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Charles Chocolates

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Valerie Ho

on 14 April 2015

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Transcript of Charles Chocolates

Charles Chocolates

About Charles Chocolates
Founded in 1885, New England's oldest chocolate company
Privately held premium chocolate company based in Portland, Maine
High quality, hand-made chocolates in a 24,000 square foot factory on the outskirts of Portland
Growth Opportunities
#1: Redevelopment of very busy Portland ferry terminal
Growth Opportunities
#2: A lease in the best retail space in Portland, Sidney Reynolds china shop
More Growth Opportunities
Change Traditional Brand Image
Company Strategy
Sold fairly expensive chocolate
Target affluent customers
Maintain emotional connection to Charles brand
Emphasize heritage
Current Situation & Goal
Sales and margins started to trend upward and looked promising
Redevelop the busy Portland ferry terminal
Lease in Portland's best retail space
Include Norman Rockwell style soda fountain, coffee shop, a tea house, and even a chocolate museum
Describe the idea you think is best
Develop a growth plan for the next year
Board of Directors
2 financial executives
An art dealer
A former owner of a bus company
A past president of Charles
Above a flagship store in Portland's Old Port Area
19th century buildings
Active nightlife
Business Lines
Online and Phone
Sandwich Haven
Packaging Efforts
Traditional packaging
Pink or brown gingham-wrapped squares
Burgundy box or tins
Tins featured old-fashioned scenes and American art
Tourist publications
Seasonal print
Radio spots
Donations to charitable events
Direct mail
Solid search engine rankings
Increase awareness without diluting the brand
Ideal for selling chocolate and ice cream with promising success
Lease costs were high which may not be ideal for the downward trend of the chocolate market
1,800 square feet of retail space, including a mezzanine, and a 1,600 square foot basement
Property shared basement with Sandwich Haven
Too large of a space to just be a chocolate store and still needed to be consistent with the brand
Only for a new line to reach a younger target audience, this keeps those who like the traditional brand image happy because it will still be accessible
It could interfere with the brand heritage and lose customers who are solely loyal to the traditional image
Only for a new line to reach a younger audience and keeps those who like traditional brand image happy because it will still be accessible
It could interfere with the brand's intentions and could lose the customers who are solely loyal to traditional image
Immediate Actions
Implement measures of productivity and efficiency in the production plant
Make employees feel valued/included in decision making process
Mid Term Actions
(6-12 months)
Senior management changes
Better online ordering presence
Long Term Actions
(Utilize SMART goals)
Inventory management process needs to be purchased and implemented within 9 months of year 2
The Sidney Reynolds location needs to be renovated by the end of year one and should be in full operation by the beginning of year 3. A decision about what the location is going to be should be finalized by March of year 2 so specialized construction could begin and the location opened by the beginning of year 3
4word Consulting
maintain strong position in premium chocolate market
look to expand to other cities and different types of customers
Short Term Actions
(1-6 months)
Train remote reps and do more advertising in areas where Charles is not as well known
Recruiting for Sandwich Heaven needs to be formalized with strong timelines
Full transcript