Bid Week Shirts: Tees R Us

9 Pages Posted: 21 Oct 2008

See all articles by Sherwood C. Frey

Sherwood C. Frey

University of Virginia - Darden School of Business

Lucien L. Bass

University of Virginia


Taylor Taggart, a sales rep for Tees R Us, received earlier in the afternoon an inquiry and specifications for a rush order of T-shirts for Alpha Sigma Eta sorority, a regular customer of Tees R Us. Having now confirmed production availability and estimated costs, Taggart was prepared to return Darcy Elliot's phone call and hopefully close the deal—there was more urgency than usual to secure contracts because the order volume had fallen below budget.



Rev. Apr. 27, 2011

Bid Week Shirts: Tees R Us

Taylor Taggart had worked as a customer service representative for Tees R Us for several years and was well aware of the market challenges facing the company. Increased competition and higher costs had made it difficult for the firm to keep its production schedule full and its costs down. The winter months were usually a slow time for T-shirt orders, but orders this year were far below expectations. In an effort to utilize available production capacity, customer service reps were under pressure to book as many orders as possible. At the same time, they were discouraged from giving excessive discounts and were instructed to maintain a minimum profit margin of 15%. Although these management directives seemed conflicting to Taggart, there was little she could do about it. She hoped that the recent inquiry from Darcy Elliot of Alpha Sigma Eta at the University of Virginia would not only result in a sale, but also provide an addition to her month-end incentive bonus, which was linked to the total revenue of contracts with margins in excess of the 15% minimum.

Tees R Us

was a Florida-based company that specialized in telephone sales of thousands of screen-printed and embroidered custom goods, including apparel, cups, key chains, stickers, and towels. As a leader in the fragmented customized-merchandise industry, the company had annual revenues of more than $ 125 million, 70% of which came from the sale of shirts. Tees R Us sold to thousands of organizations across the country. Its client base included sports teams, community service groups, college fraternities and sororities, professional organizations, and restaurants. The company employed its own graphic design and production teams, as well as customer service reps who were responsible for both sales and client relationship management. Although annual shirt volume had grown to more than 5,000,000 units, Tees R Us was proud of its ability to offer personalized service, competitive pricing, quality workmanship, and on-time delivery.

. . .

Keywords: Negotiation

Suggested Citation

Frey, Sherwood C. and Bass, Lucien L., Bid Week Shirts: Tees R Us. Darden Case No. UVA-QA-0700, Available at SSRN:

Sherwood C. Frey (Contact Author)

University of Virginia - Darden School of Business ( email )

P.O. Box 6550
Charlottesville, VA 22906-6550
United States


Lucien L. Bass

University of Virginia ( email )

1400 University Ave
Charlottesville, VA 22903
United States

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