Ziwei Zhang


March 2017

Retail Blog Entry #6

Alan Mulally, the retired president and chief executive offer of the Ford Motor Company, was ranked the third on Fortune’s “World’s Greatest Leaders” after Pope Francis and Angela Merkel. In my opinion, he is a charismatic leader in the automobile retail company. In 2006 when the Ford Motor Company was facing the biggest annual loss of $12.7 billion in over a hundred year of operation, Mulally took the leadership and turned around the situation. Ever since 2009, the company has posted annual profit under Mulally’s leadership. There are three crucial qualities he possessed and had improved the performance of the Ford Motor Company, which are positive, organized, and forward-thinking.

I believe the most important quality Alan Mulally possess is the “positive” leadership style he had. It seems simple and easy, but it is crucial to implement under difficult circumstances. Creating a supportive atmosphere is not easy especially when the company is on the edge of bankruptcy. Mulally stayed positive and tried to convey the positive image to his employees. He played a motivative role in helping the company move forward.

Mulally was also an organized and forward-thinking person. He believed the importance of understanding the world would benefit in doing any kind of business. Therefore, he managed to have Business Review Plan meetings to talk about the current global business environment with leaders and leadership team. He preferred to analyze and predict the trend beforehand.

In a conclusion, positive, organized, and forward-thinking qualities are only three of the many qualities Alan Mulally had as a charismatic leader at the Ford Motor Company. He helped the firm to survive in the difficult situation was remarkable. They are good qualities of how to become a charismatic leader that we need to study from.


Retail Blog Entry #5

Nowadays, there are more and more shopping malls and shopping centers built in the city in order to attract more customers as one combined shopping destination. Therefore, it becomes very competitive among different shopping centers. Retailers and developers need to find new strategies to compete with others that are “adaptive renewal.” Methods of adjustment include renovation, reimaging, or even breaking up older malls into freestanding or other configurations. Specific adaptive renewal strategies are Town Center Development, Lifestyle Center Growth, Demalling, Expansion, and Spatial Reconfiguration.

Town Center Development is a strategy of renovation. It needs to renovate the old malls to open-air shopping centers as town centers, which has a specific theme design. Complexity and unity of stores are major characteristics of a town center. Different brands of retail stores have to match the theme of town center by their building materials. It is the atmosphere and feeling that attracts visitors to a town center.

Lifestyle Center Growth is a strategy of categorization. A lifestyle center categorizes retail stores by certain lifestyle. The retail stores locate in the lifestyle center all tend to attract active, young, affluent families.

Demalling is the breaking up strategy that might be used for the old dying mall that has no longer attract enough consumers. Rather than a strategy, demalling is a solution to help these malls back to life. The new center would have a great mix of retail space, office, apartment, parks, and open space. Developers become town planners. By doing so, the new “town” would once again have a good use.

Expansion is the opposite strategy of demalling. Just because of how well the current shopping is operating, it needs more space to grow. Floor levels, shopping areas, and/or parking lot will be added to increase its capacity.

Last but not least, Spatial Reconfiguration is a customer-driven strategy that developers adjust in the mall’s layout to meet customer expectations and needs. For example, outdoor area is moved inside and a newly built ice skating section attached to the old mall.

It is crucial to know the strategies/solutions above for developers and mall owners because of the competitive market and the similar target consumers in a city.

External Sources:

The Future of Shopping – This is an interesting news from CNBC released early in 2014. Yet, the technology mentioned in the news still seems cool to me. I wonder if the new technology a shopping mall provides would actually invites and attracts more customers.

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