One Evening at a Shopping Mall – Case Studies on Marketing Management

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One Evening at a Shopping Mall*

Rohit Sharma works as a Web developer with a dotcom company. He works very hard, and although he earns more than ₹ 50,000 per month, he does not get ample time to spend with his family members. His wife Vinita, a child specialist, also earns equally well and remains quite busy with her daily practise in a nearby clinic. Therefore, Sundays are the only day they are free and can spend time with family—their 15-year-old son Deep and their 7-year-old daughter Anjali.

On a Sunday evening, they planned to visit South City Mall, a leading shopping mall in Kolkata, to buy some apparel and groceries. A visit to the mall would mean spending some quality time with family. The Sharmas reached the mall by 4:30 p.m. Rohit dropped his wife and children near the front gate and parked his car. He then joined them 10 minutes later.

Vinita: Where should we head first?

Rohit: You wanted to buy some apparel. So let us first go and buy them.

Vinita: OK. Then let us go to Shoppers Stop first.

Anjali: Dad! Dad! I want to have an ice cream from the Gellato stall.

Vinita: No! Not now. You can have it after we are through with our shopping.

Anjali and Deep remained silent.

Rohit: Do not be upset. We will visit KFC before we leave for home.

They reached Shoppers Stop, where the Sharmas are premier customers.

Rohit: Jot down the list of things you want to buy.

Vinita: Yes. We should buy apparel for Deep and Anjali. Anjali’s birthday is nearing. I need to buy a salwar kameez, a saree and cosmetics. What about you?

Rohit: Oh God! Long list!

Vinita: It is not a long list,Rohit. Tell me what will you buy?

Rohit: I have not decided yet. Let us see.

They first headed towards the kids section to buy clothes for Deep and Anjali. There were different brands and a vast collection of items. One stall representative (SR) showed them round and assisted them with their shopping.

CONVERSATION WITH STALL REPRESENTATIVE (SR)

SR: Good evening, sir. Good evening, madam.

Vinita: Hello. I want to buy a gown for my 7-year-old daughter. Can you help me, please?

SR: Sure madam. You will find a variety of gowns on this shelf.

Meanwhile Anjali pointed towards a light-pink gown and told her mom that she wanted that for her birthday.

Vinita: What is the price of this gown?

SR: ₹ 999 only.

Vinita: No discount?

SR: No madam, there are no discounts for the gowns on this shelf.

Vinita: A few days back when I visited the store, there was a 5 per cent discount on this gown. How could the discount have been called off now? Strange!

SR remained silent.

 

Why do you think Vinita is asking this question? If you were the sales representative, what would be your response to Vinita’s question?

Vinita: Rohit! Please come here.

Rohit: Yes, what happened?

Vinita: Do you like this dress? Anjali wants this gown.

Rohit: If Anjali likes it, then I do not have any objection. Go ahead with it.

 

What do you infer from the preceding conversation among the family members of the Sharma family on family buying behaviour?

Vinita bought the gown and Anjali was very happy after she got what she wanted for her birthday.

Rohit headed towards the gents section. There were no sales representatives to assist the men with their shopping. Therefore, he decided to manage things on his own. Vinita and Deep started looking for a good quality jeans and T-shirt. However, Deep was unable to make up his mind. At last, Rohit spotted a pair of Denim Classic jeans, which Deep liked. However, the jeans did not fit Deep. An SR measured Deep’s waist and recommended a 34-inch jeans. The bigger size jeans was, however, not available but Deep kept insisting that he wanted a jeans of his size.

 

How should a sales representative tackle such a situation?

Vinita asked Rohit to keep an eye on the children and went to the women’s section. Deep started searching for fancy T-shirts. Anjali helped him with the same. At last, Deep found a T-shirt of his choice.

Deep: Dad, I want this T-shirt.

Rohit: How much is it?

Deep: ₹ 699.

Rohit: OK. Keep it in the shopping bag.

