Essays on Retail Marketing- (Retail Audit Analytical Memos) Assignment

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Country Road inserts his/her s Section Part A As far as assortment is concerned, Country Road offers few product categories (including apparel and home products) even though it offers several items within each category. For instance, under the category of women’s apparel, the company offers dresses, t-shirts, jeans, shorts, pants, shirts, sleepwear, jackets, knitwear and sweats (Country Road, 2014). The company offers narrow and deep merchandise assortment which allows the retailer to maintain a special image and offer good customer choice in product categories such as clothing, shoes and accessories for men, women and children along with home products.

Furthermore, it seems to offer HILO pricing while avoiding direct competition with other Australian apparel brands. Even though it offers seasonal discounts of up to 50% off, the company is not a discount retailer. Baker et al. have proposed a favorable in store environment as contributing positively towards store image (Ailawadi & Keller, 2004). Country Road offers a highly favorable physical design in stores with appropriate lighting, layout and ambience while providing superior quality products that reflect the Australian fashion and lifestyle that reinforces social identity of shoppers.

Country Road can follow the footsteps of retailers such as Amazon or Wal-Mart by gradually introducing brand extensions such as the extension of their clothing line for sportspersons or pregnant women. The company is committed to providing high quality products which is reflected in fairly high prices (although prices have decreased in recent years leading to an increase in sales volume). Part B The outlet of Country Road which is under consideration is that located on Pearson St, Charlestown NSW 2290. As per the macro-site analysis, the location of this store falls under the category of planned shopping centre as it is surrounded by other retail outlets such as those in the shopping centre.

As far as the micro-site analysis is concerned, Country Road, being a shopping goods retailer, has used the “destination” approach towards attracting shoppers rather than “on the way” approach. The company is able to attract customer traffic because of competitive clusters surrounding it as competitors such as Cotton On and Crossroads are located within the shopping centre. Country Road’s location here enables it to become a one-stop shop for family shopping specially since it caters to various segments including men, women and children as well as allowing greater access to transportation or shoppers.

Country Road’s outlet can best be thought of as a destination store since it has better assortment as well as a trading area compared to competitors. The criteria on location/evaluation checklist most relevant for Country Road are parking facilities, transportation, store composition, terms of occupancy and overall rating. Section 2: Part A This ad is part of Country Road’s store displays where the main objective is to increase short-term sales by offering lower price for shirts.

This form of sales promotion allows companies to offer “eye-catching” appeal while attempting to break the clutter (Hutt & Speh, 2013). Furthermore, since the promotion is visible on the store’s window, it is more likely to catch shoppers’ attention from far. This form of promotion simultaneously allows retailers such as Country Road to increase customer traffic and customers may be enticed to switch to Country Road brand owing to the temporary low prices of shirts as reflected in the ad.

The group of consumers being targeted includes price-conscious customers who may be lured into buying more shirts if prices are slashed. This form of promotion allows for impulse purchases (Hutt & Speh, 2013) and would therefore allow Country Road to increase its revenues owing to larger volume of shirts sold than it would sell otherwise at regular prices. Since the display is in-store, mannequins draped in the shirts are being used in the ad which enhance the visual appeal of the message being conveyed.

Spot lights have been used to enhance the visual appeal and catch customers’ attention from far. Country Road is not a discount retailer and traditionally has not been offering low prices. Rather it has been positioned to cater to mid-market rather than the mass audience. Therefore, the temporarily low prices as suggested in this promotion may go against the company’s image of being a specialty clothing retailer. This is consistent with theory which suggests sales promotion as having the potential disadvantage of damaging the retailer’s image. PART B Country Road uses a mix of promotions such as advertising and sales promotion as part of its overall efforts to persuade consumers into buying its products.

Advertising serves the purpose of informing consumers about potential new styles or seasonal varieties in clothing whereas sales promotion such as discounted prices and seasonal sales aim to provide immediate incentive to consumers to purchase the company’s products. Therefore, advertising allows Country Road to enable its customer gather information regarding possible styles and varieties stocked by the outlet during their information search phase in the buyer decision process.

This also allows consumers to compare Country Road’s offerings with competitors’ offerings and then evaluate alternatives leading to purchase intention and then decision. Pioneering the Australian style, Country Road tends to demonstrate Australian heritage in terms of the styling of its products. Country Road offers exceptional customer service as the staff employed at its stores tends to greet customers while helping them through the decision process and assisting them in all possible ways. Furthermore, the company has a popular Facebook page and strong presence on social media which allows customers to provide their feedback in the form of appreciation/satisfaction or complaints online which is visible to other customers.

Company respondents then respond to the customer’s complaints, queries and/or satisfied feedback, thereby presenting a favorable image of the company and its culture. The pricing strategy used by Country Road is competitive pricing whereby the company has recently lowered its prices keeping in view the competitors’ pricing. This allows the company maintain its revenue growth and gaining customer loyalty by providing value for money. Furthermore, the company occasionally offers sales promotion which allows it to temporarily generate revenue from increased customer traffic.

This could be very lucrative during off-seasons as the stock of the previous season is put on sale. For instance, stock from winter season could be put on a discount in the summer season and vice versa which allows Country Road to offload its inventory that would have otherwise been wasted. Furthermore, the pricing strategy is in line with the company’s specialty store image as prices are neither too low to damage the company’s upscale reputation nor too high to drive customers away from its products. References Ailawadi, K.

L., & Keller, K. L. (2004). Understanding retail branding: conceptual insights and research priorities. Journal of Retailing, 331-342. Country Road. (2014). Country Road: About Us. Retrieved from Country Road: http: //www. Country Road. com. au/information/105114 Hutt, & Speh, T. (2013). Business Marketing Management: B2B. Mason: South-Western/Cengage Learning.

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