Case | HBS Case Collection | November 2004 (Revised September 2007)

The Mitchell Family and Mitchells/Richards

by Amy C. Edmondson, John A. Davis, Corey B. Hajim and Kelly Mulderry


Describes a small, luxury retail chain's operational sophistication achieved through the use of technology and "high-touch" customer service. A family-run business, Mitchells has built its success with a customer service strategy known internally as "hugging." The term is deceptively simple. The firm's true success lies in its blend of a warm, other-oriented corporate culture, sophisticated information technology, and an effective family business structure. It is currently considering further expansion for future generations. A rewritten version of an earlier case.

Keywords: Family Business; Customer Relationship Management; Knowledge Management; Service Delivery; Organizational Culture; Expansion; Information Technology; Retail Industry;


Edmondson, Amy C., John A. Davis, Corey B. Hajim, and Kelly Mulderry. "The Mitchell Family and Mitchells/Richards." Harvard Business School Case 605-047, November 2004. (Revised September 2007.)