Masters Alliance Accelerated Revenue Growth at Younkers Department Stores

Accelerated Revenue Growth at Younker’s Department Stores

Organization Description

  • Fifty-two store department store chain enjoying decades of leadership and admiration.
  • Mix of new blood and satisfied longer-term managers, sales associates and others.
  • “Hall of Fame” sales associates [the top 25% in achieving individual sales volumes and exceeding individual sales targets by category] were alert to the situation and the opportunities.


  • Eroding market share and increased competition had caused profit deterioration and an attitude of retrenchment in the organization.
  • Senior Management expected the new CEO to find the answer and establish effective business strategies and priorities.
  • Organization was still thinking of itself as the “standard of excellence” and was unsure why the customer base was contracting.


  • Senior management met to compare their operational style/effectiveness against those of a variety of other successful companies.
  • A nucleus of managers steadfastly insisted on a new approach; a cultural revolution leading to a new Desired State.
  • A broadly based Customer Success Process was initiated and a new Customer Model was installed with the leadership of a council of “Hall of Fame” sales associates.
  • The initial effort was labeled 30-30 Star: “Greet any customer coming within 30 feet of your location within 30 seconds.”


  • Buy-in to customer focus throughout the organization, led by the “Hall of Fame” sales associates: “Not only can we do it, we can teach others how to do it. Just give us a chance.”
  • A common vision was agreed to and nearly achieved in one year: “Connect with every customer, every time.
  • The approximately 20% of sales associates who really did not enjoy dealing with people were reassigned to less public positions, much to their relief and personal satisfaction.
  • A quick spike up in customer ratings.
  • Organization accepted management challenge for end of the year sales volumes and greatly exceeded what management thought was possible.

Business Results

  • Improved greeting of customers by sales associates, results within one year:
Greet in 3 minutes or less            6%     74%
Greet in 30 seconds or less            4%     46%
  • Nearly a four times increase in “Hall of Fame” sales associate sales volume, within one year.
  • Market share gain of 6% within one year.

Customer Quotes

“Our new management team, with the customer strategies put into place, achieved comparable store sales increase of 9.7%.”

“Younkers was quoted in Stores Magazine as having the number one comparable stores’ sales increase that year, and we achieved a 1100% pretax profit improvement.”

“In just three months they helped us drive average customer response time from six hours to less than ten minutes.”

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