Price Hikes on Toilet Paper and More

Price Hikes on Toilet Paper and More

May 27, 2021

Just when it seemed like the toilet paper crisis was finally under control, Kimberly Clark is making headlines again.

The second largest toilet paper manufacturer in the U.S. is planning hikes to its list prices beginning in June 2021.  This time, the primary disruptor is commodity prices rather than the pandemic hoarding that stripped shelves bare this time last year.


Video Spotlight: 


This post is based on the NBC News article, Toilet paper, diapers, and other consumer products are latest to see price hikes, by Ben Popken, April 1, 2021; the CBS News article,  Coronavirus pandemic forces sharp price hike on consumer goods, by Carter Evans, May 4, 2021; and the YouTube video in the Spotlight. Image source: eldar nurkovic/Shutterstock

Discussion Questions:

1. What products are slated for price hikes?

Guidance: Kimberly Clark reports that prices will increase for baby products such as diapers, adult care products, and Scott bathroom tissue.  The company’s product lines include Cottenelle, Viva, Kleenex, Kotex, and Huggies.

2.  How do the new issues faced by Kimberly Clark differ from those which occurred in Continue reading

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The Chicken Sandwich Wars Continue

The Chicken Sandwich Wars Continue

April 26, 2021

The Great Chicken Sandwich War began on August 12, 2019. Popeyes introduced its new chicken sandwich.  Chick-fil-A tweeted about its chicken sandwich being the original. Popeyes responded with, “Y’all good?”

This was the beginning of a social media war that brought a great deal of attention to Popeyes’ chicken sandwich.  Other restaurants joined in the social media war, including Wendy’s and Shake Shack.

The attention, along with outstanding initial reviews of the sandwich, led to long lines and shortages of chicken sandwiches at Popeyes.  Demand for its chicken sandwich was so great that Popeyes had to stop selling it to adjust its supply chain to the unanticipated demand.  The chicken sandwich didn’t return until November 3, 2019.

Popeyes’ sales have been boosted by the chicken sandwich, with system-wide sales increasing 19% in 2020.

With the popularity of the chicken sandwich, a variety of competitors have either launched a chicken sandwich, or developed a new chicken sandwich.  These competitors include KFC, Chick-fil-A, Church’s Chicken, Wendy’s, Zaxby’s, BurgerFi, Jack in the Box, Carl Jr., Sonic, Shake Shack, Boston Market, McDonald’s, and Burger King.

The most interesting addition is Taco Bell’s Crispy Chicken Sandwich Taco.  Limited distribution Continue reading

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Location Moved RH From Quirky to Luxury

Location Moved RH From Quirky to Luxury

March 25, 2021

Homeware store RH has built its brand on luxury multichannel retail offerings.

Location is key to establishing luxury. Historic buildings with large dramatic stores topped with upscale restaurants establish the brand identity.

RH also carries substantial inventory, as evidenced by large catalogs reminiscent of pre-internet days.


Video Spotlight: 


This post is based on the CNBC article, How once-quirky homeware store RH became a skyrocketing luxury stock, by Robert Ferris,  February 17, 2021, and the YouTube videos in the Spotlight. Image source: Shutterstock / AlexRoz

Discussion Questions:

1.  Describe how the servicescape at RH locations influences the service-profit chain.

Guidance: Students should observe that RH creates a leisurely shopping experience. The atmosphere is dramatic and luxurious.  The locations evoke a sense of history and elegance from days gone by.  The restaurants allow for a longer shopping day making a trip to RH an experience to enjoy rather than endure.

Students should be directed to consider how they would feel as employees at Continue reading

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