabilities Act!
3. Store layout, design, and visual merchandising:
a. In general, are the interior store layout, design, and visual merchandising techniques
used consistent with the exterior of the stores and their site locations?
b. Is the store’s ambiance consistent with the merchandise presented and the customers’
expectations? What can be done to enhance the consumer experience?
c. Does the store look like it needs to be re-designed? For example, do you think it needs
a “face lift”, remodel, or complete renovation? Give specific recommendations to
support your reasoning.
d. To what extent are the stores’ layout, design, and merchandising techniques flexible?
e. Notice the lighting. Does it do a respectable job in highlighting merchandise, structuring
space, capturing a mood, and downplaying unwanted features? How would you change
f. Think about the smell in the store and the choice of music. Do they fit with the store and
its target market? Do you see customers reacting to either of them? How could the
retailer improve on these?
g. What specific types of fixtures is the store using? Are the fixtures consistent with the
merchandise offerings and the overall ambiance of the store location and retailer
h. Evaluate the store’s interior signage. Do they do an effective job in guiding customers
through the store in addition to promoting and selling merchandise? How could they
improve on this?
i. Has the retailer used any theatrical effects to help sell merchandise? What would you
recommend the retailer implement or reduce?
j. Does the store layout help draw people through the store? What type of layout does the
store use? Is it appropriate for the type of store? Would another type layout be better?
k. What method(s) has the retailer used for organizing merchandise? Is this the “best” way?
Also evaluate the retailer’s use of empty space.
l. Has the retailer taken advantage of the opportunity to sell merchandise in feature areas?
What kinds are they using? Does the store make creative use of wall space? Has the
retailer employed any techniques for achieving greater space productivity such as downsizing
gondolas and racks, and minimizing non-selling space?
m. If possible, ask a manager if plan-o-grams are used. If so, try to determine what factors are
considered when putting together a plan-o-gram.
n. Are departments in the most appropriate locations? Would you move any departments?
4. How could the stores you visited use e-commerce to improve any areas? Give at least two
examples per retailer.
5. If needed, give any recommendations that were not included in the areas above.
Considerations when gathering your data:
1. Bring along a printed list of the questions above.
2. Take detailed notes. You may think everything will stay fresh in your mind, but it’s easy to
get distracted!
3. You can take photographs of displays, layouts, etc. to include in your paper, as long as the
store doesn’t object. Be considerate of other customers, too!
4. Don’t think of the questions as “yes” or “no” answers, because they aren’t! I am looking
for critical thinking like you were hired by these stores to complete the analysis.
Paper Formatting Requirements:
• There is no page minimum or maximum. I am looking for an analysis of quality, not just
a specific quantity of pages. You should be deeply analyzing the retailers like you were
hired by a company to perform this research.
• Use written paragraphs, not sentence fragments or bullet points. You can also use
tables/charts/graphs, as needed, and they should be used to supplement your paper,
not substitute for writing. Any photographs used should be no larger than 2” x 3”.
• Use headings between sections in your paper and subheadings within each section.
For example:
Customer Traffic Flow
Customer Movement
{body of text}
Disability Access
{body of text}
• Use a cover page that includes your name, the title of the assignment, and the course
name with semester listed.
• Use one-inch margins, double-spacing, and number the pages. Use plain fonts (Times New
Roman or Arial work best) with a font size of 12.
• If you use charts that are not created by you, and/or external sources (even the textbook),
etc. in your paper, you must include proper in-text citations or footnotes! APA formatting
is preferred. If you have never used APA before, here is a great resource:
Northeastern also has access to RefWorks, which makes creating your citations very easy!
• You must include a separate bibliography page of all sources for information used. Again,
APA is the preferred format.
• Proofread your paper. Spelling and grammar do matter! If you need writing assistance,
especially if English is not your first language, please ask our wonderful university
librarians to help you!
Your exam is due to TurnItIn no later than 9:00 pm on Monday, December 10
th! I do not
accept late exams and TurnItIn will automatically reject paper submissions starting at 9:00pm.
Do not wait until the last minute to submit your exam!