Case | HBS Case Collection | November 2003 (Revised May 2005)

Beverly Stern: Retail Executive

by H. Kent Bowen and Alison Berkley Wagonfeld


Beverly Stern has been a successful operating manager in three prominent retail chains: GAP, Pottery Barn, and Williams-Sonoma. Stern's last job at a start-up did not meet her expectations, and she must now decide what to do next. She has an offer to start a new retail division of Gymboree. The case allows students to understand the career of a successful "merchandising" executive and to determine key personal characteristics and skills that support a successful career. Contains examples of what Stern learned as she progressed in her career and provides insights into the professional challenges that would be criteria for job choice.

Keywords: Personal Development and Career; Experience and Expertise; Personal Characteristics; Jobs and Positions; Decisions; Retail Industry;


Bowen, H. Kent, and Alison Berkley Wagonfeld. "Beverly Stern: Retail Executive." Harvard Business School Case 604-018, November 2003. (Revised May 2005.)