Question

Convenient Food Markets (CFM) is a chain of more than 100 convenience stores. The company has faced increasing competition over the past several years, mainly because department store chains have been adding grocery departments and gas stations have been adding full-service convenience stores to their locations. As a consequence, the company has lost market share recently to competitors. The company has set a target minimum rate of return for its stores of 22%. John Nicholson is the district manager of the 17 CFM stores in Bailingham. Nicholson’s district happens to include the original store, the first in the CFM chain, which opened more than 40 years ago. In fact, Nicholson’s first summer job was as a stock boy at the original store in the year that it opened. After university, he returned to CFM as a store manager, has worked his way up to district manager, and plans to retire in about five years. CFM leases store buildings, investing significantly in the interior design, display, and decoration. The original CFM store remains profitable, in part because the fixtures and fittings are almost fully depreciated. While the company has invested in significant leasehold improvements in other newer stores, little has changed in the original store since opening day.
While Nicholson has a sense of nostalgia for the original store, in reality, sales volumes have been falling and foot traffic has declined significantly in recent years. Fewer people are moving to the neighbourhood, as more and more people are moving to the suburbs. All 17 stores in the district report to Nicholson, who is evaluated on the basis of average ROI for the stores in his district. For this calculation, the net book value of investment in furnishings and fixtures represents the operating assets of each of the stores. Operating income after depreciation on leasehold improvements represents the numerator for this calculation. Nicholson is considering a proposal from a developer to open a new store in a newly developed residential neighbourhood. The developer has completed about 60% of the new homes planned for this neighbourhood and will complete the other 40% within the next 18 months. Due to limited capital to invest, Nicholson realizes that opening the new store would mean closing down an old store, and the original store seems to be the best candidate. To aid in his decision, Nicholson has collected the following information:
Required:
Take on the role of an internal auditor at CFM. Assume that your task is to evaluate the effectiveness of the performance evaluation system for CFM district managers. In this capacity, write a short memo to the CFO of CFM to discuss your findings. In the memo, you should indicate whether you believe Nicholson will want to open the new store, whether your analysis indicates that Nicholson should open the new store, and why or why not. You should also include your observations about the effect of the performance evaluation system on the decisions made by CFM district managers and what might be done to improve it.


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  • CreatedJuly 08, 2015
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