Faculty Scholarly Dissemination Grants


Who’s Next? Succession Planning at Royal Beginnings Bridal Shop


Management Department


Seidman College of Business

Date Range





The 67-year-old owner of a bridal and formal wear shop in Michigans Upper Peninsula is eyeing retirement, so is beginning to contemplate alternatives for the continuance of her nearly 25-year-old business. All of the owners children (now married, and with families of their own) reside hundreds of miles from the store, and the oldest grandchild (a granddaughter) is 14 years old not a likely successor if the owner would like to retire within the next year or two. An expert seamstress and the owners right-hand girl (a long-time employee) has expressed no interest in acquiring the business. And although various local businesspeople have expressed an interest in Royal Beginnings, they lack the funds to buy it. Consequently, the owner is contemplating developing an advertising campaign to appeal to those outside the immediate area (i.e., in major metropolitan areas, such as Chicago, Detroit and Grand Rapids). For them, she feels, Michigans Upper Peninsula offers a beautiful landscape and a quieter, slower-paced and simpler lifestyle. Royal Beginnings focuses primarily on the growing population of Millennial brides (those turning 27 years before 2030); its customers were brand- and quality-conscious, sought unique products, and increasingly turned to online retailers to research gowns and make purchases. The case provides a general overview of retail operations within a small apparel (bridal and formal wear) shop, as well as insights into its market and the suppliers behavior. It focuses on succession planning in a business where there are no viable family successors. Note: I am also on NACRA's Board of Directors and am Associate Editor of Case Research Journal, which is published by NACRA. I will be participating in Board meetings for both groups at the conference.

Conference Name

North American Case Research Association Annual Conference

Conference Location

Austin, TX

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