Objectives of the Research
The main objective of this paper/presentation is to identify and address the issues, strengths and weaknesses that could be seen in John Lewis Company—a big time retail company based in the United Kingdom.
There are a lot of issues about the retail sector in the UK and to narrow it down, we are going to use primarily, secondary data. We have only used published and reliable online sources in gathering the required data about the specific issue we identified by our team. Some of the resource that was utilized includes company history, information, journals, research paper from article databases and newspaper reports.
Change is the only constant thing in this world and we are going to relate this thought into the industry of retailing. This is basically why we have chosen the John Lewis Company as the subject (in our SWOT analysis). Now, the question we are trying to answer here is whether John Lewis Partnership will continue to flourish and dominate the retailing industry in the UK and possibly, in the international market in the future, amidst the past and recent recessions that had been the cause of slow economic growth of countries in the past years.
Aside from addressing such issue, we have also provided an accurate and updated SWOT analysis for the John Lewis Company. This is basically important because we want to know what type of company we are dealing with and whether the issue we identified is really significant for a retail company with vast profits and revenues. Plus, we could check whether the current issue could serve as a threat or weakness for the discussed company, since it is a retail company after all.
Current Issue in Retailing and Gathered Evidences
According to a recent report in Mintel (MOR, 2008), people are already planning to spend less on basically anything, especially whenever they go to retail stores. This is true not only in the United States but in almost all parts of the world. Economic struggles and other macro-environmental changes allegedly are culprits in such phenomenon.
So, retail companies, especially the biggest ones in the UK have to make necessary adjustments in order to continue with their processes and get past this new problem. Also, it has been predicted by experts that retail spending, will only rise up to 1.2 percent this coming year (MacDonald, 2011).
It would really spell disaster if big retail companies such as the John Lewis Partnership fail to address such. Another resource states that spending will be less in the coming year as consumer confidence tends to sink again due to fears of a double-dip recession (Caglar et al., 2011).
Possible Impacts on the Retail Sector
Given that most predictions state that there will be a significant slowdown for spending at retail stores in the coming year, this could cause significant decrease in sales for businesses operating in the retail industry. At some point, it also wouldn’t be recommended for businessmen to invest resources in putting up new retail businesses as the risks are simply too high, if we are going to base on the predictions by Mintel and Research Week.
Brief Overview about John Lewis Company
There are a lot of retail companies, small and big scale, operating in the United Kingdom and other nearby regions. One of the big-time retail companies renowned in the UK is the John Lewis Company. Currently, the company caters up to 45 thousand jobs for people. That’s a lot and it really makes sense because they have at least 28 full-time department stores, not including their partners, plus a web-store for online transactions and operations (JLC, 2011).
The company also has won a lot of awards in the past years and this is what actually caused their break and lots of other opportunities for growth. One of the latest awards they received is the Britain’s Favorite Retailer Award (John Lewis, 2011).
As a general overview about what type of company John Lewis Company is, they basically sell a lot of commodities but some products that made them famous include clothing, cosmetics, food, housewares and technically all sorts of stuffs you are going to see inside a department store. So, will they survive the upcoming challenges and predictions in the retail industry? Or will the company fall down, just like any other companies that have been smashed down by the past and most recent recessions.
Mintel Oxygen Reports. (2008). Americans Plan to Spend less at Retail This Year. Mintel Press Release. Accessed December 2011. Available at http://www.mintel.com/press-centre/press-releases/297/americans-plan-to-spend-less-at-retail-this-year-finds-mintel.
John Lewis Partnership. (2011). About Us Page. JLP. Accessed December 2011. Available at http://www.johnlewispartnership.co.uk/about.html.
John Lewis. (2011). Our Recent Awards. John Lewis. Accessed December 2011. Available at http://www.johnlewis.com/Help/Help.aspx?HelpId=4#corporateinfo.
MacDonald George. (2011). Retail Spending To Rise Only by 1.2% in 2012. Retail Week. Accessed December 2011. Available at http://www.retail-week.com/data/retail-spending-to-rise-only-12-in-2012/5032240.article.
Caglar, D., Hodson, N., Martin, K., & Tau, M. (2011). 2012 Retail Industry Perspective. Booz & Co. Accessed December 2011. Print.