Gemini Dubois Mall, LLC
Gemini Dubois Mall, LLC is a private limited liability company, which was incorporated in March, 2006 and numbered 585847. It is located in Wilmington City, DE 19808 within the jurisdiction of Pennsylvania (LeHew & Fairhurst, 2000). The company is a subsidiary of Delaware Company. The mall has been gradually growing due the strategic location; it is a single regional mall in a vicinity of about fifty miles radius. It is situated at the intersection of Shaffer road, Dubois and Route 255 and houses main retail shops in the city, which can be easily accessed. Among the major tenants, there are Sears, J.C Penney, Big Lots, Ross, Dunham’s, Old Navy, Staples and the Joann Fabrics (Cheng & Yu, 2005).
The company’s mission and vision clearly indicate the purpose of the organization. It outlines the business key ventures and ensures that all activities are streamlined towards achieving thee business objectives. It also ensures that the basic beliefs, values and principles are upheld in order to meet desired success. In addition, it defines the organization’s potential customers. Basically, the customers of the mall are shoppers, guests and visitors who come to the mall to buy goods and obtain services. The scope and boundaries are clearly stated in the mission and vision statement whereby the mall operations are clearly marked with what to operate in ranging from retail to commercial trading and service industry. The economic objective and the financial commitment are the key drivers behind the success of the mall; the company strives to ensure that it meets the customers’ demands and also pursues the interests of shareholders thus maximizing wealth. The mission outlines the long term survival plans and growth, with distinctive abilities and the competitive advantages. It is also the mission and vision where the primary shareholders’ interests are enhanced and their investments valued while the company safeguards the interests of other related parties.
The success of Gemini Dubois Mall is greatly attributed to a number of factors, which are not only limited to the external environment but also the internal business operations. These have significantly impacted positively the success of the mall as compared to negative factors (Cheng & Yu, 2005). Among the forces of competition, there are the following:
Competition for the Market Share
The company faces constant and stiff competition from the Southern Wilmington City Market. Though the mall has been dominating since its inception, it has been challenging to maintain the ever changing market demands. The reason for this is the fact that a number of city residents prefer changing shopping destination in order to satisfy their tastes and preferences.
Superior Products and Customer Support
The mall has tried to diversify its business in order to facilitate one-stop shop. This force of competition implies that other malls try to provide satisfactorily a number of products and services at competitive prices. As the result, this lures customers to other shopping malls contrary to the normal visits to the mall.
Effective Database Management and Technological Advancement
Technological advancement has been a basis for competition for a mall that has embraced technology tends to thrive as compared to those upholding old versioned technology. Effective internet connectivity in malls as one of the key areas of interests enhances operations on facilities such as banks, services and industries housed in the mall. Dubois Mall is much ahead as compared to other malls due to its adoption of technology.
Access to Working Capital
Access to capital is the strongest force that comprises sustainable competitive advantages over other businesses and competitors. The mall has been on toes with other mall developers and businesses in pursuit of resources for expansion and development. A strong mall with a reputable business venture tends to attract more capital from investors as reflected in the share price. The mall has been also on the struggle for resources in pursuit of its business venture and expansion.
Excellent Operations and Effective Management Team
A number of malls’ businesses have shown exemplary service delivery through their operations and daily expansion. This is attributed to the strong management personnel that has enhanced development in the business industry. Such a firm management team translates into creation of opportunities and thus results in gaining competitive advantages. For the Dubois mall, this has been one of the competition forces since it has a direct impact on the operations of the business.
The key issues and opportunities for Gemini Dubois Mall rose through the business, and resident surveys give a ground for operation (Dyson, 2004). In addition, follow-up consultations with businesses, property owners, the body corporate and council staff are summarized in the following SWOT analysis:
- Strategic location of business outlets
- Established chain of network and coordination of branches
- Qualified and competent staff
- Diversified products and services in every mall
- Large number of customers of different social classes and status
- Untapped potential for income generation
- Relevant and effective transaction processing systems and reliable internal control systems.
