COMM 101 Trent University Shop Thursday Strategy Case Study Memo

Individual Assignment 2: Case Memo[Title of Case]
COMM 101 Section 201
Student Number: 45678
Month, Day, Year
The blue text in this template provides coaching and advice for how to structure your case memo
document. While the template is a good place to start, following this template will not guarantee a high
score on this assignment. The quality of your analysis – and following the expectations of the rubric –
are how you are graded on this assignment.
This template has been formatted to meet assignment specifications (margins, font sizes, etc.). Remove
all blue coaching text if you wish to use this document as a starting point for your assignment file.
Issues
Around ½-¾ of a page.
Clearly and directly define 3-5 major issues in the case. These could be concerns, problems, decisions,
challenges, or opportunities. Issues should be stated in order of importance/priority, and this should be
clear based on your descriptions of each issue. Reference case facts to be specific.
It helps to give each issue a short name. You can use bullet points or bolding to make this section easy to
follow.
Like your VEC (COMM 186E) case, you do not need to start your paper with an introduction, and you can
assume that your reader is aware of the case details, so you do not need to summarize the case.
Analysis
Around 2-2½ pages.
Decision Criteria
Clearly and directly define 3-4 decision criteria. Explain why each criteria is relevant to the case by using
course tools, case facts, and/or connecting this criteria to your defined issues.
It helps to give each decision criteria a short name. You can use bullet points or bolding to make this
section easy to follow.
Alternative 1: [Brief description of alternative]
Describe the alternative. Be specific.
Describe both the benefits and drawbacks of the alternative. You may use case facts and/or course tools
here to provide further insights into this alternative. Go beyond how well this alternative helps to solve
the issues in the case.
Describe how well the alternative meets each decision criteria. You may use case facts and/or course
tools here to support your analysis. You can use bullet points or bolding to make this easy to follow.
Alternative 2: [Brief description of alternative]
Describe the alternative. Be specific.
Describe both the benefits and drawbacks of the alternative. You may use case facts and/or course tools
here to provide further insights into this alternative. Go beyond how well this alternative helps to solve
the issues in the case.
Describe how well the alternative meets each decision criteria. You may use case facts and/or course
tools here to support your analysis. You can use bullet points or bolding to make this easy to follow.
Alternative 3: [Brief description of alternative]
Describe the alternative. Be specific.
Describe both the benefits and drawbacks of the alternative. You may use case facts and/or course tools
here to provide further insights into this alternative. Go beyond how well this alternative helps to solve
the issues in the case.
Describe how well the alternative meets each decision criteria. You may use case facts and/or course
tools here to support your analysis. You can use bullet points or bolding to make this easy to follow.
Recommendation
Around ½-¾ of a page.
Recommended Alternative
Confidently state which alternative you recommend and describe why your recommendation is
remarkable or will “win”.
Risk and Cost Mitigation
Describe how you could mitigate significant risks and costs associated with your chosen alternative.
Action Plan
Using bullet points, define your initial step-by-step process to implement your chosen alternative. This
could include an outline of first steps, prioritization of key actions, identification of important resources,
and/or a proposed timeline for implementation.
Appendices
2 pages maximum.
Your appendices should start on a separate page from the rest of your document.
Appendix A: Decision Matrix
Because a decision matrix is an important tool for deciding which alternative to choose, all case memos
should include a decision matrix in the appendices.
Criteria Weight
[Alternative 1:
Brief description]
[Alternative 2:
Brief description]
[Alternative 3:
Brief description]
[Name of
Criteria 1]
A%
Score /5
Score /5
Score /5
[Name of
Criteria 2]
B%
Score /5
Score /5
Score /5
[Name of
Criteria 3]
C%
Score /5
Score /5
Score /5
[Optional:
Name of
Criteria 4]
D%
Score /5
Score /5
Score /5
100%
Total Score for
Alternative 1
Total Score for
Alternative 2
Total Score for
Alternative 3
Total
Weighted decision matrix totals can be calculated as:
(Criteria 1 Weight)*(Criteria 1 Score)
+ (Criteria 2 Weight)*(Criteria 2 Score)
+ (Criteria 3 Weight)*(Criteria 3 Score)
+ (Criteria 4 Weight)*(Criteria 4 Score)
= Total Score
You do not need to include your calculations for your weighted decision matrix calculations in this
appendix.
Describe your reasoning for the criteria weightings you determined. You may use case facts and/or
course tools here to support your analysis.
