Small Fish(er) In A Big Pond

For my second paper, I decided I would look at a company who exemplifies corporate responsibility. One that comes to mind from mention in the news and magazines, is Eileen Fisher. Eileen Fisher is a high-end retail company that is well known for their simple design aesthetic and emphasis on social consciousness. The company’s mission statement is the following: “Inspire simplicity, creativity and delight through connection and great design. Have our mission drive our business and our profitability foster our mission.” This inspiring phrase has been the underlying ideology used throughout the company.

The most notorious aspect of their company has been the investment in their employees. At Eileen Fisher, they stress the importance of real people within the company and allowing people to not only bring their professional strengths to the table but their personal skills as well. Collaborating both of these skills, you can make a tremendous impact on customer satisfaction and the atmosphere of the workplace. The Eileen Fisher culture emphasizes the value of each employee and their indispensable function in the workplace. Employees are inspired through a welcoming atmosphere and meaningful benefits. Their employee benefits are one of many reasons that make their corporate strategy so unique. Eileen Fisher has been placed on the Great Places to Work list for the past 4 years.

Another new program consistent with their emphasis on social consciousness and responsibility is their recycling program. The program is called Green Eileen – boutique stores that sell only used, already worn Eileen Fisher clothes, donated by customers and employees. At Green Eileen stores, prices are very affordable. Those donating not only get a tax write off, they also get a $5 gift card for every item donated. Green Eileen gives back to community groups, women and girls initiatives in particular.

With this being said, it is clear Eileen Fisher would be considered a stakeholder as opposed to shareholder lead company. However, it would be interesting to see if there are any negatives associated with an overwhelming amount of stakeholder ideology driving corporate strategy. It would be interesting to interview employees to see if work productivity is at all affected. It appears however, Eileen Fisher’s corporate strategy has made their business a small fish(er) in a big pond of unethical firms.

Eileen Fisher adds a personal touch to Green Eileen stores discussing the positives of shopping recycled clothing.


3 responses to “Small Fish(er) In A Big Pond

  1. This sounds like an amazing business plan! Encouraging people to donate their products back to the retailer where they can then be resold is a great idea. For one set of clothes, Eileen Fisher gets twice the number of customers and because the stores give out coupons, they entice people to come back and spend more money. People also like to feel as though they are doing good, so donating clothes is an easy thing to do. By keeping the clothes within the retail stores, Eileen can be sure that all customers get the same experience (i.e. they don’t have to go to a grungy thrift shop). This sounds like a win-win business plan in terms of making money and garnering customer loyalty. I sort of wish I had thought of it.

  2. Eileen Fisher would be a great company for you to further research for paper 2 if you wanted to take a look at a company with inspiring ethics! They’re really operating to benefit all of their stakeholders both inside and outside of the company. Have they always operated in such a socially responsible way? Or was there something that caused them to reevaluate their business plan? Either way, it sounds like they are doing a great job!

  3. I think this is an awesome idea! Eileen Fisher is the epitome of a company in business to benefit their stakeholders. How was the company started? I think this would be a great company to show how stakeholder lead companies can in fact succeed.

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