Yeti has identified two distinct market segments for each of the two different stores. For the Cleveland Heights location there is the Case Western Reserve University students and the Wigman Hospital/Cleveland Heights community. For the University Heights location there is the John Carroll University students and the local community.
Age is a significant determinant in differentiating between the different segments. The student segments are generally of a lower age than the surrounding community.
Cleveland Heights Store
Case Western Reserve community
20,044 students total. Largest private university in Ohio.
Wigman Hospital community/Cleveland Heights community
Wigman Hospital is the county's largest employer. Administrative offices have recently been moved to this location, further consolidating the hospital into a dense employer.
University Heights Store
John Carroll University community 18,789 students total
University Heights community. Total population 51,040. Ages:
The market segments were chosen for two specific reasons, location/proximity and customer demographics, specifically age:
In the case of both the Cleveland Heights and University Heights stores, the location is quite convenient to both the students and the surrounding communities. As our days become busier and busier, with less and less free time, we tend to choose stores that are the most convenient. The more convenient the location, the more free time that we have for ourselves.
A second explanation of this phenomenon is that students tend to spend money in a short-sighted manner. The overwhelming majority of students receive financial aid and it is uncommon for all of the money from financial aid to be spent solely on books and tuition. Frequently a good portion becomes their disposable income. Many students take the viewpoint that if they are going to be taking on debt to complete school, then a little more debt, which provides them ample disposable income, is OK, as they will eventually pay it off years down the road when they are making good money. These two explanations offer insight into why students, those with low household incomes have high levels of disposable income. Yeti recognizes this reality and caters to these students with products that appeal to them.
As mentioned in the previous section, gift and card shops typically fall into two distinct categories, trendy and hip shops that appeal to a younger crowd, and conservative, "hallmarkified" stores that appeal to an older, safety conscious crowd. It is unusual for a store to be able to straddle both categories successfully.
Some stores will try by just carrying merchandise that appeals to the other category, but this approach rarely works. In addition to having the merchandise for the desired market segments, the store must have the look, feel, and customer service to make each market segment feel like they are wanted, that make them feel like they are the typical individual that the store is catering to. Please review section 5.1, the competitive edge for more information on how Yeti is able to accomplish what most in the industry has been unable to.
Pros: Massive purchasing power (over $30 million in sales last year including a computer and book department); good location; guaranteed customers from the sale of text books.
Cons: Little to no parking; poor customer service; difficulty in selling anything but conservative merchandise for fear of being offensive; youthful customer base keeps adults away.
Pros: Good location next to Case Univ.; good selection of women's apparel; established customer base.
Cons: Little to no parking; very poor customer service; lack of diversity in customer base with young women being their primary customer.
Pros: Chagrin River Center tenant; plenty of parking; a national chain; average customer service.
Cons: Primary customers are 12-19 year olds; too loud background sound system; main focus is on apparel (T-shirts); little to no advertising.
Pros: Capitol Mall tenant; plenty of parking; national chain; large selection of movie paraphernalia.
Cons: Merchandise selection focused on too small of a customer base; poor customer service; little to no advertising; distance from Case Univ. requires car or bus ride.
Pros: Eighth St. Market tenant; average amount of parking; established customer base.
Cons: Poor customer service; poor merchandise selection.
Pros: Two stores within walking distance of John Carroll Univ.; established customer base; large merchandise selection.
Cons: Merchandise selection focused on older customers; too much merchandise clutters aisles and creates claustrophobic conditions.
Pros: Large national chain with ample parking; large selection of goods; average customer service.
Cons: Cannot respond to customer requests and the latest trends; focused on general merchandise, not cards and gifts; distance from John Carroll Univ. requires a car or bus ride.
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