Retail Theory and Practice BTEC Level 5


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  • Level: Undergraduate/College
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  • Paper Type: Case Study
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Retail is a process of selling products and services to target individuals by crossing multiple channels of distribution to generate profit. It used to follow a supply chain in a better and more definite manner so that satisfied products were delivered in a better frame. This project is all about retail theory and practices on River Island which is one of the major retail companies in the UK. They provide high-standard clothes products to their customers by analysing all new trends. This project will describe the key relevant changes that arise in the UK clothing sector which need to be understood by management so that better and more effective strategies and tactics can be formulated (Bowen, 2016 ).

Introduction to Retail

The retail industry is one of the most seasoned areas, this industry has developed at 5.5 percent consistently. The number of changes are there which happen in this and influence its development and rate of benefit. To make progress and development, it is exceptionally basic for makers and retailers of apparel to first look at the varieties happen in needs and fashion patterns. Significant employment in ventures related to fashion is in the retail offer of apparel. The design market of the United Kingdom is developing on a non-stop premise since a huge number of retailers are moving far from regular patterns and substantial reducing that have little connection to flighty figures.

Introduction about company

River Island is one of the major companies that used to deal with various worldwide market areas it was established in the year 1948 by Bernard Lewis. It is a private company which used to be owned by the Lewis family and has headquarters in London. In 1993, management expanded them to a new market area in Ireland which enabled and facilitated the option to bring better and more effective products to a diverse range of customers as well  (Chudik and Pesaran, 2016).

River Island has 350 stores in the UK, Ireland, and Asia, with 6 online websites operated in 4 currencies with shipping to over 100 more countries. With the expansion of business, management used to determine the recent and current trends as well so that they could manage and expand operations in a better and more determined manner. Till the year 2012, businesses did not have any stores in Singapore but by 2013, the online fashion company Zalora acted as a link between River Island and Southeast Asia.

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Main Body

Key relevant changes in the UK clothing fashion industry

The clothing industry is wide in nature and fashion trends are changing and modifying with every due course of time. It is really important to understand the key relevant changes which arise in the UK clothing fashion industry. River Island is a retail company that works and activities with innovative methods (Dalkir and Beaulieu, 2017). Changes in the business operations highly affect on its performance and profitability which is not good for them to achieve predetermined goals and objectives. Changes are also important and beneficial for the organisation to attract a large number of customers towards business products and goods. There are different variations in the fashion sector that is faced by River Island in an effective and efficient manner.

  • Business setting strong and long-term goals: Changes in the clothing sector highly affect business performance and effectiveness. River Island deals in different types of clothes which is essential for them to maximise their goodwill and image in the marketplace. Changes in the business structure affect the business image and brand (Vargoand Lusch, 2011). In this role and responsibility of the business manager is to improve their product quality and apply different kinds of promotion mix. This includes advertisement, personal selling, public relations and many others. All these tools highly support them to introduce their product features, quality, design and many other aspects in the marketplace and to the customers in a systematic manner.
  • Harnessing the industry power: Today each and every organisation wants and needs to develop as well as maintain a long-lasting relationship with their customers. For the accomplishment of this,  River Island maintains and keeps transference in its production process and supply chain. All these are highly essential for the company to attract a million the audience towards clothing products (Drexl, 2012). The power of the company is a more important part of its success and development in the market. For achievement of long-term development, they are able to gain maximum amount of funds and competitive advantages within an organisation.
  • Changes in technology: Digitalisation is more important and essential for the organisation to save time and money. With the help of this, they can easily attract a large audience by satisfying the needs and wants of the customers. In the clothing sector, River Island should try to apply digitalisation in their production process. Thus, it assists in the achievement of long-term goals and objectives in the allotted time period. It is also essential and useful for maintaining long-lasting relationships with clients and gaining the maximum amount of capital. 
  • Modification in the customer taste and preferences: It is another changes in the clothing sector that impact company performance and goodwill in direct and indirect way. Today market is dynamic and changes day to day. There are a large number of customers whose needs and tastes are different in clothing products. So it affects the company's sales and revenues which is not good for them to gain competitive advantages (George and Bock, 2011).
  • Changes in market trends: Market trends are changes on a regular basis which impact the company and its profitability ratio in a negative and positive way. In this role and responsibility of of marketing manager is to conduct a research program by which they can easily identify customers' needs and try to satisfy them. So it is beneficial and essential for River Island to render quality products and better services to their customers at affordable prices (Tate, Ellram and Dooley, 2012). In this, they should try to analyse market demand and customers' requirements for clothing goods. Further, they understand all this and give better quality as per their requirement and needs.

