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Essays on House of Fraser Plc - Trading Philosophy, Retail Mix, Retail Strategies, Criteria Important for Consumers Shopping in Departmental Stores Case Study

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The paper “ House of Fraser Plc - Trading Philosophy, Retail Mix, Retail Strategies, Criteria Important for Consumers Shopping in Departmental Stores” is an excellent example of a case study on marketing. In recent decades, with the onset of supermarkets and super malls, the concept of retail management or retail marketing has undergone a sea change. There is now a definite distinction between marketing and retailing. While Marketing involves identifying, anticipating and satisfying customer requirements efficiently and profitably, the Retailing activity involves the direct contact with the customers via the sale of goods and services to consumers for personal, family or household use.

It is also defined as an important link in the marketing distribution system that makes goods & services available to customers. Retail Marketing thus involves retail strategy, Target market or market segments and the necessary retail mix being used by the retailers. Of these, the retail mix is the most important component and can be defined as the combination of factors retailers use to satisfy customer needs and influence their purchase decisions (Levy and Weitz 1995, p. 22).

These factors are (but not limited to) store location, pricing, merchandise variety, and assortment, promotion and layout, customer service and personal selling. In the following sections, we will be looking at this concept in more detail with particular reference to House of Fraser – a leading retailer of designer wear in the United Kingdom. Background: House of Fraser PLC is one of the United Kingdom's leading retailer of designer brands with nearly 2,000 of them on their shelves, including a number of popular in-house brands featuring the company's own designs. House of Fraser operates 61 department stores (by July 2007) throughout the United Kingdom under a variety of signage, including 15 House of Fraser and six Rack hams stores.

The group was founded in Glasgow in 1849. Over the years House of Fraser has purchased a number of famous stores, such as Jenners of Edinburgh, Howells of Cardiff, David Evans of Swansea, the Beatties department stores, and Harrods of Knightsbridge. House of Fraser's average store size stands at around 100,000 square feet, although its largest stores reach more than 300,000 square feet. The company sells a full range of home furnishings in most of its stores (its smaller stores have fewer departments), including furniture, appliances, housewares, beauty, electric, clothes and linens, but clothing--and especially women's clothing-- make up the bulk of its sales.

Principal Subsidiaries are House of Fraser (Stores) Ltd. ; House of Fraser (Finance) Ltd; BL Fraser Ltd (50%). Its turnover for the 52 weeks ending 28 January 2006 was £ 701.9 million. Profits were £ 22.3 million before tax and £ 18.2 million after-tax. Its Principal Competitors are Arcadia Group Plc; Debenhams Plc; Harrods Holdings; James Beattie Plc; Marks and Spencer Plc; N Brown Group Plc; New Look Plc; Next Plc; Otto Versand Gmbh & Co.; Selfridges Plc.

(Funding Universe, 2007) Trading Philosophy: House of Fraser intends to be the number one choice of customers and prides itself on giving an overall shopping experience to its customers which focuses on Total Customer Satisfaction. The company looks at mergers and acquisitions as a key strategy in the current challenging retail environment. Analysis of its Retail Mix: Location wise -- House of Fraser always distributes in the high street around a lot of shopping malls.

It is very striking and attracts many customers. With around 61 stores all over the country, it has stores that are conveniently located at all the major and important areas.    

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