It has been established that Company Q is a small grocery chain that has recently decided to close two of their stores in heavily populated areas due to profit loss and high crime statistics. The necessity to close two stores is a significant economic failure for both the community and the stake holders involved in the franchise. Company Q has demonstrated that improvements need to be made to restore their reputation within the community and gain the confidence it needs to succeed among the share holders of the company. Since Company Q has closed these two stores, the loss of employment by members of the community has been recognized along with the need for citizens to travel further outside of the community for groceries.
This takes tax revenue away from the city and has also resulted in two vacant buildings. In a community already plagued with crime, this adds to the potential of additional crime. In order to salvage Company Q’s reputation with the community and restore trust with the shareholders, significant changes will need to be made. Based on the closure of two stores, the social responsibility that Company Q exudes is very poor and concerted effort will need to be displayed in order to prove they are a socially responsible company.
For several years, customers of Company Q have requested that Company Q offer a more health conscience and organic variety of foods. Due to the recent closure of two stores, it is noted that there are now funds available to provide this request at the remaining open franchises. Company Q recognizes that in order to regain the customer’s trust, they need to be accommodating to the desires and needs of their customers. The first recommendation is to continue to provide the healthier, organic food varieties being requested. This action recognizes the customer’s desires and validates that Company Q is listening and wants to be accommodating. Money that is no longer being utilized to manage the two stores that are closed can now be allocated to the high margin items at the stores that remain open.
Company Q has been asked by the local food bank to donate day-old products instead of throwing it away. Company Q has denied this request citing worries about fraud and possibilities of employees stealing and stating that they were actually donating it. Our first recommendation is to rescind this policy and work with your local food bank to be able to obtain this otherwise wasted food. The reputation with the community is already fragile after the closure of two nearby stores. In order to build trust with the community and the shareholders of Company Q, simply providing the requested healthier, organic food will not be enough. Extra effort being demonstrated by Company Q will need to be recognized.
The next recommendation would be to create an Action Committee within each of Company Q’s open stores. This Action Committee will work together to create a system that monitors the amount of high margin items being purchased from the distributor and then being sold to the customer. The products that can be donated to the local food bank will be recorded. These records will be maintained by the Action Committee and preferably a member of the managerial staff. The donated product can be considered a tax write off at year end. Since there is a committee monitoring what is coming in and what is being donated out, it will help minimize the potential of fraud or possible theft by employees.
This Action Committee can then determine which products are being sold on a consistent basis and which products are being donated. The purchasing of high margin items from the distributors can be adjusted so that more popular items are being sold and fewer items are being donated. This action will demonstrate to the community that Company Q cares about the citizens and they want to be an active part of the community. It also can instill trust with Company Q’s employees that they are not the reason the business wasn’t donating to the local food bank, and that they believe their employees are trusting and have integrity.
A final recommendation would be for Company Q to establish their own volunteer program consisting of members of management. If additional employees of Company Q desire to be part of the volunteer committee, it is completely on a volunteer basis. This volunteer team will periodically represent Company Q at local events. They can volunteer time at the food bank, local homeless shelters, charitable events and so forth. The team can organize events to paint over graffiti in the part of town where they previously closed two of their stores. The presence of Company Q in the community can help restore trust that was lost when two stores were closed and the community suffered. The stockholders in Company Q will also see a significant change in the community’s perspective of their company.
Based on these three recommendations, we believe that Company Q will exemplify the social responsibility expected by a company this size and that has such a presence in this populated community. Upon request, additional recommendations can be made to ensure Company Q sustains and improves upon its reputation with the public.