Discuss About The Providing Merchandise Farmers In Australia?
Wesfarmers is a renowned conglomerate headquartered in Western Australia in the capital city of Perth. It initiated operations in the year 1914 with a distinct aim of providing merchandise to farmers in Australia. It was founded by a group of farmers guided by Walter Harper and was then known as ‘The Farmers’ Company’ (Wesfarmers, 2017).
Wesfarmers takes immense pride in being one of the largest employers in the private sector with over 222,000 full time employees (Wesfarmers, 2017). The giant conglomerate aims to provide a satisfactory return to its’ enormous shareholder base of 530,000. This group of companies is listed on the Australian stock exchange with a stock price of AUD 41.35 and is a part of AUX50 which lists top 50 companies of Australia (Australian Stock Exchange, 2017). This colossal enterprise is diversified into various businesses like Office supplies, liquor, Chemicals, Energy, Fertilizers, Department stores and coal.
Wesfarmers recently launched this new division of department stores predominantly comprising of two of the biggest retail chains of the country Kmart and Target. It is one of the leading businesses of Wesfarmers generating annual revenue of $8646mn (Wesfarmers Annual Report, 2016).
Kmart is one of Australia’s leading retail chains with over 200 stores throughout Australia and New Zealand. Kmart has positioned itself as a department store that provides low prices every day with a grand variety of merchandise.
Target offers a sundry variety of merchandise, apparels and home wares. It functions across 300 outlets with the help of a 16000 member team. Sourcing for Target products is predominantly done via Asian markets (Wesfarmers, 2017).
This report lays emphasis on the market strategies used by the Department stores division particularly their brand ‘Target’. In order to grasp the same, a brief introduction of the division followed by their marketing strategies has been explained. The tool used in this report is SWOT analysis.
Phillip Kotler defines target market as a set of well-defined set of customers whose needs the organization plans to satisfy (Creighton University, 2002). Analyzing target market forms the launch pad for introducing any new product or service into the market.
Target department stores offers a broad spectrum of products in their outlets and hence they appeal to a large audience.
Target is the flagship department store brand of Wesfarmers. The store sells an extensive range of products ranging from clothing across all age groups and gender, home ware items and all-purpose merchandises. This report reflects upon marketing strategies used by Target department store. For better understanding of the firm, SWOT analysis has been used.
The foremost objective of a SWOT analysis is to make organizations aware of their internal and external environment and how they can best put that information to use. This method was created in the 1960s by Edmund P. Learned in the book "Business Policy, Text and Cases" (R.D. Irwin, 1969).
Bangladesh, on the other hand, has a bi lateral trade agreement with Australia which allows duty free garment imports however, as compared to China, Sweatshop and infrastructural issues are extremely high in Bangladesh which limit the benefits for Australian retailers to move from China to Bangladesh.
Celebrities as brand ambassadors – Target Australia has joined hands with TV presenter and style icon Gok Wan. The reason behind using a celebrity brand ambassador is the benefit of an instant shift in brand equity from the celebrity to the brand. Managing Director Stuart Machin commented that “Gok Van represents everything that we want Target to be – fun, modern, stylish, with something for everyone”.
However, it must be kept in mind that any negative publicity garnered by the celebrity will adversely impact the brand. Gok Van used the term “Bangers” in order to refer to women’s breasts and the ad received numerous complaints as this was not expected from a “family store” (The Guardian, 2013).
Bull’s eye – The logo of Target Corporation, a Bulls eye, connects well with the brand name Target. A dog (Bull Terrier) which was formerly known as ‘Spot’ has the logo painted on her face and is the official mascot of Target Corporation. This logo has been creatively and extensively used for creating brand visibility so much so that a 2003 study indicates that 96% of shoppers know, understand and recognize the logo (Target, 2017).
Social Media Marketing – Target Corporation’s Facebook page is actively managed and has over 20mn followers. Target has well understood the coverage of social media well and hence their Facebook comes with a link to shop online (Facebook, 2017).
