Oxfam is a charity dedicated to the alleviation and permanent solution to poverty and injustice. With operations in 98 countries it is truly multinational. This plan is a continuation of a marketing audit based on a charity shop by Chu (2011) The charity shop is located on the Scarborough high street. It operates mostly off donations from the public, selling second hand goods, third party gifts and the occasional new item. Its target markets include, the religious, those aged over 56, the high income earners and the university students. The store operates amidst many of its competitors with numerous charity shops in and around the area.
Oxfam is in the third sector which refers to charities and voluntary organisations, a growing sector seeing increases everywhere from a 23% increase in the amount of employees from 1999 to 2008, (AGCAS, 2010) and an increase of about 10,000 charities a year. (Hankinson, 2000) Scarborough is a quiet seaside town that turns into a buzzing tourist resort during the summer months; with two quiet, safe beaches, a plethora of shops and arcades, tourism is the second biggest industry in Scarborough generating about £380 million a year. (Scarborough Borough Council, 2004) The population has seen a massive increase in the amount of age eligible higher education students, registering an increase of around 49.8 percent from 2001-2009 (North Yorkshire County Council). Scarborough is also considered an old people’s town because it plays home to about 6% more people aged over 60 than the national average. Source: North Yorkshire county council
Politically Oxfam is having mixed success with the current hung parliament of the UK with the Liberal Democrats and the Conservatives sharing power. Neither party has any direct agenda that would hinder Oxfam, but the projected public spending cuts would affect the grants given to charities like Oxfam meaning they have less money at their disposal and would have to rely increasingly upon donations. This is especially worrying as it was revealed in the audit as a potential weakness that Oxfam’s funding is coming increasingly from the government and not from philanthropy. Possible changes to the very favourable charities act of 2006 would also make business more difficult for Oxfam, under this statute they enjoy tax concessions which allows more of the profit to go to the charity. Current economical issues also implies that fewer donations might be available to Oxfam especially as Scarborough is already a low level household income area in comparison to its neighbours in North Yorkshire (Fig 2) though this might only have minimal effects because as discussed within the audit, giving has been stable over the past thirty years. The current trends in the market show increasing internet use with over 30 million adults accessing the internet daily in 2010, almost doubling in four years, this could imply a shift in the mass of the potential target market moving online. The emergence of online marketplaces such as ebay was identified as a potential opportunity for the shop to spread its wings far beyond the shores of Scarborough with 160,000 registered businesses, 100 high street retailers and over 90 million monthly users of its UK site. (eBay, 2011) Though the charity shop is in a prime location on the high street, it’s always at risk of its potential customers choosing one of the numerous substitutes available only seconds away from them. Its product range is large and very diverse and with the emergence of third party gifts, described by Kemp et al, as “one in which a gift donor pays for a good or service which is delivered to a beneficiary, but the donation is also received as a gift by the recipient, who does not see or use the actual gift”. (2011)
Knowing your target audience is everything, the more you know about your target audience the easier you would be able to communicate with them....
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