Appendix B: [Name of framework/tool/chart/graph/calculation]
You may have as many appendices as you wish, though they must fit on two pages.
Text size in tables may be smaller than 11-point font, but it should still be readable.
You may add diagrams, calculations, tables, or charts here too – you aren’t limited only to text and
bullet points. Remember, part of the critical thinking required when writing a case memo is deciding
which course tools to incorporate into your appendices.
Appendix C: [Name of framework/tool/chart/graph/calculation]
…Continue for as many appendices as you have.
COMM 101: INDIVIDUAL ASSIGNMENT 2 (IA2)
Detailed Assignment Outline
ASSIGNMENT OVERVIEW
Case analysis provides an effective learning opportunity for you to integrate concepts and create solutions to business
problems. Case-based learning requires that you assimilate a broad range of issues and situations and provide coherent,
thoughtful, and supported recommendations.
In this assignment, as in future commerce courses, you will analyze a case and provide recommendations. Typically, you
will not be answering a series of questions; rather, you will assess a situation, create a set of alternatives, and provide a
recommendation.
Some cases require external research. This case is closed and thus, you do not need (and are not allowed) to do external
research. Please read this outline carefully. It is your responsibility to understand the contents of this outline and follow
the instructions within.
Case: Shop Thursdays – Post COVID-19 Strategy
LEARNING OBJECTIVES
Upon successful completion of this assignment, students will have the knowledge and skills to:



Evaluate a case, including identifying the key issues affecting the organization in the case
○ Apply analytical tools, frameworks and class concepts to the situation outlined in the case.
○ Develop alternatives for how to propose resolving the key issues in a case.
○ Make a business decision by selecting a recommended alternative based on decision criteria.
Integrate concepts covered in COMM 101 (including, among others: Accounting, Marketing, Value Propositions, and
Strategy).
Develop your written communication skills by explaining your reasoning, using data and facts to support your
arguments.
ASSIGNMENT REQUIREMENTS
Your assignment is due via Canvas Assignments. This is an individual assignment.
Your completed assignment should include 6 pages in PDF format:



1 page: Cover Page including course number, section number, assignment title, date, and your student number (last
5 digits)
4 pages: Written Case Memo using the provided template (see Assignment Guidelines for an approximate page
breakdown for each section)
2 pages: Appendix exhibits such as your decision matrix, charts, diagrams, and calculations
You do not need to cite any sources, as all necessary information is contained within the case.
This is an individual assignment and UBC Policies regarding Academic Integrity and Plagiarism apply. As per UBC’s
Learning Commons: “Academic dishonesty goes beyond just plagiarism but can be broadly defined as using another
person’s ideas without giving credit, whether by accident or not, and is considered intellectual theft. If you submit or
present the oral or written work of someone else you are committing plagiarism.”
Page 1 of 4
COMM 101: INDIVIDUAL ASSIGNMENT 2 (IA2)
Detailed Assignment Outline
ASSIGNMENT GUIDELINES
You are a consultant hired to provide a strategic, financial, and marketing analysis for the given company.
You will provide a recommendation based upon your analysis. Your analysis should be supported by calculations and tools
or concepts covered in COMM 101. You will be evaluated based upon the effective use of your business toolkit, which
you have begun to build in this course. You will be required to review tools covered in class and determine which tools
are useful for solving the case. You are not required, nor is it wise, to attempt to try to use all the tools covered to date
in COMM 101. Tool selection and application requires critical thinking. Please do NOT use tools or concepts external to
COMM 101.
1. Issues (around ½-¾ of a page)
a. Identify and briefly explain the 3-5 key issues in the case. These could be either concern(s), problem(s),
decision(s), challenge(s), or opportunity(ies), depending on the case. While the case may describe more than
5 issues, it is your responsibility to choose which you believe are the most pressing and relevant issues to the
business.
2. Analysis (around 2-2½ pages)
a. Outline 3-4 decision criteria that you will use to help make your recommendation. Define why each criterion
is important to the business based on the issues you have defined, and/or concepts we have reviewed in
COMM 101 so far.
b. Outline 3 mutually exclusive, realistic alternatives to address the issues. Alternatives should not overlap.
Discuss the general benefits and costs/risks of each alternative. Provide rationale/calculations to show
supporting evidence for how you determined your decision criteria scores for each alternative. Incorporating
course tools and concepts is useful here.
3. Recommendation (around ½-¾ of a page)
a. State which of your 3 alternatives you feel is the best choice.
b. Briefly discuss how to prevent or mitigate any of the costs/risks you raised with this alternative in your Analysis
section.
c. Identify the next steps that should be taken to implement your recommendation (i.e. an action plan).
4. Appendix (2 pages maximum)
a. Create a decision matrix that compares your decision criteria against your 3 possible alternatives. For each
decision criteria, score each alternative out of 5, and identify your recommended alternative that you believe
is the best option.
b. Reference all other items exhibited in your Appendices within your write-up. Appendices not referenced are
not useful and will not contribute to your mark on this assignment.
You will not be able to identify and “solve” all the issues in the case, as there are too many issues and too many ways to
approach a solution for it all to fit. While all three of your alternatives should be useful, it is important to choose one of
these alternatives as your recommended course of action to best approach the issues in the case. If you were to present
your three alternatives to senior leadership at the company, you could imagine your recommended alternative as the
option you believe the company should prioritize first. Your recommended alternative should address the issues, but it
will not necessarily solve all the issues in the case.
Page 2 of 4
COMM 101: INDIVIDUAL ASSIGNMENT 2 (IA2)
Detailed Assignment Outline
ASSESSMENT RUBRIC GUIDELINES
You’ll notice more areas of evaluation here compared to the case memo you prepared in your Values, Ethics, and
Community class (COMM 186E). This case builds upon what you have already learned, which means you are expected to
go into a deeper analysis of this case compared to last semester.
As with all COMM 101 assignments, the assessment rubric can be found on Canvas, under the Assignment description.
The rubric for this assignment is as follows:
IA2: Case Memo Rubric (15%)
Criteria
Points
Issues: Are 3-5 major issues correctly identified? Are they listed in order of priority, urgency, and
importance? Are they clearly stated, are they specific, are they relevant to the current situation, and are
they supported by facts or insights from the case?
5
Analysis – Decision Criteria: Is your choice of 3-4 decision criteria relevant to the case? Are your criteria
based on case facts and course concepts? Do your decision criteria consider the issues and business needs
affecting the organization?
5
Analysis – Alternatives: Did you include 3 distinct alternatives? Is your analysis insightful? Have you
discussed the benefits and costs/risks of each alternative? Have you done both qualitative analysis (nonnumerical, using case facts and course tools) and quantitative analysis (calculations using the financial
data in the case)?
10
Analysis – Decision Matrix: Are the criteria in your decision matrix weighted appropriately in terms of
importance? Are the scores in your decision matrix scores explained in sufficient detail?
5
Recommendations: Is your recommended action plan specific, realistic, and achievable? Does it
accurately reflect your chosen alternative? Does it address the identified costs/risks of your chosen
alternative? Is your recommendation remarkable and creative – will it win?
5
Deductions: Not following assignment instructions, spelling or grammatical errors, formatting issues…
Up to -15
NOTE: each of the Criteria will be graded using the following scale:
Far Below Expectations
0-45%
Below Expectations
50-65%
Meets Expectations
70-80%
Exceeds Expectations
85-100%
Page 3 of 4
COMM 101: INDIVIDUAL ASSIGNMENT 2 (IA2)
Detailed Assignment Outline
GENERAL ASSIGNMENT SPECIFICATIONS
These apply to all written assignments; marks will be deducted for NOT following these requirements.

Cover Page: Must include course and section number, assignment title, and date. Additionally, Individual
Assignments must include your student number (last 5 digits only). For example, if your full student number is
12345678, use only the last 5 digits 45678. Group Assignments must include group number and group members’
student numbers (last 5 digits only). DO NOT include full student names on the cover page!

Margins: MS Word default Normal Margins (i.e. 1” or 2.5cm)

Font: MS Word default Normal Style font type and size (i.e. Calibri 11 point)

Line Spacing: Single-spaced. Make use of headings/subheadings and white space for maximum readability.

Page Limits: The stated limit, when given, does not include the Cover Page, References List, or Appendices. Work
that extends beyond the page limit will not be graded.

References: Cite all sources and provide references about these sources using In-text Citations and References List.
You should cite all external sources of images, ideas, and other people’s work. Use the APA (American Psychology
Association) Citation Style, which is the default referencing style for this course. You are responsible for learning how
to use the APA format, and penalties will apply for inconsistent referencing. The UBC Library is a good resource for
APA style guides, including Getting Started with APA Citation Style.

Plagiarism Prevention: Assignments will be submitted to TurnItIn.com by the teaching team to confirm academic
honesty. For information on plagiarism and prevention, visit the Academic Integrity Resource Centre:
http://help.library.ubc.ca/planning-your-research/academic-integrity-plagiarism/

File Naming Convention:
o
Individual Assignment files must be saved using the following naming convention:
Student#Last5Digits-AssignmentName (e.g., 45678-IA2.pdf).
o
Group Assignment files must be saved using the following naming convention:
Section-Group###-AssignmentName (e.g., 201-001-BP1.pdf).
o
Grade deductions of 10% apply to incorrectly named files!
IMPORTANT NOTE
This assignment is worth 15% of your course grade.
LATE assignments will NOT be accepted and will result in zero grade!
It is your responsibility to begin the process of uploading your assignment to Canvas well in advance of the due date and
time. If you are experiencing problems with Canvas Assignment submission, email your file directly to TA, including
screenshots of the situation(s) you faced which prevented your assignment in uploading correctly on time.
Whether or not your assignment is accepted as an on-time submission is at the discretion of the COMM 101 teaching
team. Unless a proven internet outage or other unique circumstance can be confirmed by our UBC Sauder IT department
you should assume your mark is a zero.
Page 4 of 4
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W21177
SHOP THURSDAYS: POST COVID-19 STRATEGY
Holli Greenwald wrote this case under the supervision of Ian Dunn solely to provide material for class discussion. The authors do not
intend to illustrate either effective or ineffective handling of a managerial situation. The authors may have disguised certain names
and other identifying information to protect confidentiality.
This publication may not be transmitted, photocopied, digitized, or otherwise reproduced in any form or by any means without the
permission of the copyright holder. Reproduction of this material is not covered under authorization by any reproduction rights
organization. To order copies or request permission to reproduce materials, contact Ivey Publishing, Ivey Business School, Western
University, London, Ontario, Canada, N6G 0N1; (t) 519.661.3208; (e) cases@ivey.ca; www.iveycases.com. Our goal is to publish
materials of the highest quality; submit any errata to publishcases@ivey.ca. i1v2e5y5pubs
Copyright © 2021, Ivey Business School Foundation
Version: 2021-04-19
In June 2020, Gillian Piltz, co-founder of Shop Thursdays (Thursdays), had just ended a conference call
with her two business partners, Rita and James Benzacar. Thursdays was a retail boutique and lifestyle
brand specializing in trendy womenswear. Like many retailers, Thursdays had been forced to close its brickand-mortar stores amid the global pandemic (COVID-19). During this time, Thursdays had seen a dramatic
increase in online sales. Piltz had just finished reopening Thursdays’ retail storefront in Summerhill,
Toronto, but was wondering what to do about Thursdays’ other location in the downtown financial core.
Given the recent success of online sales, Piltz was interested in different ways to continue to boost this
segment of her business. She had dabbled with the idea of influencer marketing in the past and was aware
of its potential to grow online sales in the women’s fashion industry. However, to devote the time and
financial resources to influencer marketing, Piltz felt she would need to close her second retail location.
Considering the uncertain future of the retail industry, Piltz wondered what strategy would be in the best
interest for Thursdays’ fiscal period ending May 31, 2021.
COMPANY BACKGROUND
History
Piltz had grown up surrounded by the fashion and wholesale industry. Her mother and uncle, Rita and James
Benzacar, had operated Rita Benzacar Sales Ltd., a fast-fashion wholesaler, since 1989. The company sourced
and distributed women’s fashion, accessories, and footwear to boutiques across Canada. Piltz had always been
passionate about the industry and knew that one day she wanted to be involved in the family business.
Gillian Piltz
In 2013, Piltz started her undergraduate degree in philosophy at Western University in London, Ontario. In
her first year of studies, she found Thursdays to be a popular day of the week for university students to shop
for new weekend looks. In her second year of university, she decided to launch Shop Thursdays, a small
boutique that she ran from her student apartment in downtown London. Using her relationships in the
industry, Piltz sourced the clothing, and on Thursdays, friends and peers would stop by her makeshift store
This document is authorized for use only by Shanay Sojatia in 2021W2 COMM 101.201-207 Conor Topley taught by Conor Topley, University of British Columbia from Dec 2021 to Jun 2022.
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to purchase clothes. After tremendous success running Thursdays out of her apartment, she decided to
experiment with pop-up shops to test the retail space on a larger scale.1 To do so, Piltz rented out a small
storefront on Macpherson Avenue in Summerhill, Toronto. The lease was only for a few months but was
another success and affirmed Piltz’s desire to open a permanent retail storefront.
