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Overview of Primark as a Clothing Retail Company

The aim of this assessment is to provide learners with an understanding of different aspects of marketing and also provides learners with understanding and skills relating to the fundamental concepts and principles that underpin the marketing process.

This assignment explores the case of Primark - a famous retail clothing chain, providing clothes to customers at reasonable and affordable prices. Primark sells fashionable clothes at the low cost end of the market. All of the company's merchandise is made specifically for the company and as such Primark has its own brand names. Primark is actually an Irish retailer of clothing with numerous stores in United Kingdom, Ireland and Spain. The first Primark store was established in 1969 in Dublin by Arthur Ryan in collaboration with Micaela Mitchell.

After achieving their first success, they opened more stores in different business centres within local and regional areas, which alternatively generate more profits. Adored by fashion fans and value seekers alike, Primark is widely established as the destination store for keeping up with the latest looks without breaking the bank.

Domestic and International Expansion; Primark has 352 stores worldwide, with 184 in the UK. According to the recent retail figures, the fashion chain owner said it expected profit growth to pick up in the second half. Associated British Foods (ABF) had "successfully navigated a brace of headwinds" including challenges in its sugar business and unseasonal weather said Hargreaves Lansdown analyst George Salmon. "What's impressive in these results is management's assertion that profitability in the all-important retail division will rise in the second half.” Part of this is due to the benefit of a weaker dollar, but Primark has managed its stock well and improved its buying positions too, Mr Salmon said.

This assignment consists of two tasks, roducing a report and Essay. You are advised to carry out in-depth secondary research as required by the questions and demonstrate your practical application abilities to the given contexts.

You are advised to carry out in-depth secondary research as required by the questions and demonstrate your practical application abilities to the given contexts

Explain the role of marketing and how it interrelates with other functional units of an organisation.

Compare ways in which organisations use elements of the marketing mix (7Ps) to achieve overall business objectives.

You have recently been employed as a junior manager at ‘Primark’ and you are located in the UK head office. You have been asked to write a newsletter for publication in the company’s in-house magazine to provide a brief overview to staff on the processes of marketing and its importance for an organisation like Primark.

Your report should address the following:

1. Marketing is a core function of business operation, explain the key roles and responsibilities of the marketing function. Please relate to the Primark UK case study by providing examples.

2. Explain how the roles and responsibilities of marketing relate to the Primark UK organisational context.

3. ?Compare ways in which Primark UK and another organisation apply the marketing mix to the marketing planning process to achieve business objectives.

In your role as the junior manager, your marketing director has approached and asked you to contribute in the company’s business plan by writing a basic marketing plan. Therefore, you are required to produce a marketing plan mainly focusing on the marketing concepts, current situation analysis of the business and the use of marketing mix in different contexts.

You should present your marketing plan in an appropriate structure including executive summary, and introduction by developing main key elements of a marketing plan where possible.

Produce? and evaluate? a basic marketing plan for Primark UK.

Overview of Primark as a Clothing Retail Company

Marketing management is the process to analyze the entire market to derive the information regarding customer’s preferences and for the fulfilment of buyer’s requirements adopts the tactics (Hollensen, 2010; Armstrong, Adam, Denize and Kotler, 2014; Kotler, Kartajaya and Setiawan, 2010). The strategies can be related to business development, interaction with customers as well as sales and promotional activities for the success of business. The current report is based on the market analysis of multinational company Primark, which is going to expand the business in UK. Primark is a clothing retail company which deals in the clothing for men, women, kids, new born, professionals. The major products of Primark are cloths, housewares, accessories and cosmetics. The company is already established in 325 locations along with 75,000 employees (Primark, 2018). In this regard, responsibilities marketing department such as discovering strategies, identification of market and competitors, creation of awareness etc. have been analyzed. Further, a comparison has been done between Primark and Service industry as Vodafone to analyze their strategies to shape the international marketing mix. Apart from this, different types of strategies have been identified for the respective company and inter-relationship has been found between marketing department and other units. At the end, a compete marketing plan has been prepared for the expansion of business in the UK through the application of relevant academic sources.

Figure 1: Milestone of marketing functions

(Source: Hollensen, 2010)

Marketing function requires in all types of organizations such as profit or non-profit firms. It is a process for the companies to identify the existing and potential products and services available in the market. Further, marketing function is a key element which is helpful to distinguish the products from another related and competitive products/services (Wilson and Gilligan, 2012). On the other hand, marketing function is a milestone for the business to achieve the growth and success in the competitive environment. Marketing functions includes the several activities like research of market, design of product, financing, risk-taking and support of consumers etc. (Rosenbloom, 2013; Wang and Pizam, 2011). In absence of marketing functions, an organization may not be able to address the challenges and issues which arises due to availability of large number of competitors in the marketplace.

