Four teams of undergraduates in apparel merchandising & management (AMM) competed in Target’s annual case study competition on May 28. Lisette Gutierrez, Y-Uyen Pham, Anthony Truong, Allison Poon and Kate Nelson won first prize and $4,000. The second, third and fourth-placed teams also earned prizes in descending amounts, awarded by the AMM department.
The theme of this year’s competition, selected from a set of choices provided by Target, was “Meeting the Needs of Changing Demographics.” The case question was “How could Target ensure that its merchandising mix matches that of the changing cultures and environments where their stores are being built.”
Of the initial 17 teams, four were selected by AMM faculty as finalists. The finalists proposed a range of solutions to the case question. The winning team proposed umbrella brand “Culture Compass” as an in-store identity for ethnic products.
“The Target case study competition energizes students in the program,” says AMM department chair Peter Kilduff. “The AMM faculty and our advisory board members were impressed by the ingenuity and professionalism demonstrated by teams in framing the problem, identifying potential strategies, gathering data and presenting their solutions.”
Students presented their solutions to an audience of Target personnel, AMM advisory board members, faculty and students. Judging the competition was a panel of Target team members drawn from local stores and headed by Shelley Stanyer, group operations leader for the local region.
“It is a demanding exercise that gives students a real taste of analyzing critical business problems and presenting solutions in an authentic corporate setting,” Stanyer says.
(Photo: The winning team is pictured with Target panel members. From left: Linda Guan, Shelley Stanyer; Lisette Gutierrez, Y-Uyen Pham, Anthony Truong, Allison Poon and Kate Nelson.)