International Journal of Business and Social Science

ISSN 2219-1933 (Print), 2219-6021 (Online) DOI: 10.30845/ijbss

Wandering Away from Service Quality: Vagabond Boutique
Weronika Kucharska, Herbert Sherman

This is an anthropological field-based instructional case written for students in an introductory fashion-marketing course, although it is also applicable to a foundation-marketing course in an undergraduate or graduate business program or a small business management course. The case centers around the detrimental impact that negative word of mouth (NWM) may have on a small business, and how such unfavorable publicity can be avoided. The case focuses on Katya, a sales associate at Vagabond Boutique (a small vintage clothing shop), and the poor sales service of her fellow employees that led to several negative Yelp reviews and thereby influenced the boutique’s market positioning. The analysis that follows posited that had the owners of the boutique had more time to focus on the employee training, and then such negative promotion would not have come to fruition. The analysis focuses on three theories; internal marketing, service quality, as well as brand differentiation, and how such theories could be successfully implemented and in turn alleviate the poor sales service that tarnished the image of Vagabond Boutique.

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