Marketing manager is the major part of the organization because it plays several roles and responsibilities to attain the specific goals. Marketing manager works according to guidelines of marketing department because in absence of marketing department, company would not be able to shape the products and services (Drucker, 2012). In this context, main roles and responsibilities of marketing department can be as follows-

A marketing manager is the important resource for the organization because complete market research for the existing as well as potential markets is performed by marketing department (O'Cass and Sok, 2013). Further, it is the key responsibility of the marketing manager to identify the potential opportunities for the growth of business. With the help of the market research, company come to know about the consumer’s perception regarding available products. In this regard, Primark is dealing with the several fashionable cloths for newborn, kids, men and women along with accessories which are demanded by buyers. Further, to know about the customer’s needs, marketing manager of Primark would be able to know about the customer’s needs as per the changing environment. Apart from this, competitors of the respective products and services can be identified by adequate research of market (Babin and Zikmund, 2015). In this context, Primark’s marketing manager can easily recognize the strong competitors of business and assess the strengths as well as weakness of the close competitors. However, Primark is dealing in retail industry with wide variety of clothing products but has several competitors such as Lesara, Select Fashion, Mother care, New look, M&S, Pimkie, Hansae, M&Co etc. At this juncture, Zara, H&M and Marks & Spencers are the main competitors of Primark (Owler Inc, 2018). Further, on the basis of competitor’s analysis, it can be helpful for Primark to take essential step to grab the entire UK clothing market and to beat the weaker competitors of respective business. 

Key Roles and Responsibilities of the Marketing Function at Primark

Senior person of marketing department has a responsibility to frame the major strategies along with alternative tactics to achieve the set of objectives of the firm (Keller, Parameswaran and Jacob, 2011). In case of critical situations, strategic planning would be helpful for the manager to deal with the competitive environment. For instance, Primark has a motive to expand the business in UK market in the clothing sector. But before expansion, it is the responsibility of marketing manager of Primark to analyze the current and potential scenario of entire retail market. For this purpose, additional skills would be required in the marketing manager to analyze the specific factors of market. Further, marketing department formulates the strategic policies related to pricing, products development, channel of distribution and selection of market for the betterment of the business (Hill, 2017). In this context, the marketing manager of Primark has an accountability to prepare the strategies for the business to analyze the entire current and future consumer market for the expansion of business.

It is the responsibility of a marketing manager to identify the consumers and generate the awareness regarding existing and new products of the company (De Mooij and Hofstede, 2010). Further, by creating awareness in buyers, it can be helpful for the manager to supply the products and services on regular basis. In this manner, the customers remain updated about new technologies and get attracted towards the established brands. By considering this, Primark’s marketing manager is bounded by the responsibility to make customers aware of the new products for maximizing the interest in that particular products/services and avail the demanded products. At this juncture, it can be appropriate for the respective company to enhance the profitability and sales volumes.

Retail and service industry used the different types of marketing mix strategies for the promotion of products and services. The adoption of tactics is based on the nature of the business which reflects the business activities in front of the competitors as well as another organization. A comparison has been done between retail industry- Primark and service industry as Vodafone.

Table 1: Comparison between Primark and Vodafone

Basis of comparison

Primark

Vodafone

Quality

Focuses on production of quality products

Emphasizes on effectiveness and internal satisfaction of customers instead of quality services

Distribution strategies

Apply distribution strategies as per the place and time

Focuses on international selling activities

Products/services

Tangible products

Intangible services

Pricing strategies

Low-cost pricing strategies (uses separate pricing policies on foreign and domestic markets)

Discounting strategies (Global pricing strategies for the internationalization)

Value/ relationship

Focuses on delivery of values

Concerned with relationship with customers

In this regard, for the promotion of the products such as fashionable cloths for kids and women, Primark uses the marketing mix strategies whereas Vodafone which is a service industry that focuses on the quality of services. Further, Primark applies the pricing strategies to attract the large number of buyers for the cloths and accessories with the help of reduction in prices; however, Vodafone as a service company focuses on the delivery of quality services by offering the discounts on seasonal basis. In this regard, it is not possible for the service industry to reduce the prices of services at international level rather than provide one free service with main service like on recharge can give the offer of 50% cash back, render seasonal packages, festive discounts etc. to cover the global market. Thus, it shows that there is a significant difference between retail and service industry with respect to uses of international marketing mix tools because of the differences in perception of the customers at international level towards products and services.

