7.0 SWOT analysis217.1 Strengths217.2 Weaknesses227.3 Opportunities227.4 Threats228.0 Conclusion239.0 Recommendation23References24Appendices251.0 Background Every business is operating for one almost obvious reason and which is to make profits and create value for the investors’ money. However, this is not a guarantee for all business as the results depends on a number of factors and most important of which is the business strategy that the business applies in order to make impact in the market by serving the customers interests in the best way possible (Mark, 2012). In the contemporary business environment, a number of factors have come into play and which warrantee the need for the business to employee different business models and strategies that can help win in the competitive environment.
Some of the factors that have come to impact on the business environment and that have resulted into change of business tactics include globalisation, technological advancements and expectations of the shareholders as well as changing demands of the customers. It is from this point that a business strategy is expected to be put in place as a measure to help the business to counter any form of pressure and also help it survive in a competitive environment and ensure its long-term sustainability (Berman and Evans 2009).
In the current business environment, the performers are always ranked highly in terms excellence in their business strategies which create impressive shareholder value. It is from this angle that this research is expected to comprehensively cover the concept of strategy in business with reference to two UK companies namely Harvey Nichols and Liberty UK. 1.1 Terms of referenceThe aim of this report is to present a detailed analysis of the concept of strategy in business and how it is applied in the retail sector in ensuring that an organization has a competitive advantage in the market.
This is particularly important in helping the managers in the retail sector, to understand the importance of strategies in helping the business ensure effectiveness and efficiency in delivery some of the best services and products to the market. The case of the Harvey Nichols and Liberty UK, will be used in the study. 1.2 Study objectives To establish the overall position of the UK’s retail sector in the country’s economy To establish the target markets for the two retail companies and their competitive positioning.
To assess different strategies used by the retail companies in ensuring their competitiveness in the market. To establish the various factors that influence the implementation of the respective strategies2.0 UK’s retail sector In overall despite the retail sector contributing substantially to the UK economy, in the recent past, the trend in terms of performance has not been so impressive. This is partly attributed to the hard economic times which had reduced the spending on some of the luxury commodities by the market (Mark, 2012).
In general, like many developed countries, the economy of the United Kingdom has been in trouble following the world economic recessions and the eurozone crisis which has hit many of the European countries. This is what has led into the decline in the overall performance of the retail industry in the United Kingdom to the record lowest in 2011 since 1995. The sector has a whole, has real been hit hard by hard economic times.
The recent figures are showing that as compared to total sales in December 2011, the total sales in December 2012 only increased by 0.3 percent. This is an insignificant change and this implies that even though the sector is well advanced in, still spending is almost constant depicting how the economic times have been hard (Mark, 2012). In 2012, since 2008, the worst had happened in the UK retail industry. In December, the online sales fall below what was witnessed in 2008. This is a period that has been described by the analysts’ as “a flat end to a flat year. ” This is after sales had only increased by 0.3 percent as opposed to 2.2 the same period in 2011 (Mark, 2012).