- The mall has other ten chain stores in the outskirts of the city and small towns. It has two other major outlets within the city. Its plan for the regional expansion was the main reason that led to its listing on the Securities exchange by May 2006.
- Over-stretched facilities and resources
- Competition from other malls businesses
- Space for physical expansion
- Theft and burglary
- Inadequate shopping space in mall, especially in the city along the 200 Park Avenue.
- Inconsistency of clients
- Unexpected grocery demand and unreliable supplies
- High cost for setting up a mall
- Escalating wage rate of employees.
- Potential for business expansion of spreading all over the state
- Potential for expanding mall businesses and activities, for example,e having banking services
- Growing demand for individual consumers and commercial consumption
- Emerging opportunities for networking and supply chain management
- Increased demand for academic and executive development programs
- Opportunities for fund raising through issuance of shares
- Growth potential created by the State’s economic development pillar
- Ongoing improvements in businesses in the mall
- Greater range of convenience retailing facilities through this expansion
- Extension of the marketing activities
- Increased competition from local and international malls’
- Fear of inflation, price wars and high cost of operations
- High cost of internal control facilities and related Information Technology facilities
- Lack of adequate qualified personnel to guide in operations and logistics
- Changing weather patterns, which hinders the supply of fresh farm products
- Copying of business operations by other malls
- Lower turnover of customers visiting the mall
From the SWOT analysis, the key opportunity recommendations for the future of the mall are the following:
- Achieving higher standards of presentation, merchandising, and customer service in the existing businesses
- Implementing a new brand for the precinct, getting all businesses behind the branding, and making the wider community more aware of it
- Continuing to organize and implement a strategic marketing program
- Facilitating improvements in the mall, with the body corporate, land owners and states council.
- Developing a stronger business association organization
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A complete set of plans has been established in its business plan to achieve the vision for Gemini Dubois Mall. The strategies reflect the relatively growing budget of the business (Dyson, 2004). Therefore, it is important to handle every aspect of the strategies in a clearly integrated manner. The possession of the strategies by the key parties who are related with the management is equally crucial in the implementation of the strategic business plan. These strategies include the following: business development, marketing and public relations, community development, physical improvements, financial, mall management and communication (Cheng & Yu, 2005).
The success of Gemini Dubois Mall relies greatly on the quality of the products and services offered to customers by all of its businesses. The shopping experience and satisfactory services in the shops or other service outlets are based on:
- Unique quality products or services
- Great customer service
- Excellent merchandising and presentation
- Value-added offers
- Superior marketing and sales promotion
A number of surveys conducted and business analysis indicated that a few businesses in Gemini Dubois Mall offer these combinations. In order to attain a stable business environment, it is prudent for the business to continuously upgrade, develop business strategies and ensure that products and services are tailored to the customers’ needs.
Some of the strategies that the Mall can adopt in order to attain business excellence are the following:
- The management of the mall can challenge the existing businesses to work on their facades and improve their internal presentation in order to project a thriving and a personalized image of the business.
- Provide business networks and opportunities through training and focusing on the business planning, business dynamics, customer service delivery and visual merchandising.
- Proper timing of customers’ behavior is the key to the success of the business. The management should remind the businesses to monitor patterns or behaviors of the clients and ensure that their services are readily available upon their demand.
- There is the need to remind the businesses to create and extend value on the goods or services being provided. This is well achieved through provision of goods and services that would satisfy and fill the existing gaps or needs.
- Development of a joint customer databases as well as cross-marketing in harmonizing businesses is a crucial step to the growth and development of business.
Improving the Business Mix by Attracting Appropriate New Businesses
A close relationship between the businesses and the Dubois residents working together help identify potential new businesses established at Gemini Dubois Mall. The vision of the mall is to ensure quality services are offered. Though the center has no vacant spaces, it is appropriate for the management to anticipate for future businesses that would bring forth the vision for the business. As highlighted in the consultations and the survey done, the abovementioned operations would strengthen the business mix of the mall. The mall should open more specialist food shops, fresh fish shop, health food shop, juice bar and one or two cafes with provision for breakfast and lunch. It should also look into the opening more food shops and chain stores, as well as a household appliance repair shop (Robertson, 2005).