Interrelationship of Marketing Function with Other Units at Primark UK

The marketing manager can adopt the different types of business strategies for the expansion of business to achieve the certain objectives involving business strategies, growth strategies, competitive strategies, corporate level strategies etc. (Ward, 2012; Rothaermel, 2015).

Figure 2: Types of strategic strategies

(Source: Researcher’s own diagram)

Competitive strategies are used to influence the external elements along with internal insights to attain the competitive advantage in the international market. These are helpful to flows the uniqueness in the products and services. Further, competitive strategies include the differentiation, focus market and low-cost strategies (Hussein, 2011). In this context, Primark can apply the low-cost strategy for the expansion of business in UK clothing market because it is already incorporated in UK. It would be beneficial for the respective company to offer the trendy cloths at low cost to grab the buyer’s market because consumers are the king of market and without them business cannot run.

Growth strategies refers to production of new items or do modifications in existing products to attract the huge number of consumers. It can be helpful for the companies to win from the low level of competitors (Vickers and Lyon, 2014). Further, growth strategies forced organizations to find out the innovative products and maintains the long relations with customers. Market penetration, market expansion, acquisition and diversification etc. are the growth strategies which are used for the expansion of the business in existing or new market area. For example, Primark is a retail industry of cloths which is already delivering the wide variety of trendy and fashionable cloths for all types of consumers like men, women, kids and professionals etc. At this juncture, Primark can adopt the growth strategy as market expansion because it would be appropriate for the company to provide the all kinds of products in entire UK market and satisfy the needs of all buyers.

Marketing is an important activity for the businesses to attain the effectiveness in attraction of customers. Marketing is not merely constrained to selling and advertising activities for the promotion of products and services. It has a close linkage with other functional units such as research and development, finance department, human resource, production and operation management etc. (Hill, 2017; Ernst, Hoyer and Rübsaamen, 2010). At this juncture, marketing is carried out by the specific department of marketing to address the goals because it is associated with whole organization and several departments.

The department of marketing and HRM are interlinked with each other for the processing of business activities so that specific level of skills and recruitment can be assessed (Ernst, Hoyer and Rübsaamen, 2010). In this regard, marketing manager would analyze the entire scenario of market and identifies the requirements of customers. Hence, marketing manager conveys to HR department about current situation of market and customers’ perception. Accordingly, the HR manager hires the additional skilled resources for the production of quality products; ultimately, it affects the profitability of business (De Winne and Sels, 2010). In this regard, the marketing manager of Primark and HRM department would be interconnected to know about the requirement of new employees in the organization to achieve the goals.

Comparison of Marketing Mix Application at Primark UK and Vodafone

There is a two-way communication between R&D and marketing department because these are the key to success of business (Hill, 2017). Both of these departments work together on the basis of insights and attained results. Further, R&D would first assess the product quality and then revert to marketing department to implement the relevant strategies for the promotion of products and services. In this context, Primark’s R&D department would provide the clear vison regarding the effectiveness of attaining the strategic goals which is based on the internal as well as external environment of business.

Marketing and manufacturing department of the company are keenly related to each other with respect to production of goods and services. The manufacturing department would be able to produce the products as per the demands of the customers, specific criteria of items along with size of order etc. which is assessed by the marketing department (Jayaram, Tan and Nachiappan, 2010). Hence, the operation department would get an idea about the upgradation of products and accordingly focuses to meet the required volume of customers. For instance, the marketing department of Primark would recognize the customer’s demands regarding trendy cloths for the baby, men and women for home use and professional purpose. Therefore, marketing manager interacts with production manager to produce the products as per the given requirements.

Conclusion

On the basis of analysis of report, it has been concluded that the marketing function is the core activity for the business to achieve the set of goals and objectives in an effective manner. For the attainment of targets, a marketing manager has to assess the variety of responsibilities to know about the market trends and demands of the buyers. Further, it has also been summarized that Primark as a retail industry use the different types of marketing mix such as focusing on the price and quality; however, service industries emphasize on the internal satisfaction level of customers instead of physical appearance. Moreover, it would be profitable for Primark to adopt the growth strategies for the expansion of the clothing market in UK. Hence, for all of these, a coordination is required between marketing and other functional units of the organization.

A marketing plan has been prepared for the Primark to expand the business in UK market to achieve the set of objectives. A complete plan would include the following procedure-

The objectives reflect the aim and goals of the business which are related to current as well as future estimations. Primark has set the several objectives which are helpful to achieve the success of business.

  • To enhance the sales volume by 30% at the end of the current year
  • To increase the percentage of profitability by 25% at the year end of 2018
  • To maintain the existing customers and generate the new customers in UK clothing market
  • To maintain the brand image at international level to attain the growth level
  • To maximize the productivity in next 2 years by employing additional workforce
  • To maintain the cost-effective prices for new and trendy products

Analysis of market is one of the important activities for the organizations to know about the business environment, customer’s preferences and current as well as prospective competitors (Charnes, Cooper, Lewin and Seiford, 2013). In this regard, a complete PESTLE analysis has been done to know about the current situation of UK market with respect to Primark for the expansion of business. Hence, political, social, economic, technological etc. are covered under the PESTLE analysis which has positive/negative impact on the business (Cadle, Paul and Turner, 2010).

Marketing Strategies for Primark UK Business Expansion

The market of UK is large in size and totally covered by the consumer market. There are majority of ageing people due to higher death rate of birth. The market of UK is going to expand because the population would rise to 74 million by 2039 (David, 2017). Although, the people of UK are more adaptive in nature and ready to accept the new products and services to improve the standard of living. In this manner, there are greater chances for Primark to expand the business in retail market by offering the variety of cloths with involvement of trendy products for every type of age people.

The economic position of UK is strong because it has 5th highest gross domestic product in al over the world. There is free market entry in the UK because of large number of populations which has a contribution in the success of business for private as well as public companies (PHAST, 2017; Thomas, 2016). Further, it has also major emphasis on the Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) which is beneficial for the overseas companies to incorporate the business in UK. By considering this, Primark can easily expand the clothing business in UK market because the less governmental issues as well as support of legal parties for the enhancement of business activities.

UK is a politically stable country because it focuses on the few rules and regulations for businesses, low level of corruption in country. In case of Brexit, it has been examined that political debates have increased along with uncertainties of risk; besides of these, it offers the large number of opportunities for new entrance and expansion of business with the help of the FDI, reducing tax rate from 19% to 17% (David, 2017). At this juncture, it would appropriate for Primark to expand the business in UK by involving the fashionable cloths because there are few political disruptions for the business tycoons.

Table 2: Segmentation, targeting and positioning

Market segmentation

Demographics  and psychographic

Infant- 0-6 months,

Maternity women- 20-40 years

Target market

Malls and online market

Trendy, fashionable and maternity cloths

Market positioning

Quality and brand image


Market segmentation refers to division of entire market along with potential customers into sub-parts on the basis of demographics, geographic, behavioral and psychographic to achieve the set of goals. Demographics includes- age, income group, occupation, gender, family size; geographic involves- region, city, country, state; behavioral- choice, preferences and psychographic includes life style, habit, attitude and temperature etc.  (Wedel and Kamakura, 2012). In this context, on the basis of demographic factors, Primark can segment the entire market into different groups such as infant and maternity women on the basis of trendy and fashionable cloths by involving the age group for infant 0-6 months and maternity women from 20-40 years. Apart from this, another psychographic segmentation can also be done on the basis of living standard and personality of buyers. Primark is dealing with fashionable cloths which are mostly demanded by the consumers as per the trends, so, the age group 20-40 years of maternity women would have requirements for the trendy cloths because they are keen to adopt the new trendy and comfortable cloths.

Target market is concerned with the end users of products and services which are already segmented. Target market is used to attract the definite buyers of the company to enhance the profitability of business (Tsiotsou and Goldsmith, 2012). The consumer market of UK is large in size, so, the entire market would be targeted on the basis of customer’s preferences and requirements by considering the opportunities, threats and size of the market. In this regard, Primark would consider the target market as malls and online market to grab the whole consumer market. Moreover, it can be beneficial for Primark to earn higher profits by providing the fancy and maternity clothes for women through online because online market can be preferred by the consumers on primary basis due to availability of varieties. On the other hand, malls would also be a perfect target market for Primark to attract the large number of customers because of appropriate display of cloths as per the trends of market. Therefore, Primark would target the mall and online market for the expansion of business in UK clothing market as per the requirements of end users.

