Case | HBS Case Collection | April 2005

Handleman Company

by Janice H. Hammond and Kevin Dolan


Describes the organization and operations of the Handleman Co., an intermediary in the music industry that buys recorded music and resells it to mass retailers such as Wal-Mart. The company provides distribution, inventory management, retail merchandising, and category management to its retail customers. It differentiates itself by keeping track of trends in the music industry and ensuring that the trends in music popularity translate to the appropriate assortments in each retail store. Recounts the changes that Handleman has made in organizational structure, processes, and system to support its business. Describes the challenges facing the president of the entertainment division in light of increasing product proliferation, price pressure, the need for growth, and the advent of online music.

Keywords: Business Organization; Music Entertainment; Cost Management; Growth and Development; Business or Company Management; Distribution Channels; Problems and Challenges; Risk and Uncertainty; Online Technology; Value Creation; Music Industry;


Hammond, Janice H., and Kevin Dolan. "Handleman Company." Harvard Business School Case 605-024, April 2005.