Strategies which need to be implemented for dealing with changes

The clothing or fashion industry faces heavy and major challenges in their work that they used to deal with at the global level. Such changes could be in the form of technological advancement, harassing customers, or change in the taste and preference of customers aspect. All these are defined as major and dynamic alterations which supposed to be present in the working and need to be understood by business managers of River Island properly. Hence, to deal with such changes, management first has to organise a macro environment analysis which facilitates them and enables them to manage such consideration as well and their evaluation becomes possible in nature as well (Grimm and et. al., 2013).

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  • Political: One of the major changes is related to political stability which could impact the company's ability to craft various long-term goals and targets. Businesses need to understand the political interventions properly where 2016 and 2017 rocked hard the business due to Brexit. In the UK, this act enables and reduces the ability of a company to manage and deal with changes in a better and more definite manner. This aspect requires understanding by the business properly and to deal with this, an appropriate and effective strategy is required.
  • Economical: Businesses need to determine the condition of a country in a better and more supportive manner. However, if a country does not have a better and defined condition of economy then chances of profit for River Island are relatively low in tenure. The UK have a good economic condition which facilitates them in producing high-quality products. Along with this,m they also use through online section which enables them to contribute to many country's economies. Thus, this could be changed or altered as per the market trends. Hence, management needs to estimate the scenario of the market and then use it to deliver products and services (Leigh and Blakely, 2016).
  • Social culture: Another aspect is related to society which needs to be understood by business managers of River Island in a better and effective manner. This belongs to changes in customer taste and preference which need to be understood by managers of a company. They are supposed to craft their strategies which are used to please them in order to make their clients satisfied. River Island will deliver the products and services as per the requirements of their customers which facilitate and enable them to generate more and more profit and maintain their keen competitive position at the time of change as well.
  • Technological: River Island is a famous organisation that used to deal in branded clothes. However, the management of a company used to deal in various kinds of products and services through online mediums which facilitates them to reach such markets place where do not have any stores yet (Rapp and et. al., 2015). This will enable them in order to maintain a better position in the market area which further enable them to manage operations in a better and definite manner of course. However, they need to work on this aspect properly because, in the past few days, they found that online fraud activities are taking place more and more. Thus, management needs to utilise high-security technological advancement software which assists them in dealing with such stances in a better and more effective manner.
  • Environmental: Businesses need to understand the environmental aspects in a better and more supportive manner so that they can maintain their work in a better frame (Stewart and Shamdasani, 2014). Sometimes, management operations are used to harm the environment which is supposed to reflect a negative image of a company. River Island need to understand this aspect in a better and more effective manner so that they can deal with aspects properly. They need to avoid delivering their clothes in plastic bags and use paper bags. This will enable them in least harm the environment as well as such bags are recyclable in nature as well.
  • Legislative: Whenever business used to focus their work in any field area, they have to determine all related regulations of such countries. Such legislation enables them to operate and deal the things properly which facilitates and enables them to manage their work properly (Price, 2017). Like River Island have to determine and learn about the consumer protection acts in a better and more delightful manner as well as the need to understand the online security system. Such legislation will support business and management in order to facilitate effective working which supports them in deriving better and more effective outcomes.

Recommendations regarding strategies improvement

There are possibilities that business has to make policies which help them to perform activities in a better way. There are many factors which affect business operations, they must be important for the growth of the company. There is a requirement for various policies which help in performing activities in a better way. There are possibilities that the manager has to change policies which are related to the operations of River Iceland. They must try to come up with new and innovative ideas which help in achieving targets on time. Customer satisfaction is one of the best ways to expand business and increase the revenue of the company. In the clothing business, there are many competitors so it is important to analyse the market regularly and take corrective actions.

There is the requirement of resources such as raw material, cloth stuff, etc. which must be used in a way so there is the requirement of policies which help in achieving business objectives in the proper way. The main aim of River Iceland is to earn profits, this can be done with the help of a reduction of cost. There is the requirement of proper policies which help in satisfying customers. In the Fashion industry trends are changing very frequently, so there is a need for proper planning so dresses will not become out of trend. It is not possible for employees to perform activities in a perfect way, so it is necessary that managers emphasise on working style of employees. There are many factors which affect business and it is essential to perform activities in a better way.


