Tanglewood Case One

Tanglewood Case One


Tanglewood is a franchise of general retail stores dealing with items such as appliances, clothing, electronics, as well as home decor. The company targets the moderate price niche, which include middle- together with the upper-income clients. The company’s strategic uniqueness is based on creating an “outdoor” theme. This includes a large camping as well as outdoor living section in all of its stores.  Founded in 1975, the company was an idea of two best friends Tanner Emerson and Thurston Wood. The company started as Tanner Wood but later changed to Tanglewood in 1984. Currently, the company has a total of 243 stores with operating revenue of $7.2 Million. 


The company operates in a fairly competitive market. The main competitors are Target and Korls. The two competitors operate with almost the same principles as Tanglewood. Korls has been having the almost the same revenue growth as Tanglewood. However, it should be noted that there are stores that have been able to improve their revenue by maximizing on the number of stores and the employement growth. Tanglewood has the least number of stores and this has affected its market base. In addition, the store targets the middle and the upper class customers who are primarily looking for convenience and reasonable prices. This leaves the lower class for the rest of the competitors. The company has been successful in ensuring competitiveness by developing their own brand merchandise. This is crucial in enhancing the image of the business and gives the company a competitive advantage. According to Panda (2008) when a company works on improving its brand image, the company positions itself at a higher position in terms of competitive advantage. 

Organizational Structure

It is clear that the business has so many departments and sub-departments in each store. Each department has been allocated its unique duties. This in return has created a huge number of employees within one single store. Each store has an approximate of 215 employees and this number is too huge for a retail store. In addition to this, some of the positions created within the business are not relevant. The departmental heads do not necessarily help the performance of the company. The issue is creating a head of department for every product. However, the business seems to be on the right track with the involvement of the employees where their suggestions are considered in the day to day running of the business.  Forster (2005) says that whenever employees are given freedom to make decisions within a company, they are able to develop as well as nurture sense of ownership for the business and this consequently leads to loyalty and performance from the employees.

Business culture and value

The business bases it policies in employee participation and team work. This is a move that a company has made in order to challenge its employees to step up into the role of leadership. The departmental heads have equally been given freedom to come up with methods that will help their associates meet the daily needs and demands of the customers. With this freedom, the company has been able to come up with creative methods to solve its issues. In addition, the company has been very successful in winning the loyalty of the employees by introducing profit sharing policies as well as financial bonuses to uniquely perfuming employees.  According to Pride et al. (2013) one of the ways to motivate employees is by sharing profits and other incentives with them. This encourages them to work harder and perform better.

Human Resource

The human resource department seems to be having much on its plate. There is need to separate the human resource and the human resource development which would see the directors of training and coaching forming their own department. It is very crucial for any business to have a separate department that specializes in the training and orientation of the employees. In addition to that, the office of the Chief learning Officer should be introduced to replace the Training and development director. According to Easterby-Smith & Lyles (2011) the office of the Chief learning officer plays a key role in ensuring information sharing within an organization. This information and training are very crucial in boosting the performance of the business. 

However, the promotion of departmental managers seems to be unreliable. The promotion of employees from a store to the position of the departmental manager is carried out by the store manager and the regional manager. It is clear that the regional manager’s role in this case is to approve the suggestion made by the store manager. To some extent, this practice can be considered to be a one man decision as the store manager is the one with detailed information regarding individuals viable for this position. The other challenge in relation to this is the possibility of favoritism from the manager. According to Goetsch (2011) the process of promotion of employees in an organization needs to be all inclusive of the employees performance and should be carried out based on recommendations from more than one member of the management team. 

Recommendations on staffing of operations

Currently, the business is clearly facing a challenge in the way the staffing and recruitment is carried out. The staffing has been shared out to different departments depending on the department an employee is to start working from. The challenge with this is that some of the departmental personnel may not be effective enough to carry out the recruitment. With this system of recruitment, the chances are high the company policies and specifically the values and cultures of the business may not successfully be instilled into the new employees. For that reason, the company should focus on centralizing the staffing system. With a centralized system, the company will be able to recruit and develop more efficient leaders as well as improve the quality of employs being recruited. According to Aswathappa (2010) a centralized staffing system ensures that the right needs of a business are met by introducing a more competent and skilled personnel to each department. 


Tanglewood seem to be in the right track in its operations but the truth is that the business has a greater potential to increase its market share as well as revenue. As an average perfuming company, the business has potential to increase the number of stores it has and this will be very key in expanding its market. The existing market has diverse competitors but none seem to be a major threat to Tanglewood as the business has its unique niche of customers. However, the company needs to diversify its line of products in order to attract the lower class customers who form majority of the market share. By targeting the medium and the upper class, the company limits its market reach as the lower class of people who may not be able to afford high valued products currently being sold. According to Lilien (2007) while carrying out market segmentation, companies need to strategically make sure that they are able to meet the needs of the different customers. 


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