The Gemini Dubois Mall business should found pro-active processes that would attract these new businesses soon after the establishment of the new properties. Some of the viable strategies that would be adopted by the mall are the following:
- Approaching potential businesses in other areas and requesting them to expand and open new outlets in the mall. Developing a good prospectus of the mall in order to encourage them to look for Gemini Dubois Mall and invest in them by taking up vacant premise or some part of the new development.
- Development of short prospectuses outlining the cases for establishment and potential operations in the mall and the catchment area with the socio-demographic profile (Robertson, 2005).
Physical improvements relating to new signs, directory boards, car parking, landscaping and improvements of footpaths are the responsibility of the entity as well as the Council. However, the businesses and property owners consider that it is important to highlight a few strategies in the business plan related to these matters. The recommended strategies towards this improvement are the following:
- To develop a new sign that contains the company’s logo and slogan and erect it on the building’s at the Dubois Highway-Route 255 junction.
- Facilitate directional signs to the office block at Route 255.
- Assist in the establishment of landscaped area with an extended footpath area in that outdoor part of the mall, which will create ample meeting place.
- Do some repairs of cement footpaths to enhance safety of pedestrians.
- Providing lifts and elevators in the mall buildings.
The costs of proposed marketing and business development initiatives as outlined in the strategic business plan are raised from $3,400,000 to $3,850,000 over the next five years. A general breakdown of the budget of $3,585,000 is recommended as follows:
Subsidy for business reviews/training programs 85,000
Business networking events 42,500
Branding and awareness program 340,000
Media advertising 807,500
Community Newsletter 425,000
Special promotional events and competitions 425,000
Community Cash Program 17,000
Monitoring and Evaluation
Customer and resident surveys 77,000
Management and Communication
Part time mall coordinator 1,200,000
Business newsletters and other communication 8,500
Public liability insurance 85,000
Financial monitoring/audit 42,500
General administration 30,000
Monitoring and Evaluation Program
As outlined in the strategic plan, monitoring and evaluation are essential in achieving the set goals (Hill & Westbrook, 2007). It is conducted throughout the year at predetermined intervals. Some of the performance indicators include the following:
- Extent of completion of projects specified in the business plan, on time and within budget.
- The participation of businesses in activities and promotions.
- Business and customer perceptions about the success of individual promotions and advertising campaigns.
- The trading performance and profile of business on the anticipated business changes in the mall.
- Financial accountability.
Communication of the strategies to the shareholders is essential to the success of the business. Through the business profiles and newspapers, the mall can effectively notify the shareholders on their suggested strategic plans. In addition, it can develop bi-monthly letters or pamphlets and issue them to all shareholders who can run through them and assess if it is appropriate and later on provide feedback. Other plans can be implemented through election of committee, the representatives of which are the shareholders who act as the watchdogs. More importantly, the company can adopt informal networking sessions with the shareholders so as to share information on the strategic plans (Hill & Westbrook, 2007).
The mall has effectively used the non-executive committee comprised of nine members who actively participate in the affairs of the mall business. They guide and monitor the conduct of the directors in pursue of shareholders’ interests of wealth maximization. External auditors are also engaged. Through their engagement, they are able to monitor the financial statements, performance and the going concern (Robertson, 2005).
Despite the fact the management has been on the forefront in ensuring stakeholder satisfaction, it should take into consideration the significance of conducting election of its directors rather than their appointment. The election of the directors would ensure that the positions are competitive and lead to better management in the company. It would also prove that directors are ready to offer their best to please other stakeholders.
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Community development is an essential drive in the marketing and promotional strategies. The mall has shown sustained connections with the community. Its efforts have been obvious and have benefited the city residents as well as the communities around. For example, it has developed the neighborhood through its program dubbed marketing and promotions program. It has also conducted community day events: for example, charity day and local schools day. Along with that, it has been deeply involved in music, talent searches and dance performances, which are conducted yearly in the mall premises (Robertson, 2005).