These days there is a requirement for various policies which help the company to achieve tasks in proper time. There are possibilities that due to changes in plans and policies, it must be conveyed to employees so they can achieve targets on time. As per today's ear, regular changes are taking place so River Iceland must keep in mind and take action properly so it does not give the chance of loss. There are possibilities of over and dead stock, both situations are adverse for the company, so proper planning must be there. Business runs in society so there are possibilities that there are fluctuations in external parties of the company, then there is the requirement of flexible policies which help in performing tasks in a more effective and efficient manner. There is an important role of the research and development department, as they deal with the needs of customers and changes in acceptance of policies. There is a requirement of various factors which must be probable for achieving targets. River Ice must give emphasise the performance of the company and then take actions which help, them to improve the overall performance of River Iceland.

There are possibilities that due to changes in working style, employees may get deflected from their path and this may create confusion in the activities of the company. There is a need for proper analysis which affects business in a positive manner. The business environment is one of the important factors which help in achieving targets and then taking action appropriately. As these days modifications are taking place very frequently, so there is a need for change in business policies also. The government plays a vital role in the smooth running of the business, so there is the requirement of proper monitoring which helps in achieving targets in a better way. It is essential that the management of River Iceland must frame policies which help in achieving targets.

There are different actions performed by management to motivate employees, through their performance appraisal. It is necessary to convey that a company's growth means the development of workers. So this helps in achieving business targets in the best and most appropriate manner. If there is a change in the working style of the company then there is a requirement of training so employees can learn new things and it helps in the growth of workers as well as River Iceland. Training not only improves workers' performance but also makes them energetic.

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It was concluded from the project that retail theory and practices need to be applied in a business context so that better and more effective outcomes can be drawn. A business is required to manage its work in a better manner by evaluating all major changing trends and aspects properly and effectively. Moreover, businesses are required to understand such stances in a better manner so that they can deal with such changes properly. For this consideration, macro environment analysis is used to ensure a better manner. Such strategies will incorporate business to deal with all kinds of modifications in a better and more determined manner. Henceforth, management becomes able to manage changes properly which further assists them in gaining and deriving better and more effective outcomes for a long period of the course.


  • Bowen, D. E., 2016. The changing role of employees in service theory and practice: An interdisciplinary view. Human Resource Management Review. 26(1).  pp.4-13.
  • Chudik, A. and Pesaran, M. H., 2016. Theory and practice of GVAR modelling. Journal of Economic Surveys. 30(1).  pp.165-197.
  • Dalkir, K. and Beaulieu, M., 2017. Knowledge management in theory and practice. MIT Press.
  • Drexel, M., 2012. Rich vehicle routing in theory and practice. Logistics Research. 5(1-2), pp.47-63.
  • George, G. and Bock, A. J., 2011. The business model in practice and its implications for entrepreneurship research. Entrepreneurship theory and practice. 35(1).  pp.83-111.
  • Grimm, R. and et. al., 2013. Social innovation, an answer to contemporary societal challenges? Locating the concept in theory and practice. Innovation: The European Journal of Social Science Research. 26(4).  pp.436-455.
  • Leigh, N. G. and Blakely, E. J., 2016. Planning local economic development: Theory and practice. Sage Publications.
  • Stewart, D. W. and Shamdasani, P. N., 2014. Focus groups: Theory and practice (Vol. 20). Sage publications.
  • Price, C.R., 2017. Revolution Will Not Be Funded, The: Beyond the Non-Profit Industrial Complex.
  • Rapp, A. and et. al.,  2015. Perceived customer showrooming behaviour and the effect on retail salesperson self-efficacy and performance. Journal of Retailing. 91(2).  pp.358-369.
  • Tate, W. L., Ellram, L. M. and Dooley, K. J., 2012. Environmental purchasing and supplier management (EPSM): Theory and practice. Journal of Purchasing and Supply Management. 18(3).  pp.173-188.
  • Vargo, S. L. and Lusch, R. F., 2011. It's all B2B and beyond: Toward a systems perspective of the market. Industrial marketing management. 40(2).  pp.181-187.0
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