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Retail Purchasing and Supply Management

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Critically discuss how supermarket retailers meet the needs of the market. Evaluate features of their assortment planning, own brand and supply chain operations that contribute to their success.

Each and every retail businesses are focusing upon identifying the needs of target market and thus promote its brand in terms of carrying out effective supply chain operations which helps in contributing towards their success. Marks and Spencer is one of the main British Multinational Company retailers and thus specializes in selling food products and provides clothing, shoes and accessories as well (Alon, Jaffe and Vianelli, 2012). Company is also listed upon London Stock Exchange and sells branded products to consumers. M&S is a global brand and provide discounted products in order to meet the needs of consumers. Market is the place where buying and selling of goods or services is being done and thus helps in meeting the potential needs of clients. It also helps firm to enhance the sales and profitability of firm in market. Further, it is an open place where organizations carry out market research in order to identify the potential need of buyers and then fulfill their needs and wants so that sales could be attained (Zimmermann, 2013).

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Here, present essay discusses and compares about the two supermarket retailers i.e. Marks and Spencer and Aldi that focuses upon providing products or services and meet their needs. Cited retail supermarkets carry out market research so that products could be sold to potential buyers and raise their satisfaction level. It also assesses that assortment planning is required in regard to determine that what and how much business need to carry out within each merchandise category (Van Weele, 2009). Thus, supermarket retailers focuses upon preparing assortment planning and thus helps in selling trade off between the volume and depth of goods so that retailer fulfills the available space within supermarket outlet. Marks and Spencer possess different features of assortment planning, brand image and supply chain operations in regard to contribute towards attaining success (Monczka and, 2015).

Moreover, both the supermarket retailers M&S and Aldi execute assortment planning and thus involve goods and services from different other brands and increases brand image of business so that sells and profitability of firm could be increased. Therefore, it is significant for supermarket brand to assess their needs and produce the goods in terms of satisfying their targets (Lysons and Farrington, 2006). There are different types of market that provides products to consumers such as online and physical and thus raises their performance in market. Both M&S and Aldi focuses upon operating through online and physical store and thus expand their operating in retail market. Cited supermarket retailers execute effective market research and assess the needs of target market so that products or services could enhance their sales and profitability in market. Market research is considered as one of the effective tool that helps in choosing products or services as per the needs of potential consumers and enhances sales and profitability in market (Benton Jr, 2010).

Here, assortment planning is the process which helps in selecting products or services in proper manner so that sales and profitability could be maximized in specific time frame. Also, it is essential for supermarket retailers to prepare an effective assortment plan and thus evaluate the needs and wants of products or services so that sales could be enhanced (Handfield and, 2009). Top management of Aldi assess the needs of market and then identify that Kellog’s is more preferred among consumers. Therefore, firm aims to keep such product in supermarket and thus enhance the shopping experience of customers. Similarly, M&S management identifies that consumers are preferring to have high quality food products that assists them to improve shopping experience of clients (Burt, 2002).

Further, identifying the supply chain operations of supermarket retailers which helps them to adopt effective ways in regard to reach potential consumers and enhance the sales and profitability of firm in market. M&S and Alsi emphasizes upon influences customers through the size of packaging the products and thus attract wide range of customers towards firm (Chen, Lin and Huang, 2006). Also, packaging is considered as an effective approach that helps in identifying the needs of customers and providing them quality goods so that retailers could expand its operations in retail market. Thus, through comparing and contrasting the operations of M&S and Aldi it focuses upon identifying the needs of target market and thus obtain competitive edge in market. Aldi focuses upon medium class a customer who aims to purchase reasonable price products and gain quality products (Stadtler, 2015). Further, customer service is another crucial aspect that helps in providing consumers and effective quality products or services in regard to improve the business performance in market. Both Aldi and M&S carries out effective customer service through providing them timely products or services as well as providing them home delivery options. While, the target market of M&S are high class customers and thus wishes to purchase quality products in regard to improve the sales and profitability of firm in market (Krause, Vachon and Klassen, 2009).

Moreover, M&S and Aldi possess effective retail strategy in regard to pay attention towards workers promoting firm through websites, blogs and social media so that potential customers could be satisfied. Both the supermarket retailers possess effective customer segment and thus design products according to customer’s needs and thus improve the sales in market (Chicksand and et. al., 2012). Now-a-days supermarket retailers focuses upon digitalization and thus use social media platform i.e. Facebook, Yahoo and Twitter in regard to influence large number of customers towards firm. Thus, they also focus upon adopting online platform for selling its products or services to target customers. Similarly, firm also sells their products through physical outlet and thus it helps in influencing the sales of firm through attracting large number of customers in market (Li and, 2006).

