| HBS Case Collection
Polaroid Corporation: European Distribution System
Describes distribution operations in Polaroid Europe. In the late 1980s, Polaroid senior management in the United States proposed moving from a system of 12 decentralized warehouses to a centralized distribution system in which all inventory for European retailers would be held in Polaroid's Dutch distribution center. Most subsidiary general managers opposed the proposal, as did Polaroid's European marketing organization. Describes several distribution alternatives Polaroid considered in 1990 including: 1) direct distribution to retailers through Europe from the Dutch distribution center, 2) hiring a third-party logistics organization to take over all of Polaroid's European distribution activities, and 3) establishing regional satellite distribution centers. Provides an overview of changes in the European retailing and distribution industries at the beginning of the 1990s, with a specific focus on the diverse service expectations of retailers in different European countries and of different retail segments.
Problems and Challenges;
Consumer Products Industry;