Description, Mission Statement, Goals, Competitive Advantage and SWOT Analysis for WHSmith Books
WHSmith is one of the largest book retailer chain stores in the United Kingdom, operating with just about nine hundred High Street stores and five hundred other sales points in the country with the strong focus on the intuitional sales to the their customer by exposing the products through the windows. Merchandising plays tremendous role in the developed sales proposition of WHSmith and the company seem to reach impressive results. The company started its operations from the small store on the railways station and have grown to one of the largest retail chains with High Street, rail stations and airport stores around the United Kingdom. According to the internal reporting of the company WH Smith’s High Street stores experienced unprecedented profit results in 2011. In addition, as based on the same document company profit increased by 4.3%. At the same time the reality over the last five years reflects significant downfall in the total sales volumes and revenue of the company. This indicates the challenges and gaps in the strategic organizational planning that could be further explored on the basis of the Strength, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats (SWOT). Mission statement of WHSmith is defined as follows:
“Our business goal is to rebuild our position as Britain’s most popular stationer, bookseller and newsagent. We strive to be an outward facing, customer-focused, store-responsive organisation that delivers on our promises.” (WHS, 2011) The vision of the company is focused around the understanding of the customer needs and predcting their expectations. WHSmith positions itself in variour customer segments and acts as a provider of instant “reading and entertainment solutions” for its clients. The strategy of WHS includes diversification of the product portfolio to complement the needs of the customers, such as snacks, drinks, games, journals and magazines. |Strengths:|Weaknesses|
|S1: One-stop-shopping solution for entertainment.S2: Large scale of operations of WHS allowed the company to increase entry barriers for small competitors.S3: Different store proposition that captures bigger market (High Street, station and airport stores, kiosks).|W1: Lack of customers’ brand loyalty due to undifferentiated product.W2: Lack of differentiation in in-store environment. WHS rather follows its competitors than sets the tone.W3: Management style is very authoritative that takes the authority from the individual stores to enhance customer in-store experience.| Opportunities|O1: Impulse shopping is becoming more and more popular among middle and high class customers due to higher purchase capability.O2: Developing Online shopping market|Strategy: S1/O1- as the purchase power of impulse customer is increasing, WHSMith should further foster its merchandising activities to increase the share of impulse sales.S2/O2 – with the growth of online shopping a lot of customers will prefer to make purchase at one store. In order to capture this opportunity, WHSmith should widen the product range to attract customers with associated products.|Strategy: W1/O1 – impulse shopping apriori means lack of loyalty. With the lack of differentiated proposition, WHSmith should foster creation of innovative store environment to gain impulse clients in stores and enhance its web site sales through user-friendly and interactive web site.W1-2/O1 – to leverage the market challenges and capture the opportunities of the growing online segment, WHSmith should look at decentralization of the management and giving more authority to stores themselves to create effective in-store environment.| Threats|T1: Changing shopping habits of average customer in the UK....