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Design Within Reach

In: Business and Management

Submitted By pulcase
Words 5027
Pages 21
Design Within Reach: Strategic Analysis and Recommendations

Emily Weiss Advisor: Dr. Richard Linowes Completed Spring 2011 University Honors in Business Administration Kogod School of Business, BSBA in Accounting

MEMORANDUM
TO: John Edelman, CEO, President and Director, Design Within Reach Theodore Upland III, CFO, Design Within Reach John J. McPhee, COO, Design Within Reach Glenn J. Krevlin, Managing Partner, Glenhill Capital Management

LLC, and Chairman, Board of Directors, Design Within Reach
CC: FROM: DATE: RE: Professor Richard Linowes, American University Emily Weiss, Strategy Consultant May 2, 2011 Strategic Analysis and Design Within Reach’s Next Steps

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY
In 2009, problems at Design Within Reach reached a critical mass. Under CEO Ray Brunner, known more for his antics and wild management style than his success, the company unraveled the close ties to the design world that had made it such a successsince its founding in 1999. These issues, coupled with the burst of the housing bubble, destroyed the company’s financial structure, and in 2009 DWR delisted from the NASDAQ, to be purchased by Glenhill Capital, a private equity firm.

2

CEO John Edelman replaced Brunner in the following months, and made some of the key plays necessary to keep DWR afloat. But now that the crisis is over, Design Within Reach has been slow to move on. While it may take years or decades for the company to see the same sort of sales and buzz that marked the mid 2000s, I make the following recommendations to keep the company moving, in order to remain a relevant piece of the design world to which it owes it success: 1. Design Within Reach should institute a “no knockoff” policy for the products it carries in its studios, catalogs and online. 2. The company should devote increased time and resources to the continued evolution of the DWR online…...

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