As a manager for a discount retail chain, you find yourself caught in a difficult situation. Just last month, your chain began selling an economy-priced line of clothing endorsed by a famous movie star. To be price competitive, you have followed the rest of the industry and sourced the clothing from a low-wage region of Asia. Initial sales have been brisk; however, the movie star has recently called you screaming and crying because an investigative news outlet has reported that children are making the clothes with her name on them. This news has the potential to tarnish your company’s brand and potentially discourage customers from conducting business with your company. Moreover, the media has contacted your company for a statement and protestors have begun protesting in front of your company’s offices.
In a 3-4 page paper, thoroughly respond to the following questions in an essay format:
1. What do you say to the stakeholders and employees of your company?
2. What statements will you make to the media?
3. How will you address the protestors in front of your company’s offices?
4. What options will you implement to prevent the potential loss of customers?
Branching Paths: Manager’s Statement
Over the last decade, the fashion industry has attracted a lot of controversy revolving around overworking employees and exploiting children to cut costs of production of fashion products at relatively low prices. Children exploitation has become a controversial subject and elicits many public outcries from environmentalists and policymakers. As a result, accusations of children exploitation in the fashion industry are critical and need to be addressed with utmost care to avoid tarnishing the brand’s name and its affiliates. From this perspective, it is pertinent to communicate on both internal and external parties to maintain a united front as they unravel the root cause of the claims.
Address to the stakeholders and employees of your company
In my address to stakeholders and employees I will inform them of the problem to ease tension and maintain a functional team. Firstly, I will acknowledge that there is an emerging situation that needs urgent intervention from all employees. During this meeting, I will give a breakdown of the cause of the problem and offer proposed strategies to solve the problem. It is also important to disclose the scale and speed media involvement in the scandal and how the issue could affect them or their families and their role in the company. It is also essential to give them timelines of how the chaos can escalate and the first approach strategies to diffuse the situation. Furthermore, I will inform them of the companies’ expectations in such a scenario based on their role and capacities in the organization. After this, I will address all their questions with utmost honesty, transparency.
Statements to the Media
I will give brief reassuring statements that are geared to calm the protesters. My message will convey a voice of reason, responsibility and justice to assure the protesters that our company will abide with the litigation processes to seek justice for all the children who could have been hurt, denied education, basic necessities during the production of our cloths (Lorman, 2018). In furtherance, I will urge the protesters to refrain from taking justice into their own hands and avoid spreading rumors about the brand. I will also issue a press statement to request the media and the public to air factual information. In summary, it will be a close-ended statement to acknowledge the allegations and request the people and the media to allow our company to conduct due diligence and respond at a reasonable time.
Address the protestors in front of your company’s offices
The best strategy to address the growing crowd is to set a podium and allow all the media channels to gather around. Traditionally initiating an orderly process prompts the public to organize themselves and captivate them to listen. Following this, I will address them in a clear and calm voice to soften their temperament. In my address, I will assure them that I respect their consumer’s rights to report and protest against non-ethical brands. Furthermore, I will ensure that the efforts, time, loyalty and resources they have put into the brand will be restored through collective effort to get to the root cause of the menace. For the better part of the interview, I will try not to silence the hooters, loudspeakers but I will grant them an opportunity to air their voice and address it. Also, I will request police offices in the vicinity to avoid excessive use of force, to disband the protestors if they are not violent. Lastly, I will grant the media people and the public an opportunity to ask any pressing questions.
Options will you implement to prevent the potential loss of customers
An ethical crisis requires urgent intervention to avoid extensive damage to a brand. In this case, my first plan of action will be to inform our customers of the dismay and shock of the emerging revelations against our brand. However, will not deny any allegations but assure them that we will corporate with police enforcements to get to the root of the problem. Secondly, we will offer a platform to our customers across all markets to offer information regarding our misconduct in the public view. Thirdly, in collaboration with my team, I will work around the clock to address all questions and concerns and allow continuous flow of the supply and procurement processes to avoid delays in delivery, fitting sessions, and refunds. Next, I will avail myself of any meetings, court process, and fieldwork to assess the validity of the claims. Having been to the factories, I will be more than glad to take interested consumers to Asia to verify the source of materials, production, working environment, age of workers. I will also offer the investigative officers a chance to observe the wholesale and distribution channels in the top and down supply chain. Finally, I will propose to the retail manager to establish a detailed labelling tag that incorporates the raw material used and source of origin to restore the client’s trust in the brand. In addition, as part of our collective social responsibility, we will ensure that all school-going children in cloth production areas have access to food, water, clothing and education to avoid exploitation in the factories.
Lorman. (2018, July 23). Litigating and Resolving Easement Disputes. Retrieved from Lorman: https://www.lorman.com/resources/litigating-and-resolving-easement-disputes-16989