In the summer of 2015, Piltz was admitted into the honors business administration program at the Ivey
Business School at Western University. At that time, she had just opened Thursdays’ first permanent
location on Yonge Street, once again in the Summerhill neighbourhood. She decided to hire an experienced
store manager to run the store while she moved back to London to pursue her business degree.
By 2017, Thursdays was running effortlessly with the combined efforts of Piltz’s mother, uncle, and the
store manager. That same year, Piltz graduated from the Ivey Business School and accepted a full-time role
as an associate in the financial services industry. Although she had learned a lot from that industry and
made many professional connections, Piltz decided to follow her passion for the fashion industry by
pursuing Thursdays on a full-time basis. She quit her role in finance after just nine months.
Piltz, Rita Benzacar, and James Benzacar, the three founders of Thursdays, worked together every day in
Thursdays’ warehouse, which was separate from its physical stores. Piltz was currently responsible for all of
Thursdays’ online and digital affairs, while Rita and James focused on financial matters and vendor relationships.
The Product Offering
Thursdays was dedicated to bringing in new stock once every week and sourced the coolest and trendiest
styles from top designers. The business used Rita and James Benzacar’s industry contacts to purchase
inventory at relatively low cost. Most items were priced between CA$50 and CA$300, 2 with the exception of
their cashmere lounge sets, which Thursdays designed and manufactured internally (see Exhibit 1). The store
featured everything from bright-coloured blazers, cashmere hoodies, simple T-shirts, and trendy denim.
Thursdays’ consumer base was diverse and ranged from 20-year-old trend seekers to baby boomers looking
for the coolest new styles. Regardless of age, Thursdays’ customers were loyal and frequented the store
regularly to check out the new stock.
SUMMERHILL, TORONTO
Summerhill was a midtown neighbourhood just north of Toronto’s downtown business and entertainment
districts. It was home to an upscale shopping district that included specialty boutiques, coffee shops and
beauty and spa services. The average household income in the neighbourhood was $231,639. 3
Thursdays’ Summerhill store was its first and most successful distribution channel. It acted as Thursdays’
flagship location and benefited tremendously by being a street-facing retailer on Yonge Street, one of
Toronto’s busiest streets.
1
A pop-up shop was a temporary retail space in an area with high foot traffic that sold merchandise to move inventory,
generate awareness, or introduce new products.
2
All currency amounts are in CA$ unless otherwise specified.
3
“Neighbourhood:
Summerhill
Toronto,”
Next
Home,
accessed
May
16,
2020,
https://nexthome.ca/neighbourhoods/summerhill/582152/.
This document is authorized for use only by Shanay Sojatia in 2021W2 COMM 101.201-207 Conor Topley taught by Conor Topley, University of British Columbia from Dec 2021 to Jun 2022.
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9B21B008
TRANSITIONING TO A LIFESTYLE BRAND
In November 2018, after three years of running Thursdays’ Yonge Street location, Piltz decided to launch
an online store. The website featured online exclusive pieces that would attract in-store shoppers to visit
and browse the site. Piltz was able to design and build an in-house photo studio to easily shoot new
merchandise and hired an online manager to edit, copyright, and upload all content to the website within
minutes of shooting. Piltz modelled all the clothes herself.
Thursdays also began to actively engage on its Instagram page, @shopthursdays, and would feature new
arrivals, restocked items, and photos of customers wearing Thursdays’ merchandise. The boutique also began
featuring Piltz and her mother styling the clothes and going on buying trips to source new brands. Piltz started
to slowly use Instagram influencers as a means to promote the Thursdays brand. 4 She would gift influencers
free merchandise in hopes of them sharing and promoting Thursdays to their respective followings.
Piltz was able to begin to transition the Thursdays boutique into a lifestyle brand, incorporating the use of
the hashtag #everydaygirl as a symbol to embody the values, interests, and attitudes of the Thursdays
consumer. 5 As of June 2020, the @shopthursdays Instagram account had reached more than 12,000
followers and was growing rapidly. One of Piltz’s professional goals was for the Thursdays account to
reach more than 20,000 followers by the end of 2020.
