Waiting Lines Research Paper

Length: 2 pages Subject: Business - Advertising Type: Research Paper Paper: #78257208 Related Topics: Theory X And Theory Y, Christmas, Forecasting, Pharmacy
Excerpt from Research Paper :

Waiting Lines

Macy's Inc. is one of the nation's largest and well-known department store chains. Started over 150 years ago, Macy's has continually generated excellent returns for its shareholders and employees. After, the global recession, Macy's has generated huge profits with same store sales increasing 5.3% year to date in 2011. In 2012 same store sales increased 4.6% in (Macy's Inc., 2012). Both 2013 and 2014 have also created large profits for the retailer. A primary component of this increases profitability is the overall shopping environment. Consumers now demand instant gratification and quick transactions. Therefore, lines, and there subsequent wait times are very important. Lines are very important as they can deter from the consumer experience, and the overall purchasing activity of the consumer. Retailers, must be cognizant of lines and congestion to help increase sales while also increasing the overall customer experience.

While observing a local Macys location, consumer traffic was particularly heavy due to the holiday season. Typically, as Christmas day approaches, consumers tend to shop heavily in anticipation to still further traffic. I observed heavy shopping in the Macys locations with particular emphasis on the men's apparel. Shoppers were focused heavily on sales items. These cheaper items have implications with line congestion, as sales associates were forces to ring large quantities of sale items. Many consumers purchased multiples of the same items, causing longer transactions at the register.

Through my observations, I observed many problems that added to consumer frustration within the line, while simultaneously increasing wait times. The first was the lack of appropriate price checkers within the area. The men's department during my observation was being shopped heavily due to the holiday season. Many clothes were in the incorrect sections, while others were in areas that were mispriced. I personally observed a consumer who was confused due to mispricing on the sales rack and on the individual article of clothing. This greatly increased line traffic, not for purchases, but simply for information. Lines were long at the cash register as consumers wanted to verify prices, ask further information about an article of clothing, or locate a particular item. Although this problem cannot be avoided entirely due to the sheer amount of transactions and volume during the holiday season, it can be mitigated through proper preparation.

The...

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By having clearly labeled signs and individual clothing, the long lines at the cash register could have been reduced. Still further, clean signing in regards to locations and section information could have prevented line congestion and wait times for those who were actually purchasing apparel.

Through my observations, it also appeared that staffing was not optimized during this peak time of year. Many consumer questions could have been answered by knowledgeable associates. This further increased line congestion as consumers quickly overwhelmed the few selling associates on the floor. The lack of sales associates can also be attributed to poor forecasting on the part of the retailer. Although labor is a large cost component for retailers during this period of the year, consumer needs must also be addressed adequately. From my observation, the sheer lack of sales associates had a significant impact on the development of long, congested lines at the cash register. It appears that the store, in an attempt to save on labor, was only staffing sales associates for the sole purpose of ringing customer transactions. It appeared that no consideration was given to the overall servicing of customer needs throughout the department

The final component contributing to the extensive wait times was a lack of properly training. The few sales associates that were in the department were clearly seasonal hires. They did not have a full command of the register of difficult transactions. The associates were flustered at times, and had to repeated call for management help, further increasing wait times. This again should be attributed to the organization for not placing the correct sales associates in the best possible position to succeed. The seasonal hires should not be placed in positions that would deter from the overall shopping environment. A long wait, deters from the shopping experience.

The proposed solution will be based on the waiting line model. Through observations, the men's department uses a multiple server, single phase system, very similar to that of a bank or post…

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