Target Corporation has over 2.4mn followers on Instagram and 1.91mn followers on Twitter. The team is active on twitter and has used this platform efficiently to voice their opinions and various other announcements to general public.
Conglomerate Wesfarmers’ flagship department store Target Corporation is spread over 300 outlets engaging a 16000 member team across the nation. The department store provides a wide variety of merchandizes, apparels and home wares. Target Corporation is positioned as a family store providing low cost and high quality products to its consumers.
Target Corporation’s logo is a bull’s eye resonating well with its name. Hiring celebrities, newspaper advertisements and efficient use of social media are predominant marketing strategies used by Target.
The accounting scandal of 2015 still continues to pose threats to the firm’s goodwill. However, new CEO Guy Russo has brought in a sense of optimism. New CIO, Michael E McNamara has already enriched the standard of technology at the firm and is currently working towards enhancing insourcing IT levels.
New and efficient sources of raw material sourcing must be consistently hunted alongside working on the problems at China and Bangladesh.
Credit Suisse’s recommendation of selling Kmart to revamp the brand cannot be ignored entirely, however, Target Corporation have made no comment on the same yet.
Lastly, the heritage that comes along the brand name of Wesfarmers will continue to benefit Target Corporation. The firm still holds a strong goodwill and a loyal customer base. With right marketing, strong strategy, efficient use of resources and well managed operations will take Target Corporation a long way.
Australian Stock Exchange, 2017, https://www.asx.com.au/asx/share-price-research/company/wes, viewed on 24 August 2017.
Bowen, T, 2017, https://www.insideretail.com.au/blog/2017/06/08/wesfarmers-to-trim-target-portfolio/, viewed on 24 August, 2017.
Forbes, 2016, https://www.forbes.com/sites/walterloeb/2016/08/24/why-targets-new-battle-ground-in-technology-will-help-growth/#636d6ea36c13, viewed on 24 August 2017.
ICAS, 2016, https://www.icas.com/ca-today-news/target-accounting-scandal, viewed on 24 August 2017.
Inside Retail, 2017, https://www.insideretail.com.au/blog/2017/06/08/wesfarmers-to-trim-target-portfolio/, viewed on 24 August 2017.
Kotler, P, 2011, https://people.creighton.edu/~shu02225/nps_c_04.html, viewed on August 24, 2017.
Parker, J, 2016, https://www.abc.net.au/news/2016-04-11/wesfarmers-taking-action-over-target-accounting-scandal/7317178, viewed on August 24, 2017.
Sky news, 2017, https://www.skynews.com.au/business/business/company/2017/06/01/kmart-and-target-most-at-risk-from-amazon.html, viewed on 24 August 2017.
Sweeny, M, 2012, How Sustainable are Australian retailers’ new sourcing strategies. Journal of Superannuation management 04(03), 22-26.
Target Corporation, 2014, https://corporate.target.com/article/2014/04/bullseye-love-history-of-target-logo, viewed on 24 August 2017.
The Guardian, 2013, https://www.theguardian.com/tv-and-radio/2013/aug/26/gok-wan-advertising-complaints, viewed on 24 August 2017.
Wesfarmers, 2017, https://sustainability.wesfarmers.com.au/our-businesses/department-stores/target/, viewed on August 24, 2017.
Wesfarmers, 2017, https://www.wesfarmers.com.au/docs/default-source/reports/2016-annual-report.pdf?sfvrsn=8, viewed on August 24, 2017.
Wesfarmers, 2017, https://www.wesfarmers.com.au/who-we-are/our-history/the-wesfarmers-pstory-begins , viewed on August 23, 2017.
Wesfarmers, 2017, https://www.wesfarmers.com.au/who-we-are/who-we-are , viewed on 23 August 2017.
Wesfarmers, 2017, https://corporate.target.com/article/2014/06/target-design-partners-fashion-awards viewed on 24 August, 2017.
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