As far as retail sector is concerned its existence is totally on the buying pattern and buying behavior of the customers. Thus in order to make a significant profit in this industry businesses needs to take care of needs and wants of customers. As it is said that keeping your customers happy will make you move forward in achieving your goals and objectives. Some of the retail chains of UK like Aldi and Mark & Spencer's has been delivering quality of services to its customers and buying environment and the services provided by them is so attracting and amazing that people are loving to buy from these stores rather than the others (Swami and Shah, 2013). In the recent times it has been noticed that in retail sector there is a boom because of stores providing variety of services which in turn helps them to attract customers to buy the products from their stores. Aldi and M & S has been delivering quality services from many years and will continues to do so but one thing they both have common that they are keeping a great look on is, what their customers are fond of and how they buy and how frequently they buy and which product is been in the demand(Swami and Shah, 2013). This particular review of the customers over the years have given Aldi and Mark & Spencer's both develop a great trait in managing the demands of the customers.

Aldi and Mark & Spencer's the two most attended and famous retail chains of UK has been maintaining the products at the stores in an efficient manner in order to keep attracting customers towards their stores which eventually will help in increasing the profits(Qi, Ni and Shi, 2015). These two stores have been known for their Inventory Management, as it has been seen that no customer in the past years have been gone empty handed after entering these stores, somehow customers find their piece of product which can satisfy him/her. Further if talked about the management of Aldi and M & S they have been keeping a close look on every products so that they can know which product needs to be ordered and what the shortages is of. Thus making these evaluation they have been able to successfully implement the inventory management techniques in there retail outlets which in turn has facilitated them to increase the customers as well as the positive brand image in the minds of customers have been developed. Also Aldi and Mark & Spencer's have been making engaged in giving festive discounts on various products which can be buy by the customers at the time of festivals like Christmas, Easter, valentine's day, etc(Ahi and Searcy, 2015). This type of strategies have made them to engage more and more customers right from the age of 10 to the age of 80. These stores have been selling the products of all the needs which in turn can create value of their customers in the long run as well as in the short run.

Aldi and Mark & Spencer's have been providing the services of distributing the products at homes also in the term head of Home Delivery. One of them started the home delivery system which has become so successful for the one retail store that the other one can resist the advantage of the earlier one so he also started to deliver the products at home(Mateen and Chatterjee, 2015). If talked about the retail sector as a whole it has been seen that distribution systems that prevail in this industry includes three forms distribution channels which are: Manufacturer-Retailer-Consumer, Manufacturer-Wholesaler-Retailer-Consumer, Manufacturer-Wholesaler-Jobber-Retailer-Consumer. Thus these retail chains have been engaged in first type of distribution system which is Manufacturer-Retailer-Consumer. Through this set of system they bought goods directly from manufactures then they deliver it to the customers. They are acting as the mediator between the end consumer and manufacturer. For maintaining the distribution systems manger needs to ensure that Selling effort should be increased, managerial efficiency is achieved, building the member loyalty is the key, Identifying the buyer level and ensuring the availability of the resources or products is important(M. Tachizawa and Yew Wong, 2014). As retailing is been defined as selling the products and services to consumers for their personal and family use thus this makes them work efficient and effectively.

As Retail chains have been engaged in management of different things like customer preferences, distribution system, meeting of demand and many others. One such element or part of activities that is undertaken by these two retail chains as well as other retail chains across UK is Supply Chain Management which is an important concept related to making available the product at the right place and right time(Hornibrook, May and Fearne, 2015). Aldi and Mark & Spencer's has been using the supply chain effectively over the years as they have implemented the change in the form of Home delivery which has benefited them to make the deals with several other manufactures who can deliver the products at more fast pace and quick time because as the customers will rise the demand for the products will also and meeting those demands these retail chains have to make deals with different manufacturers so that if one manufacturer is not able to deliver the product due to any means then other will. Thus the retail chains have been successful in grabbing those deals which has impacted their business in a positive way. Since thought the use of supply chain Aldi and Mark & Spencer's are delivering the quality of services, also product quality is controlled, through the supply chain inventory levels are maintained, timely deliveries are received and done and expense management is achieved(Hornibrook, May and Fearne, 2015). Supply chain management is a broad subject matter which is concerned with farming, designing, manufacturing, packaging and transportation of goods and services which in turn creates value for the firm which makes the goodwill of the retail chains grow up to an extent.

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  • Ahi, P. and Searcy, C., 2015. An analysis of metrics used to measure performance in green and sustainable supply chains.Journal of Cleaner Production.86. pp.360-377.
  • Alon, I., Jaffe, E. and Vianelli, D., 2012. Global Marketing: Contemporary Theory, Practice, and Cases. McGraw-Hill Higher Education.
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  • Li, S. and, 2006. The impact of supply chain management practices on competitive advantage and organizational performance. Omega. 34(2). pp.107-124.
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