Tuesday 11 May 2010

Who owns whom in UK retail, & so what?

According to Bloomberg, the Qatari's £1.5 billion-pound ($2.2 billion) purchase of Harrods may herald more investment in the industry as foreign buyers take advantage of a consumer-spending revival, a falling pound, and the rolling Euro-dice on the continent.
Qatari's 26% stake in Sainsburys will probably result in 100% acquisition (costing them approx £5bn), Liberty has been approached by Bluegem Capital Partners, Harvey Nichols is controlled by Hong Kong entrepreneur Dickson Poon, while Selfridges is owned by Canadian billionaire Galen Weston, and Asda is probably up for sale.
Add to these changes recent CEO moves in retail management coupled with Asda's planned extension of its Living format by 150 stores, the new entrant Best Buy's intention to open 150 stores, and the monumental change taking place in UK retail becomes obvious…(?)
At the very least, this degree of change in 'ownership' and influence at corporate and local level has to result in fundamental change in the competitive-mix.
Ultimately, the relative appeal of the different players in the eyes of distracted but increasingly savvy consumers needs to be reassessed and their marketing-mix readjusted, at least .
In other words, the relative appeal of each retailer's 8Ps (Products & Assortment, Pricing, Promotional activities, Place i.e. store location, Personnel, Physical distribution & handling, Presentation of stores & products, & Productivity) need to be realigned to avoid being found to be dangerously out of sync with the realities of the new UK hung-environment…

It hopefully goes without saying that, for suppliers, 'business as usual' is not an option...

No comments: