Chapter 11 = Rotten Apples for Harry & David

Can an image re-do save Harry & David from the bowels of bankruptcy? An article in the front page of the March 29th USA Today business section seems to think so. Among the article's image change suggestions for the 78-year-old company:

- embrace social media
- brighten/liven up the interiors of its dark retail stores
- stop promoting online discounts
- co-brand with local growers, other "foodie" ventures/companies (well, Macy's does carry Harry & David's goods at the holiday times)
- think beyond the holidays ... which, ahem, the company DOES already (anyone with a Harry & David account who gets their seasonal catalogs or has visited their online store knows that)

In the past, Harry & David's has relied heavily on not just its retail stores but catalog sales. And we all know that catalog sales are not what they used to be.

Should their retail stores become mini produce markets with fresh, local, organic fruits and vegetables? Maybe they ought to go the route of Starbucks and have little snack bars that serve up their gourmet fruit. Or maybe they'll just file Chapter 11 in Delaware and cut down their bond debt and march on.

What's your take? Any way Harry & David is going to retool its image and become anew like Sears and JCPenney did when faced with dwindling business?
Let's hear it ...

1 comment:

Ted Grigg said...

Wow Cynthia. I somehow missed this news about Harry & David.

It's been a while, but when I used to buy product from them, their fruit was of incredible quality.

But this goes to show that a quality product and probably excellent customer service does not guarantee ongoing success. You still have to be a smart and relentless marketer to succeed in today's world.

In fact, globalization has virtually eliminated the tolerance for weaknesses in any area of the company's business. Legal, IT, HR, Production, Management, Finance, Marketing and all other areas cannot afford to get sloppy.

Thanks for an interesting post.

Thanks for stopping by