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It is important to understand in great depth on how your chosen non-domestic retailer implements its retail mix in relation to each element of the retail mix Your focus should be on merchandise range

It is important to understand in great depth on how your chosen non-domestic retailer implements its retail mix in relation to each element of the retail mix. Your focus should be on merchandise range and assortment, marketing communications, store layout, design and visual merchandising, customer service and facilitating services, store formats and locations, pricing strategy and tactics.This understanding can only be developed from detailed observations undertaken during store visits and through analysis of in-store and printed/broadcast marketing communications. 2. It is important to note that your work is not merely a description of each element of the retail mix, but rather seeks to analyse the contribution of each element to sustainable competitive advantage. Therefore, you are required to highlight the strengths and weaknesses of each element of the retail mix in maintaining a sustainable competitive advantage. 3. According to Crawford and Mathews (2001) retailers compete for target customers on five major factors: - The price for the benefits offered; - Service level; - Product selection (width and depth of merchandise line); - Location; and - Customer experience (positive feelings and behaviours generated in the purchase process). They must dominate on one key factor and differentiate themselves on at least one secondary factor within their primary competitive set. 4. Levy and Weitz (2007) described sustainable competitive advantage as “an advantage over the competition that is not easily copied and thus can be maintained over a long period of time.” 5. According to Johnson and Scholes (2008) competitive advantage is built on core competences of skills and abilities by which resources are deployed through an organisation’s activities and processes in ways that are difficult for competitors to imitate. 6. Resource-Advantage Theory (Hunt and Morgan 1996) argued that firms gain competitive advantage by offering superior value to customers and/or having lower operating costs. Advantage is based on tangible and/or intangible resources. Under the dynamic environment of retail demand, resources must be applied to create changing retail mixes in order to accommodate changing consumer preferences,so as to maintain the sustainable competitive advantage. 7. Porter (1985) proposed three generic strategies by which a business might achieve competitive advantage: overall cost leadership, differentiation and focus. 8. Bowman (1995) proposed “market facing” generic strategies based on price and perceived benefits: no frills, low price, hybrid, differentiation (with and without price premium) and focused differentiation. 9. Retailing strategies represent the different retail value equations of different segments of shoppers. For example, “no frills” customers are primarily concerned with price and emphasise functionality over factors such as customer service and retail atmospherics. If retailers pursue price based strategies, then the competitive advantage might be sustained by developing capabilities that deliver cost advantages to support price advantages over the competition. On the other hand, differentiation strategies might create sustainable advantage through difficulties of imitation or through intangible assets such as brand, image or reputation (Johnson, Scholes and Whittington, 2008).

Jul 27 2020 View more View Less

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