Denver Department Stores
Denver Department Stores, a Colorado retail store chain, is an entity that was suffering from the effects of decreased sales volume. Jim Barton, the supervisor of four departments within the main location in Denver, was struggling with developing a process to improve the store’s sales. Barton identified with the notion that the decrease in sales volume was a simple matter of a slowdown in the economic landscape, and that the downturn would effect all stores in the retail business. However, Barton’s superior, Mr. Cornwall, the general merchandiser of Denver Department Stores, told Barton that some stores have experienced a 15% gain in recent sales. Cornwall made it clear that he expected Barton’s segments to have sales equal to the other
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Through placing stress of making sales above everything else, employees began taking on the full store to meet their sales requirements rather than working solely within their departments. Specialization in individual departments was lost, because those that worked in the more specialized areas with fewer sales would wander into other departments to boost their own numbers. This led to less knowledgeable employees, a more disorganized structure within the organization, and probably led to conflict when an employee from another department would take a sale from an employee working in his assigned area.
Before the new system was even introduced to boost sales, the store clearly already had an issue with the hierarchy of authority. Instead of Mr. Cornwall and Mr. Barton working on solutions that would best suit the store together to form a more complete perspective, Mr. Cornwall would ignore Mr. Barton’s influence over employees and make new store rules without first consulting the lead department supervisor. In ignoring this hierarchy, miscommunication came about, the ideas implemented were not carried out properly, and poor communication caused rumors to flow through the store. Employees were unsure who implemented the tally card, but were certain that Mr. Barton was not