Critically assess the key segments (both products and market) that the company is dealing in, and develop a product/service proposition for these segments.
In terms of geographic segmentation, the main business segments of WHSmith are divided into Travel stores and High Street stores. The categories and range of its products are offered according to the size and pattern of each retail sector. Travel stores provide limited selection of products and tailored services which are suitable for a trip. In the sector of High Street retail, High Street stores offer not only food and impulse items but also four categories of products: newspapers and magazines, stationary (cards, gift wrap), books and entertainment.
Newspaper and magazines are identified as one of the most focal strategic business unit of WHSmith. By offering a variety of material titles, the magazine business has consistently outperformed its competitors. But the market share of this segment is strongly dominated by local newsagents as a result of geo-related factors. Popular bookseller is one of the images of WHSmith perceived by consumers. The wide range of books and the attractive price are two factors of its noticeable market share. In this segment children’s and adult’s books are distinguishable from other suppliers and mostly purchased by the middle-aged consumers. Stationery included gift wrap and greeting cards is another profitable category. The elements of this sector are highly associated with good quality, personalized service and caused- related marketing strategies. Offering an abundant choice of products with the distinctive and innovative features is the essence to attract the consumers with higher socio-economic status. The entertainment category comprises miscellaneous ranges of items which make it lack competitive advantages against other specialist suppliers.
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