According to Valentin (2001), the conceptual model and framework behind the creation of the strategic tool can be categorized in terms of either internal or external factors or favorable and unfavorable factors whereby, the internal factors are strengths and weaknesses respectively while, the external factors comprise of threats and opportunities. Consequently, strengths and opportunities are favorable elements which underline a business while, weaknesses and threats can be classified as unfavorable (Valentin, 2001). 1. Strengths The strengths of Debenham’s are rooted in the company’s innovative styling in the minds of the UK customers which perceive the brand as the promoter of a specific lifestyle.
Moreover, as noted by Kennedy (2003), in comparison with other multi-retailers, the supply chain and distribution networks of the company are extensive in terms of their national and international presence. As identified previously, the company boosts of more than 172 stores locally and also in several international locations. This consideration certifies that the company maintains an extensive network of employees. The continued persistence of the brand over a period of a century has established a positive customer perception in the minds of several market segments.
In terms of the clothing sector of Debenhams, the company’s primary competitor such as John Lewis has experienced a rise in sales which is alarming for the firm. 2. Weaknesses With the arrival of local and international clothing brands in the UK, a change in customer preferences and rapidly changing trends in fashion the clothing division of companies such as M&S has suffered the most (Lancaster and Reynolds, 2005). However, the issue with Debenhams with reference to this factor can be partly attributed to poor internal management which has contributed towards the production of lackluster designs which do not appeal to younger audiences in recent years as compared to previous years.
Also, the company’s unique selling point of offering premium value on clothing is experiencing a declining and disregard by customers because they believe that the company is unable to meet expectations regarding trends, prices and quality. 3. Opportunities According to Mukherjee and Patel (2005) several UK based clothing retailers including Debenhams has the availability of a prospect where it can launch manufacturing bases in India and also penetrate within the Indian retailing market.
This opportunity can be classified as being highly favorable for the company because several other international clothing brands such as Forever 21 are also benefitting from conducting their operations in developing countries where the demand for trendy and fashionable clothing is essentially spearheaded by a large youth-oriented population.
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