Case Vtb

4792 Words20 Pages
Introduction Bob Stetzel, Vice President of Information Technology (IT) at Vermont Teddy Bear (VTB), walked a tranquil path from his car to his Shelburne, Vermont office early one morning in mid-February 2010. The landscape outside his office, and the White Mountains beyond, were blanketed in a coating of fresh snow. Just a few days before, the scene was not tranquil at all; a small army of nearly 2000 temporary employees had descended on the company’s multi-building campus to help process and pack gifts ordered by tens of thousands of customers for delivery to their sweethearts for Valentine’s Day. Bob and his seven person IT organization had worked feverishly behind the scenes, ensuring that the company’s information systems could…show more content…
The company nearly went bankrupt around 1990, but recovered when Sortino introduced a ‘Bear-Gram’ service, promoted via radio advertisements in the New York City area. Customers (mostly men buying for wives or girlfriends) phoned 1-800-829-BEAR to order a ‘persona- lized’ bear (choosing from several colors of bears and about 100 costumes such as tutus, wedding gowns, fire fighter and doctor or nurse outfits). The bear was shipped in a decorated hatbox with ‘air holes’ and a note from a ‘Bear Counselor.’ The market response to this promotion was impressive; revenues grew from less than $2 million in 1990 to $17 million in 1993, allowing VTB to raise $10 million in an initial public offering and earning it a ranking of number 21 in Inc. Magazine’s listing of American’s fastest-growing public companies. Despite the success of the Bear-Gram service, numerous challenges threatened the company’s survival. Although radio advertising and a toll-free phone number generated lots of orders for teddy bears as gifts for Valentine’s and Mother’s Day (80% were purchased by adults for other adults), it was less cost-effective at other times of the year. In an attempt to induce adults to buy teddy bears for children throughout the year, the company began to sell through high-end toy stores such as FAO Schwarz, department stores such as Bloomingdales, and more than 200 shops. VTB also opened cornpany owned stores in New York City and Freeport Maine.
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