Students will form into groups of five for the entirety of the term. You will choose a retailer that can be found on a major stock exchange such as: The New York Stock Exchange or The Toronto Stock Exchange. You have been asked to perform a consultation project consisting of significant research, analysis, and recommendations for your selected retailer.
All assignments must be sourced using either MLA or APA format and use embedded references. Even if sourced, assignments must show significant original thinking to be accepted. Without significant original thinking, a grade of zero (0) will be assessed and an academic alert will be provided and placed in your file.
You will need to conduct extensive secondary, and even primary research, to do well in this project.
Once your research and analysis are completed, you will take your findings and make specific recommendations that address the issues you recognised.
The project will be divided into four parts, as detailed below.
Part 1 – Research and Analysis of Retailer (15% of Final Grade)
In this section, you will dive deeply into the retailer’s current strategy, environment, and customers. Your objective here is to develop a research report that also includes significant analysis. At minimum, this section should include the following:
- Explore the Retailing Concept of the Retailer. Analyze it.
- Who is the retailer’s customer? Explore the current Consumer Decision Making Process. (Chapter 3). Are there any tensions? Identify them.
- Who is/are the target market(s) for the retailer? Justify. How does the retailer position itself? What is the retailer’s competitive advantage? Justify your responses. Do you believe these strategies are the correct one? Why or why not? (Chapter 4)
- What is the business mission? Conduct a situation audit. (Chapter 4)
- Explore the Value chain/distribution channel of the retailer. What are the benefits/weaknesses of it? Are there relationships that are important? Who holds the power? Any tensions? Is there any channel conflict?
- Choose a geographic location where the retailer operates one ore more physical locations. Consider and evaluate the current retail trading area for the geography. What is your analysis of the area? Any tensions with any research you have conducted up to this point? If you are working on an online-only retailer, develop a retail trading area analysis for a potential trade area you think the retailer might work in. (Chapter 5)
- Analyze the financials of the business? How are they doing? Any insights you come to based on the financial analysis? (Chapter 8)
Remember: you are not solving the problems or suggesting potential solutions – at this stage, you are simply pointing out misalignments in strategy and/or areas that need attention.
Part 1 Deliverable:
You are required to develop a research/analysis report for this section. Remember, this is not an essay but a report. Please be concise, specific, and logical. There are no page limits for the report . Use the VBS Report Writing Guide, found in DC Connect, for appropriate formatting.
Part 2 – Continuation of Research, Analysis, Insights, Main Themes of Issues/Opportunities + Recommendation/Implementation Plan (15% of Final Grade)
In this section, you will continue refining your submission to Part 1 while also continuing to conduct research and analysis into the retailer’s current strategy, environment, and customers.
- Evaluate the Merchandising of the retailer (Chapter 6). What are they currently doing? What is your analysis of the retailer’s current merchandising initiatives? Any tensions?
- Explore the pricing strategy the retailer takes. What strategies are they using? What do you think about their use of this strategy? Is there alignment with what you have seen thus far in the report? (Chapter 11)
Now that the research and analysis conducted in the previous sections of the report are complete, you can use that information to…
- Summarize/categorize two main strategic problems you feel the retailer is currently facing
- Be detailed and explicit
- How did you come up with these being the most important issues? Defend your thinking based on the work you did in the previous sections of Part 1 and 2.
- NOTE: You are not commenting on simple action items that need to be taken (EG chairs need to be replaced, music needs to be louder) rather, you or focusing on higher level, strategic issues.
- Provide an integrative solution for the issues
- Explain what you will do to solve the problem and why you believe your solution makes the most sense. (this may take research to support your assertions)
- How much will the solution cost? Justify.
- How long will it take to implement? Justify.
- What specific tasks need to be taken in order to implement the solution?
- Who will be responsible to complete all the tasks?
Part 2 Deliverable:
You are required to develop a research/analysis report for this section. Remember, this is not an essay but a report. Please be concise, specific, and logical. There are no page limits for the report. Use the VBS Report Writing Guide, found in DC Connect, for appropriate formatting.
Part 3 – Final Report and Presentation (30% of Final Grade)
Based on the previous two parts of the project…
- Put together all parts of the ERP into a single, seamless to read, well flowing report (20% of Final Grade)
- You must incorporate instructor feedback from previously submitted sections into the final report – you will get a grade of 0 if you do not do this
You will also be developing a presentation that highlights the most important points from your Part 2 submission. The format of your presentation should reflect that of a consultant/client relationship. You will be given only 10 minutes to present followed by a five-minute question and answer period. This is not enough time to cover all the research, analysis, and solutions that you provided in both reports. Your objective here is to cover the most important parts – what would a client be interested in seeing the most? (10% of Final Grade)
The Top Three groups across all course sections will be selected to present a panel representing the client. These three groups will receive a grade bump of 5% for the Project. The client will select one winner at a joint class in Week 14. All students are required to attend this class whether they are presenting or not. The winning group will receive a 10% grade bump for the project. Note: A mark greater than 100% will not be given to any group.
Please see DC Connect.