Strategic Management Analysis
In this contemporary marketplace, it is required for the business organizations to integrate business strategies and marketing efforts to maximize the chances of success in the market. For this, they involve in strategic management to frame new strategies as per the business environment to meet the current and future requirements of the customers efficiently (Eden and Ackermann, 2013). Therefore, this report focuses on the analysis of the strategic management of New Look Group; a UK based Fashion Company, to provide the understanding of trends and competitiveness in the UK fashion industry. It also focuses on internal capabilities and resources of the firm for determining its strategic fit and provides suggestions to ensure the sustainable competitive advantage in the market.
Performance at the strategic level:
New Look is one of the leading fast fashion brands that operate through multichannel in the value-fashion segment of clothing and footwear market in the UK and has a growing position internationally. It is evident that the firm focuses on differentiation strategy to respond quickly to trends and deliver value for money and newness to the customers (New Look, 2017). It provides the wide range of products including apparel, footwear and accessories that are designed based on age appeal and global relevance. The adoption of this strategy helps it to achieve its mission to be the market leader in the industry with high customer satisfaction by addressing the demand for ever faster deliver times and vision to be the chosen brand for an inspiring accessible fashion experience.
The major focus of the firm is on international expansion, initiatives spanning brands, multichannel, product development and gross margin improvement. This strategic focus enables the firm to have a strong presence at 890 locations across 21 countries globally and be the UK’s no. 1 retailer for women under 35 years (Annual Report, 2017).
In order deliver value for money, New Look interprets the trends and makes them accessible to the customer. It is also active on social media and its website and takes feedback from the customers regarding the existing products and new lines of products. It enables it to determine the customer trends and needs to design the products accordingly. It also has a strong supply chain and source suppliers from all around the world as it provides flexibility to buy into new trends quickly (CIC, 2017). The consideration of the broad width of appeal enables it to react the latest trends which suit the customers” individual style. On the basis of this, it can be determined that New Look is good at the strategic performance level for meeting the needs and requirements of the customers.
Value addition approach through differentiation strategy has been effective for New Look to grab high market share and become no.2 women’s wear retailer in the UK. But at the same time, some factors like changing customer preferences, UK-centric mindset, BREXIT impact, Escalation of supply chain costs, wage inflation, foreign exchange movements, changes to tariffs and duties or increases in raw material prices, etc. had a negative influence on the financial growth of the firm. The financial performance of the firm can be presented by below figures:
(Source: Annual Report, 2017)
From the above figures, it can be stated that New Look has been successful to achieve an increasing trend in financial parameters till 2016, but in 2017, it has been declined because of not getting success to apply its strategy for handling the changes in the business environment.
The comparative analysis of New Look is shown below:
(Source: Fungglobalretailtech.com, 2016)
In 2016, New Look is positioned at 3rd in the market share after Asda and Primark in the fashion industry. The above pie chart shows that the firm has remained in top three positions.
The following table provides external environmental analysis at macro level through PESTLE:
(Source: CIC, 2017; British Council, 2016 & Cook, 2017)
Based on above PESTLE, it can be stated that the UK retail fashion industry has several opportunities and threats for the business of New Look. Supportive political environment, free trade agreements, increasing spending power of customers, reduction in commodity prices, growing emerging economies, changing demographics and increasing urbanization and population, increasing trend of online trade and compliance with non-toxic clothing and responsible resourcing and fair HR practices cause better opportunities for the fashion business in the UK (Alliance Experts, 2017).