On a trip to Italy in 2003, Julia Berger discovered a store that sold beautiful, custom-embroidered bed linens. Berger, who had a degree in textiles, purchased a small inventory and carried it home in her suitcase. She sold $5,000 of linens out of the trunk of her car, and in 2005, she opened a retail store in Greenwich, Connecticut. The business prospered: a year later, her store was taking in more than $1 million in revenue; her products were featured in magazines; and she had expanded her offerings to products of her own design, most of which were manufactured in Italy. But by 2007, the appreciating euro was forcing her to raise prices, sales and profits were down, and her small staff seemed unable to function without her. In this case, students determine how Berger can improve the way she manages her business.
Case ID: 100412