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Population Trends and Retail Planning

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1. Between 2010 and 2050, what type of retailers will be most affected by changes in the ethnic make up the population?

The changes in the ethnic make-up of the population will affect specialty stores, departmental stores, supermarkets, discount stores and non-store retailing establishments.  Specialty stores concentrate their effort on selling limited range or single type of merchandise such as musical stores, party supply stores and clothing stores.  Supermarkets majorly provide food but have increasingly being involved in the sale of products.  Departmental stores on the other hand consist of a number of departments with each specializing in selling a particular group of products while discount stores operate under the self-service philosophy and offer consumers a trade-off. Will these same retailers be affected by the changing age distribution?  Yes

2. It is important for a retailer to uderstand that as boomers age, they change their shopping behavior. Can you provide one example from current events where a retailer successfully adapted to this changing behavior?

Research done by Nielson company in 2009 showed that the most frequent shoppers were the greatest generation followed by boomers and that younger shoppers are likely to purchase more items in fewer larger trips. Baby boomers also tend to conserve saving as they near retirement thus affecting their shopping pattern.  Target and Wal-Mart for example were well positioned for the downturn and offered quality products at a fraction of prices in specialty retailers.

Can you provide an example where a retailer hasn’t done a good job of adapting to these changes? Toyota failed to capture the changing behavior in baby boom where the extraordinary design was inappropriate for the boomers who are the company’s target.

3. Which recentt trend—parents returning to live with their children or children returning to live with their parents—is going to have the most significant impact on retailers?

The impact will be significant when the parents return to live with their children as the shoppers will be more thoughtful and practical when buying. What can retailers do to take advantage of these trends?

The retailers need to make promotion and saving -related information accessible and explicit in all shopper touch points so as to capitalize on this trend of shoppers. The rise of online shopping can reduce the chances of retailers’ inclusion in the array of product considerations making cross and impulse sell to be difficult. Retailers should therefore optimize search engine and paid search vehicle decision. Retailers should also target customers with materials that show one item can be used in different ways hence creating more value for money.

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