THE EXCHANGE TOWER STORE
In mid-2019, Thursdays had opened its second brick-and-mortar location in the concourse level of the
Exchange Tower, located in downtown Toronto’s financial district. The Exchange Tower, home to the
Toronto Stock Exchange, was a 36-storey corporate building that provided Toronto’s financial services
industry convenient access to an array of shops and services. 6 The tower linked to several neighbouring
properties and transit via the underground PATH system, a walkway that accommodated more than 200,000
commuters, residents, and tourists each day. 7
After the opening of their second location, Piltz and her co-founders began facing difficulties allocating
inventory between their now three distribution channels. With no prior experience operating an online shop,
Piltz struggled to find a system that would effectively transfer inventory between the two physical stores
and the online store in an attempt to optimize sales.
COVID-19
On March 11, 2020, the World Health Organization declared COVID-19 to be a global pandemic. By the
end of May 2020, nearly 5 million positive cases of COVID-19 had been confirmed worldwide, 83,000 in
Canada. 8 The virus was spread through respiratory droplets from coughs and sneezes within a six-foot (twometre) range. 9 The quickened increase in the number of Canadian cases and the ease of transmission
4
Instagram influencers were Instagram users who had an established credibility and could persuade others to act based on
their recommendations.
5
A lifestyle brand was a company whose products and image were based on a lifestyle its consumers aspired to be part of.
6
“About Us,” First Canadian Place: Exchange Tower, accessed May 20, 2020, https://myfirstcanadianplace.ca/building-info.
7
“Path—Toronto’s Downtown Walkway,” Toronto, accessed May 20, 2020, www.toronto.ca/explore-enjoy/visitorservices/path-torontos-downtown-pedestrian-walkway/.
8 “COVID-19 Coronavirus Pandemic,” Worldometer, accessed May 24, 2020, www.worldometers.info/coronavirus/.
9
“Coronavirus Disease: Prevention and Risks,” Government of Canada, accessed May 24, 2020, www.canada.ca/en/publichealth/services/diseases/2019-novel-coronavirus-infection/prevention-risks.html?&utm_campaign=gc-hc-sc-
This document is authorized for use only by Shanay Sojatia in 2021W2 COMM 101.201-207 Conor Topley taught by Conor Topley, University of British Columbia from Dec 2021 to Jun 2022.
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Page 4
9B21B008
triggered companies across Canada to mandate work-from-home protocols to keep employees protected.10
On March 24, 2020, Doug Ford, the premier of Ontario, ordered all non-essential stores and services to
close down. 11 As such, Thursdays closed both its Yonge Street and Exchange Tower locations and resorted
to its online store for all sales.
THE CANADIAN WOMENSWEAR RETAIL INDUSTRY
Before the COVID-19 pandemic hit Canada, many high-end women’s clothing stores were expected to
benefit from an increase in the number of high-income households that demanded premium clothing
brands. 12 As more Canadian women relied on online channels for their purchases, more clothing stores were
expected to increase their online presence as a complement to their brick-and-mortar stores. 13
The global pandemic caused the entire world’s economy to shut down, dramatically increasing the Canadian
unemployment rate to 13 per cent as of April 2020. 14 Retailers that had stayed engaged with their clients in
a personalized way were able to establish a base of loyal customers who would continue to spend, even in
an economic downturn. 15 Discounts, promotions, and other marketing incentives were expected to
significantly impact consumer spending during and after the global pandemic. 16
Once the Canadian economy reopened, many consumers were expected to be hesitant to physically interact
after having been socially distanced for long periods of time. 17 To lure in these hesitant consumers, retailers
would need to offer high levels of health and safety precautions. Low-cost or free delivery options for online
purchases were also crucial to maintain consumer spending in the retail environment during the pandemic.18
INFLUENCER MARKETING
Influencer marketing had quickly become one of the most important and cost-effective online marketing
channels for businesses in the womenswear retail industry. A study by IZEA Canada found that 75 per cent
of Canadian fashion businesses had dedicated budgets for influencer marketing, with 20 per cent having
coronavirus2021-ao-2021-0005-10020125402&utm_medium=search&utm_source=google-ads107800103024&utm_content=text-en-434525470062&utm_term=covid-19.
10
Amber McGuckin, “Work-from-Home ‘Revolution’ Possible as Companies Adapt to Coronavirus Measures, Says HR Expert,”
Global News, May 7, 2020, updated May 25, 2020, accessed May 24, 2020, https://globalnews.ca/news/6911552/work-fromhome-coronavirus-office-changes/.
11
Katherine DeClerq, “Ontario Orders All Non-essential Businesses to Shut Down,” CTV News, March 23, 2020, updated
March 24, 2020, accessed May 24, 2020, https://toronto.ctvnews.ca/ontario-orders-all-non-essential-businesses-to-shutdown-1.4864492.
12
“Women’s Clothing Stores in Canada—Market Research Report,” IBIS World, updated August 2, 2020, accessed May 24,
2020, www.ibisworld.com/canada/market-research-reports/womens-clothing-stores-industry/.
13
Ibid.
14
“Canada Lost Nearly 2 Million Jobs in April amid COVID-19 Crisis: Statistics Canada,” CBC News, May 8, 2020, accessed
May 24, 2020, www.cbc.ca/news/business/canada-jobs-april-1.5561001.
15
Judy Mottl, “Building Customer Loyalty in the Post COVID-19 Retail Environment,” Retail Customer Experience, May 12,
2020, accessed May 25, 2020, www.retailcustomerexperience.com/articles/building-customer-loyalty-in-the-post-covid-19retail-environment/.
16
Ibid.
17
Ibid.
18
Ibid.
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budgets between $1 million and $3 million. 19 Another study found that 89 per cent of marketers said that
Instagram was critical to their influencer marketing strategy. 20
Thirty five per cent of Canadians between the ages of 18 and 36 had purchased an item because of an
influencer’s endorsement. 21 More specifically, 86 per cent of women used social media for purchasing
advice. 22 The average return on influencer marketing was $6.50 for every dollar spent. 23
Businesses could choose from a variety of influencer marketing strategies. One of the most popular
strategies was sponsored social media content, whereby the influencer received a set of guidelines around
the type of content that the business expected to be created and promoted. The influencer then created and
posted content that complied with those guidelines and was rewarded in the form of either monetary
compensation or discounted products.
MOVING FORWARD
Before the pandemic began, most of Thursdays’ customers were located in the Greater Toronto Area
(GTA), Canada’s most populous metropolitan area. As operations shifted exclusively online amid the
COVID-19 outbreak, Thursdays began receiving orders from customers all over Canada, including many
from the provinces of Alberta and British Columbia. Thursdays even began processing overseas orders
from customers in China. This fast growth in the number of online orders had strained Thursdays’ resources
and led to an increase in order errors. Piltz wanted to focus more of her time on the online shop, both to
minimize the order errors and to grow this promising segment’s profitability.
Given the nature of the economy and the continued closure of Thursdays’ Exchange Tower location, Piltz
wondered whether closing this store permanently would be a strategic way to generate additional funds to
put toward online advertising. If the Exchange Tower store were to close, Piltz planned to use 15 per cent
of the store’s annual recurring cash costs to finance partnerships with micro-influencers on Instagram (see
Exhibit 2). Micro-influencers—that is, Instagram influencers who had between 1,000 and 100,000
followers—were known to have the highest engagement rates of all influencer types. 24
Using the influencer budget, Piltz was willing to offer participating micro-influencers $1,500 each to
recommend Thursdays to their respective followers in the form of a sponsored post. Piltz would also provide
each influencer $150 worth of merchandise to wear when creating their posts. Additional details of the
partnerships were to be determined at a later date. Piltz planned to offer this partnership opportunity only
to influencers with an average of 50,000 followers. To ensure a wide geographic reach, Piltz would handselect influencers from a variety of different cities across Canada and parts of the United States.
19
Alicja Siekierska, “‘Canadian Companies Are Jumping In’: Inside the Rise of Influencer Marketing,” Yahoo! Finance, June
18, 2019, accessed June 3, 2020, https://ca.finance.yahoo.com/news/influencer-marketing-growing-in-canada184127949.html.
20
“Influencer Marketing 2019 Industry Benchmarks,” Media Kix, accessed June 3, 2020, https://mediakix.com/influencermarketing-resources/influencer-marketing-industry-statistics-survey-benchmarks/.
21
Emily Engle, “Canada Is Cracking Down on Influencer Marketing,” Hypebeast, February 10, 2020, accessed June 3, 2020,
https://hypebeast.com/2020/2/canada-influencer-marketing-policy.
22
“20 Surprising Influencer Marketing Statistics,” Digital Marketing Institute, October 25, 2018, accessed June 8, 2020,
https://digitalmarketinginstitute.com/en-ca/blog/20-influencer-marketing-statistics-that-will-surprise-you.
23
Ibid.
24
Engagement rates were metrics that tracked how actively involved influencers’ audiences were with their content.
This document is authorized for use only by Shanay Sojatia in 2021W2 COMM 101.201-207 Conor Topley taught by Conor Topley, University of British Columbia from Dec 2021 to Jun 2022.
