Company Q is a local grocery store chain who does not have their eye on the ball concerning business ethics. Although none of their recent decisions are criminal or morally corrupt in the broader definition of ethics (Merriem-Webster 2014), however, regarding business ethics where Company Q could be focused on increasing community awareness through positive outreach, and decreasing negativity through positive community evolvement (Gruble 2011), they have chosen instead to concentrate inwardly by focusing on profits and the bottom line.
Although this focus is necessary in any business model, a massive disregard for the community that Company Q operates in will negatively effect not only the way this small chain is seen within the community it operates in, but also on the profits which the company seems to be laser-focused on.
Although Company Q’s recent decision to close several stores in high-crime areas due to reported loss of profits may not be an unnecessary business decision, community-based organizations, like Company Q, have a corporate responsibility to the communities they operate in. To abandon these areas could reflect negatively on the consumers who shop at Company Q stores in these higher-crime areas.
Responding to consumer requests for organic and health conscious options even in small quantities was a positive move for Company Q. However, only offering high-margin goods to benefits Company Q more than the consumers who desire these products. If prices are so high that Company Q isolates these healthier options to only those who can afford them, consumers will go to Company Q’s competition for broader selection and more reasonable prices.
Company Q has also denied charitable contributions to area food banks opting for disposal rather than donation of damaged and outdated products. Although some merit can be given to this decision based on Company Q’s concerns over fraud and losses created from a food donation program, the reaction of the community and the press within the community should also be considered.
In conclusion, Company Q provided consumer-requested health foods, but only products with very high margins and in doing so isolated more cost-conscious consumers. Company Q not only closed it’s stores in higher crime areas, which are traditionally lower income areas (Trello 2014), but also refused to donate goods to local food banks. This combination of decisions could seriously isolate broad sections of Company Q’s consumer base and create a negative effect on its community. Company Q has not paid enough attention to the possible community reaction to their business decisions which could be construed as poor business ethics.
TASK B - RECOMMENDATIONS
Although Company Q has made some missteps recently which could negatively affect not only the way they are seen in their community but could also lead to negative effects on the bottom line due to consumer loss, Company Q is not a lost cause and can quickly and easily make moves to create a more positive effect on their local community.
As stated in Task A, Company Q runs the risk of isolating large portions of its community by making their stores less desirable to cost-conscious and price-restricted consumers. Creating a charitable program with a local food bank would be a good first step to help give back to the less fortunate in their community. Donations of dented cans and other damaged non-perishables could be a cost-efficient first step into this type of program. Another option could be to promote donations through consumers. Asking for $1 at checkout toward the benefit of a local food bank could raise enough to buy donations without cutting into profits. Company Q could also give discounts to consumers who contribute money or goods to their food bank program. With the proper amount of employee training, better hiring practices and with proper inventory management, Company Q’s concerns about profit loss through theft…