Complete Marketing Plan for Primark UK Expansion

Market positioning is a strategy which is used established a brand in the market on the basis of key features such as quality, price, brand image etc. Positioning is helpful to attract the customers towards the specific products (Yang and Sung, 2010). In this regard, Primark is a well-established company of retail industry in UK, so, it would be helpful for the respective company to positioned the latest design clothes by focusing on the quality measurement which reflects the brand image of the company. Because the buyers already have knowledge about Primark due to brand image and coverage of entire consumer market of UK.

Budget is the reflection of expenses and incomes which would be incurred and earned inn business through the several business activities (Sato and Hirao, 2013). Primark company would expense a significant amount on different activities as per follows-

Table 3: A budget plan for Primark

Business activities

Cost (in dollars)

Marketing

5% of total sales

Production and HRM

8% of total manufactured items

Branding

3% of total sales

Positioning

2% of sales volume

Advertising

2.5% of sales revenue

7P’s of marketing tools involves the price, place, promotion, product, physical evidence, process and people (Yasanallah and Bidram, 2012). These are the strategic methods which adopted by the organizations to analyze the strategic business plan. In this context, Primark would also apply the 7P’s of marketing to attain the set of objectives for the expansion of business in UK. Further, with the help of 7P’s, Primark can easily analyze the business activities in context of fashionable and latest trends of cloths in UK.

Figure 3: 7P’s of marketing-mix

(Source: Researcher’s own diagram)

Product is the main element of 7P’s of marketing which creates a brand image in mind of customers. Primark is dealing with the fashionable and trendy cloths for the infants and maternity women as per the demand of customers. Further, latest trendy cloths include skirts, toppers, t-shirts, jeans for the infants and different types of maternity dresses for the women. Further, company would offer the facilities of customization as per the comfort of infants as well as maternity women. Fashionable cloths are mostly adopted by the working as well as nonprofessional women. In this manner, Primark is participating in modernization of market trends by offering the special types of maternity products.  

Price is the main factor for the expansion of business in existing market because on the basis of which the goods and services would be sold out for the higher profits. There are several types of pricing strategies such as skimming, penetration and psychological pricing which are used by the organizations to attract the customers (Abrate, Fraquelli and Viglia, 2012; Nagle and Müller, 2017). By considering all these strategies, Primark would adopt the premium pricing strategy to generate the new and retain the existing customers. With the help of the premium pricing, Primark would be able to create a positive perception in mind of customers by offering the higher prices along with delivery of quality products. Further, it would distinguish the Primark’s products from the competitive products due special segment of infants and maternity women.

Promotional strategies are the key factor of the 7P’s of marketing which is used to create the awareness in target customers and motivate to buy. With the help of this, a long-term relationship can be maintained between customers and companies. Digital marketing, sales promotion, public relations and advertising etc. are the promotional strategies which are used by the companies for promotion of products (Tuten and Ashley, 2011).  In this context, digital marketing would be adopted by Primark for the promotion of maternity clothes because women want to buy the trendy cloths via online due to availability of varieties of trendy products. On the other hand, advertisements can also be done on the particular sites for the cloth of infants.

The effective place is required for the selling of goods and services as per the demand of customers. The market of UK is already vast, so, Primark has decided to establish an online as well as physical store for the selling of fashionable cloths. For the Physical store, malls and nearby area of boutique would be preferred by Primark for the convenience of maternity women without wasting the time and efforts. Further, online store would also be helpful for working maternal women for ease access of products and services along with baby cloths.  

Process refers to delivery of products from manufacturers to final consumer by involvement of different ways (Gordon, 2012). In this context, Primark would use a systematic process to deliver the products form online store to end user with the help of the intermediaries. However, a different process would be applied for the physical store of Primark because in which customers directly go to store and buy the products as per the needs. In this manner, both the stores would follow different delivery procedure to satisfy the buyers. Apart from this, effective packaging and wrapping of products would be done by Primark’s online store as well as physical store for the security of the products as a physical evidence.

The people who are involved in the whole selling procedure of products and delivery of services are the key milestones for the company. In this context, Primark also have different types of people such as producers, marketing and sales people, intermediaries and customers which are involved in whole procedure from production to final delivery of goods.

Here, the plan would be evaluated and implemented after the final approval of the plan. Before the implementation, the entire plan would be analyzed that the requirements are meeting or not. If any issues have been found then modifications would be done, then the final approval will be derived by management and implementation of plan would take place.

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