Forecasting Demand in the Longaberger Company

Mentzer, John T.; Kent, John L.
June 1999
Marketing Management;Summer99, Vol. 8 Issue 2, p46
This article discusses how accurately forecasting market demands challenge all levels of management at Longaberger Co. The Longaberger Company is known primarily for their high-quality baskets, based on the handcrafted baskets born in 1918 when entrepreneur John Wendell Longaberger took a job with the Dresden Basket Factory. In 1936, after learning the trade for nearly two decades, Longaberger purchased the Dresden Basket Factory for $1,900 and renamed it the Ohio Ware Company. In 1972, the popularity of imported baskets caused Longaberger's son, Dave, to reexamine the handwoven basket market. With that, the company was reborn. Today, the Longaberger Company is represented throughout the United States by more than 42,000 independent Longaberger sales consultants. They not only make baskets, but also pottery, dinnerware, wrought iron and home decor accessories. With 1997 sales of more than $611 million, 7.7 million baskets sold and a sales growth of 17.5% over 1996, accurate sales forecasting presented serious challenges to the company. INSETS: How Sales Forecasting Technique Can Work Together;How Do We Know the Sales Forecast is Accurate.


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