Selfridges Essay

SWOT and Financial Analysis of Selfridges Selfridges PLC has four stores, one of which is the second largest in the UK. The essay will evaluate the key facts about the company and why they are important. This essay will cover the financial performance, marketing strategy and a SWOT analysis for Selfridges. The company is well known and unique because of its history and how it currently operates. SWOT is an acronym for strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats. By analyzing the four topics, it is easier to inspect the current business situation.
Once all the issues have been identified changes can be made in order to improve the company. The PEST analysis and other similar strategies can also be used in addition to the SWOT for further investigation and improvement. Background Selfridges is located in the centre of London, on Oxford Street. After taking just 12 months to build, the store was opened on 15th March. Harry Gordon Selfridge, the founder of Selfridges wanted to build an American department store in London. The store supplied many products and services including, perfume, clothing, home appliances and jewellery.
Selfridges is now a Public Limited Company which means it sells shares to the public. Marketing strategy Marketing strategy includes the products, pricing, promotions and relationship management. A way of remaining loyal to customers is by offering them a loyalty card, when the customer uses their Selfridges loyalty card they will receive one point for every pound they spend. Selfridges offer products which vary from luxury items to high street brands. On some occasion celebrities will visit the store and this attracts many customers on one single day.

Selfridges also promotes the store by having sales which offer discount on items in order to attract the customer. Financial performance When Harry first bought the land where Selfridges would be built it cost him him $400,000 however in the 21st century the property was valued at more than ? 324m. Selfridges was sold In July 1951 for ? 3. 4 million to Lewis’s Investment Trust and 52 years later the store was re-sold for ? 600m to Canadian food and specialist retail businessman Galen Weston and his family. In 1991 a seven year, ? 00m renovation was completed which updated the look and size of the store. The profit in 2009 was ? 84m and is set to increase steadily annually. SWOT analysis Strengths Firstly, Being situated in the heart of London is a major advantage for Selfridges because central London is such a popular place. Secondly, the products offered vary from toys, clothing, cosmetics, home appliances, furniture, jewellery and food. Selfridges has its own website so it can sell products online to people if they are unable to visit the store for any reason.
Furthermore most of the products sold in store are also available online so there this saves time for customers and employees as well as saving space in store. Selfridges consists of over 500 diverse brands in store, this means that it saves people from having to go to different stores so it is a lot easier for people to shop. People are able to view luxury brands such as Bvlgari, Christian Dior, Prada, Versace and many more. Topshop, Lipsy, FCUK and AllSaints are just four of many high street brands for people to look at.
Selfridges cater for different markets so there is something for everyone in store. Weaknesses Even though Selfridges is planning on opening new stores in the future, there are currently only four stores. Stores such as John Lewis and Debenhams have over 100 stores across the UK which makes it more accessible for people. Some of the services Selfridges provide may be expensive in some people’s opinion. For example the car park at the London store costs ? 7 minimum, this may cause customers to park and shop somewhere else.
With today’s increasing problem of global warming and animal cruelty, some products may become a problem, or need changing in order to adapt to regulations. For example, the Duke and Duchess of Hamilton decided to boycott shopping at Selfridges because foie gras (a food product made from duck or goose liver) is being sold in the stores. Selfridges has a number of competitors, its main rivals are Harrods, Harvey Nichols and John Lewis. Opportunities According to the Independent, there are future plans to develop the north section of the Oxford Street store and create a hotel, offices, leisure.
In the future Selfridges could possibly open new stores in England or abroad in a different country such as America where it is likely to succeed, exchange rates are also low. Selfridges already has their own clothing range for females so it might be good to start a new range such as male clothing or cosmetics. The market is always changing and adapting, new brands and products are always being created. So the fact that Selfridges is always renewing their range is an opportunity. Loyal customers will always return to view the latest products in the market. Threats
Stores such as Harrods, Harvey Nichols and John Lewis all pose as major threats to Selfridges PLC because they are all situated in the centre of London and also attract many potential customers. All the stores will be competing with each other with costs and products. The current economic climate is bad for the company because it affects many customers and the way they spend money. Taxes, politics and government also have a major affect on stores such as Selfridges. The current economic climate is probably the biggest factor for Selfridges. Economic climate has affected people and how they spend money.
Because Selfridges specializes in luxury goods, the prices may be slightly high in some people’s opinion which will cause them to be reluctant to buy products from Selfridges. Some people are going to choose to shop at other high street shops which offer better priced items. Conclusion In my opinion Selfridges continues to remain successful during the economic crisis and remain competitive against all other retail stores. In conclusion the main strengths are that is it located in the centre of London on Oxford Street and there is a major variety of products.
The main weakness for Selfridges is possibly the current economic crisis because it effects how people spend money. Miss Selfridge, the woman’s clothing range started in 1966 and has grown continuously and is now a major high street store. A new opportunity could be that Selfridges might possibly open new product ranges or services such as hotels or leisure. Bibliography http://www. georgianhousehotel. co. uk/london-shopping/selfridges. asp (30/11/2010) http://www. selfridges. com/en/StaticPage/Our+Heritage/? msg= (30/11/2010) http://www. ndependent. co. uk/news/business/news/selfridges-announce-profits-increase-700045. html (30/10/11) http://www. missselfridge. com/careers/ss10/recruitment/pages/timeline. html (30/11/2010) http://www. personneltoday. com/articles/2007/07/02/41308/selfridges-human-resources-director-maria-stanford-reforms-the-retailers-hr-brand. html (30/11/2010) http://companies. jrank. org/pages/3724/Selfridges-Plc. html (30/11/2010) http://business. timesonline. co. uk/tol/business/industry_sectors/retailing/article5536583. ece (08/12/2010)