For the exclusive use of S. Sojatia, 2022.
Page 6
9B21B008
EXCHANGE TOWER STORE SALES
If the Exchange Tower store were to reopen for the 2021 fiscal year, it was estimated that the number of
daily customers would drop significantly from the previous fiscal year, due to reduced commuter foot
traffic. Piltz expected five to 10 customer orders each day the store was open in the fiscal period.
Piltz had identified that the Exchange Tower location serviced two types of shoppers. The first type was a
busy professional on lunch break who was looking for a quick purchase. The second was a business
professional who visited the store after work hours to take advantage of Thursdays’ personal shoppers. For
lunchtime shoppers, their average purchase was one shirt and one pair of pants, whereas the after-work
shopper purchased, on average, one cashmere set, one dress, and one pair of pants. Piltz estimated that the
Exchange Tower store would be open for 250 days in the 2021 fiscal period. Of the estimated customer
purchases each day, 20 per cent would be for after-work shoppers.
ONLINE SALES
Piltz grouped Thursdays’ online customers into two types: first-time customers and return customers. To
entice first-time customers to make an online purchase, a 10 per cent discount was applied at checkout.
First-time orders tended to be lower in value, as customers wanted to assess the quality of the clothes before
making a bigger purchase. On average, a first-time customer order comprised one shirt and one dress, while
the average order from a return customer comprised one pair of pants and one non-cashmere lounge set.
(Cashmere lounge sets were rarely purchased online, as consumers preferred to feel the quality of the
cashmere before making a purchase.)
Piltz projected that the online store would generate between $650,000 and $850,000 in revenue for the 2021
fiscal year without any additional marketing. This figure would be split evenly between first-time and return
customers. If the Instagram partnership opportunity was pursued, it was estimated that anywhere between
2 per cent and 4.5 per cent of all followers reached would visit Thursdays’ online store. Piltz believed 2 per
cent of these visitors would make a first-time purchase and 20 per cent of these first-time purchasers would
make a second purchase in the 2021 fiscal period.
Thursdays incurred a flat $7.14 fee for every online order shipped out. On orders of $60 or less, Thursdays
would charge the customer a $10 delivery fee, down $5 from the pre-pandemic charge of $15. No shipping
charge was passed onto the customer on orders over $60.
CONCLUSION
Piltz was thrilled with Thursdays’ past success but was eager to work alongside her mom and uncle to
continue to reach consumers across Canada and internationally. With the lease renewal date of July 1, 2020,
for the Exchange Tower store, Piltz needed to come to a decision quickly. Based on the current economic
environment and the unknowns surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic, Piltz hoped that whether she chose
to focus on the online store with influencer marketing or maintain the Exchange Tower location, her
decision would result in a profit of at least $300,000.
This document is authorized for use only by Shanay Sojatia in 2021W2 COMM 101.201-207 Conor Topley taught by Conor Topley, University of British Columbia from Dec 2021 to Jun 2022.
For the exclusive use of S. Sojatia, 2022.
Page 7
9B21B008
EXHIBIT 1: SHOP THURSDAYS’ SELLING PRICES AND WHOLESALE COSTS BY PRODUCT TYPE
(IN CA$)
Item Type
Selling Price
Wholesale Cost
Cashmere Lounge
Set
$670.00
$255.00
Non-Cashmere
Lounge Set
$195.00
$90.00
Pants
$150.00
$70.00
Dress
$140.00
$65.00
Shirt
$90.00
$45.00
Source: Company files.
EXHIBIT 2: SHOP THURSDAYS’ ANNUAL PROJECTED COSTS, 2021 FISCAL PERIOD
Exchange Tower Store
Store Rent
Salaries and Wages
Utilities
Depreciation
Internet/Phone
Insurance
Other Tenant Fees
Point-of-Sale System
Health and Safety
$ 78,000
122,320
1,440
1,615
1,140
2,210
1,255
1,236
1,400
Online Store
Online Manager
Website Hosting Fees
Insurance
Warehouse Rent
$ 40,000
13,100
2,500
28,000
Note: Health and safety costs referred to the purchase of hand sanitizer, disposable masks, and other disinfecting products to
keep shoppers protected from the spread of COVID-19.
Source: Company files.
This document is authorized for use only by Shanay Sojatia in 2021W2 COMM 101.201-207 Conor Topley taught by Conor Topley, University of British Columbia from Dec 2021 to Jun 2022.

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