Retail market issue The assignment asks you to prepare a report that critically evaluates retailers’ responses to a current market issue i) Firstly, the current issue must be on of the issues discussed in the module, i.e one of the issues below faced by retailers: (only choose ONE from the list below to mainly focus on but also where relevant show understanding of other topic area where possible): • Retail Branding • E-tailing and Multichannel retailing • Internationalisation of retailers • Global sourcing • Shopping Malls and the Future of the High Streets • Customer Relationship Management and Loyalty • Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) and Ethical Issues • Social marketing, supply chain issues, and Fair Trade focusing on food ii) ‘retailers’ resonses’ This means that the report can examine the responses of a number of retailers to the issue. However, the report could look at the responses of one retailer in particular. In this case it would make sense to compare its responses to other retailers. iii) ‘Critically evaluates’. This means that the report must be more than just a description of activities of retailers and must evaluate how effective the retailers’ responses are to the problem/ issues of concern. iv) ‘examination, in depth, of the relationships between theory and current retail activities’. This means that there should a good discussion of the relevant theory/ academic research about the topic and how useful or relevant it is to retailers as well as examining the different ways in which retailers ar responding to the issue. Structure of the Report Introduction The introduction should provide a brief discussion of the reason why the chosen issues is currently important to retailers. If you choose to focus on a particular retailer, it would be a good idea to also briefly indicate why the particular issue is important for the retailer. For instance, if you choose corporate social responsibility as an issue for your report the introduction should provide a brief discussion as to why the issue has become increasingly important for retailers. And if, for instance, you wish to focus say on Sports Direct, then a brief discussion on why CSR is important for the retailer should also be provided to set the scene. Main Body of the Report The main body of the report should discuss the main/important aspect of the chosen issue for retailers. There should also be some discussion of the relevant theory/ research findings relating to the issue. There should also be in depth discussion of how retailers are tackling the issue and with what results. For instance, if you are looking at e-loyalty, then your report should provide some discussion of the different aspects of loyalty building e.g. trust, relationship satisfaction, commitment etc. and what some of the current findings of research in the area are. You should also discuss how different retailers are attempting to develop e-loyalty and evaluate how effective the various approaches are. Conclusions section The conclusion section should draw out the key lessons that can be learnt regarding what is effective for tackling the chosen issue and how theory might be usefully employed to assist in tackling the issue. Finally Although you are asked for a report, it does not need a contents page or an executive summary. However, it should be make appropriate use of sections and headings to guide the discussion. Remember to support everything with evidence. Where possible your evidence should be from articles (use Journal of Retailing, International Journal of Retail & Distribution Management, Journal of Retail & Consumer Research – Business Source Premier as well as Emerald) and from the quality press and trade press (Retail Week, The Grocer etc.) Use your conclusion to summarise your findings and extend your work. Check the marking criteria (on the Assessment Brief and also on Moodle and below) Marking criteria assignment i) Breadth and relevance of research 35% ii) Level of analysis/application of theory 35% iii) Conclusions/ discussion/ policy recommendations 20 % iv) Clarity, structure, grammar, correct referencing 10% If there’s 35% for the breadth and relevance of your research then a couple of web references are not going to score many marks. Top marks in this category require probably 10 to 15 relevant journal articles and a number of retail texts plus some good quality news articles. If you don’t use the Harvard referencing system you could fail the ‘clarity, structure, grammar, correct referencing section – check the ‘How to study’ guide (link below) for the correct format (or your first year Business Skills notes). The formative assessment will give you the opportunity to check that you are on the right track and because of this we will not be checking drafts. assignment brief and mark scheme attached
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