Aggro Stores is a 30 year old cooperative (not for profit) business based in a remote island community of less than 10,000 residents. The original purpose of the business was to supply agricultural products such as animal feed and farm equipment to the mainly rural population of the island, which collectively set the business up for that purpose. The business is run by a general manager who has a small staff of five people to support the operations; mainly by taking calls, maintaining and organising stocks, serving the customers and keeping the accounts. Recently a new manager has been appointed after the dismissal of the old manager for undisclosed reasons. The manager reports to the board of the cooperative, but has reasonable autonomy in the way that he wishes to run the business. On taking up the appointment the new manager is dismayed to find that the business is not, as he had been told, stable and profitable, but is in fact in a poor state after years of underinvestment and neglect. Within a few weeks he has identified that the store carries a very limited range of stock and that stock levels of those lines that are carried are low. In addition, some lines of stock are aging and close to obsolete. Customer footfall is also low as there is not much to buy in the store apart from the agricultural supplies. There is significant competition on the island from a road haulage contractor who brings in supplies of animal feed on the trucks that would otherwise be empty when they return to the island after shipping out the crops and animals that are the island’s main outputs. Further competition comes from a larger haulage company on a neighbouring island, which is also bringing animal feed back in its empty trucks. The animals (mainly sheep) that leave the island are intended for meat markets on the mainland. Most of the farmers on the island are part of a quality assured meat scheme that increases the value of their animals. As part of the scheme they are required to buy their animal feed from a supplier that is also part of the quality assurance scheme, to ensure that the feed is being of a good standard and is being kept in a safe manner. The facilities to keep the feed in this manner are costly and lead to the feed being more expensive than that supplied by the haulage contractors. The manager is aware that many of the farmers are buying their feed from the haulage contractors, despite that being in breach of the terms of the quality assurance scheme. The store buildings are large, but underutilised and in poor repair. Purpose built when the store opened 30 years ago, they are suffering from rot in the roof, the drainage is no longer up to standard and the car park is full of holes and is constantly full of mud from the high rainfall in the region. The manager has identified that the roof is unsafe in places and that the drainage is on breach of local environmental regulations. In addition, the interior decoration of the store is very poor and it is an unpleasant place both to work in and to visit.
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