This company, known for building an attractive workforce, did so by aggressively hiring pretty young women and handsome young men to match their all-American brand image. Is seeking good-looking employees a necessary trend in the retail industry? Is hiring an attractive sales force a smart and necessary practice to differentiate the store in the competitive retail environment? Does all-American mean thin, tall, and white with blonde hair and blue eyes? If the store has great-looking college students working in the store, will others want to shop there? How important are retail experience and ability versus a pretty face? In seeking good-looking employees, companies are risking lawsuits for discriminatory hiring practices. Hiring attractive people is not illegal, but discrimination on the basis of age, gender, race, national origin, disability, or ethnicity is. Employers may establish and enforce grooming and appearance standards. Exceptions to Title VII are possible if the employer can prove that one of the protected characteristics is a bona fide occupational qualification. Black, Asian, and Latino plaintiffs alleged that they were denied sales associated positions. These workers were directed to low-visibility jobs in the stock room or maintenances department. The company agreed to appoint a vice president for diversity, use benchmarks, train all hiring managers, and hire 25 diversity recruits in an attempt to alter its white, all-American image and more accurately reflect the applicant pool in its stores. From a business perspective, do you think this is a good idea? What about from an ethical perspective or a legal perspective? High-end, salon-only hair care products have been showing up on the shelves at grocery stores, discounters, and drugstores. This practice is known as diverting products from the intended channel of distribution. Is this practice illegal? Currently there is no legislation prohibiting mass retailers from selling premium brands. Because a strong gray market exists for professional hair care products, drug chains, discounters, and food retailers offer salon-only brands in the same health and beauty aisles as the mass-market hair care brands. These high-demand hair care lines are also available through online retail sites. When beauty supply distributors or wholesalers break contractual agreements with manufacturers, the makers of salon-only brands lose millions of dollars and risk their exclusive brand image and reputation when their products are sold in stores. On the Paul Mitchell Web site www. This education program is designed to warn customers of the possible danger of purchasing the Paul Mitchell brand from intermediaries other than professional salons. The risks associated with purchasing diverted products include possible tampering, expiration, contamination, or substitution. Will the education campaign launched by Paul Mitchell change where consumers shop for professional hair care products? Explain your rationale. She has picked out some of the new items in Mrs. She has everything from scarves to jewelry to shoes ready to go along with the outfits. The reason Mrs. Johnson has such a friendly relationship with Gwen is because Mrs. Johnson is a regular customer and a SaksFirst member.
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