Rohit wanted to buy some office wear for himself. After a long search, he finally settled on a shirt. Rohit called the SR.

Rohit: Give me an Allen Solly shirt of size 42.

SR: Sir, you can have this shirt.

Rohit: No. It is soiled and seems to have been used by many people for a trial. Get me some new fresh stock from the store.

SR: OK, sir.

The SR went to the store and returned with a fresh piece. Rohit opened the packet, only to find some defects. He asked for an alternate piece. However, there was no more stock. Rohit was disappointed. He dropped his plan of buying a formal pair of trousers.

 

  1. Do you think this situation would hamper the brand image of Shoppers Stop among its customers? Support your answer with an explanation.
  2. Do you think the Sharmas are likely to visit Shoppers Stop again?

In the mean time, Deep and Anjali started feeling hungry. They asked Rohit to take them to KFC as promised. Rohit checked with Vinita to see if she was ready.

Rohit: Hello Vinita.

Vinita: Yes Rohit?

Rohit: I am taking Deep and Anjali to KFC as they are very hungry.

Vinita: OK. After eating, come back here.

Rohit went to KFC with the children. Vinita, meanwhile, continued with her shopping.

Vinita: What is the price of this saree?

SR: Madam, ₹ 2,999 only. This is Kashish’s designer collection.

Vinita: What is the price of that saree?

SR: Madam, ₹ 2,599 only. This is Parag Saree’s designer collection.

Vinita: Why are the prices so high?

SR: Madam, these are all branded designer items.

Vinita: This cannot be possible. My friend bought the same saree at a lower price. How is this possible!

Vinita called her friend and found that the price of the saree was ₹ 2,350.

Vinita: See, my friend bought the same designer collection for ₹ 2,350. Then why is the price so high here?

 

How will you motivate the customer to buy the product in such a situation?

By this time Rohit, Deep and Anjali had come back to Shoppers Stop and joined the queue to pay their bills. They were getting irritated as it had been 15 long minutes since they had been waiting in the queue.

 

As a floor manager, what will be the best solution for customers who get irritated in long queues? Assume that there is no extra space for a new checkout counter.

After completing their shopping at Shoppers Stop, they went to Spencer’s to buy groceries.

Rohit: Vinita? Did you bring the list of groceries?

Vinita: No. We will decide as and when we come across various items.

Rohit: OK.

They first bought their daily household items such as edible oil, rice, wheat, beverages, pulses and cereals. While shopping, Rohit came across a stall displaying electric irons of different brands such as Bajaj Electricals, Philips and Murphy Richards. Rohit wanted to buy one but was confused since all the different brands had the same price.

 

What makes a customer choose one brand over the others in such a situation?

The Sharmas continued with their shopping. Deep and Anjali saw the newly launched Sunfeast Dark Fantasy cookies and kept asking Rohit to get some for them. The Sunfeast Dark Fantasy cookies came along with Sunfeast Bourbon biscuits, which was being given free as a promotional offer.

 

Why do you think Rohit took so less time to decide the particular brand of cookies for his children?

When Rohit checked the manufacturing date, he found that the Sunfeast Bourbon biscuits had crossed the expiry date. He immediately called the SR and complained about this.

Rohit: Excuse me! Please come here.

SR: Yes sir?

Rohit: The free Sunfeast Bourbon biscuits along with the newly launched Sunfeast Dark Fantasy cookies have crossed their expiry date. Is this the way you promote a newly launched cookie? Is this the way a reputed company promotes their products?

SR: Sir, please calm down. It must have been kept by mistake. I will have this replaced.

Rohit kept both the products and left with his family to another section.

 

  1. In the situation mentioned above, who do you think is at fault—the floor manager of Spencer’s or the Sunfeast company? Justify your answer.
  2. Do you think that this situation will hamper the image of Sunfeast and leave an impression on the buyer’s mind?
  3. Could the SR have handled the situation in a more tactful way? If yes, how?