Research Methods for Strategic Managers

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Introduction

Statement of problems:

Aims /Purpose of the study

Objectives:

Hypothesis:

Methodology

Source of data

Population:

Sample selection and size

Data Collection:

Statistical analysis

Reason for using mixed method (quantitative and qualitative)

Significance of study:

Ethical consideration

Mile stones of the study

References

Project Information

Project

Primark Furniture (PF)

Project Time-frame

30/09/2012 to 30/09/2013

Summary

Introduction of a furniture section in Primark will help customers get furniture at competitively low prices and help them make savings on household expenditure.

Introduction

Primark is a clothing retailer engaged in several ranges of products (clothes, shoes bags jewelleries, accessories, and household items) for women, men and children operating over 232 stores in Ireland (where it is branded as Penneys), the United Kingdom, the Netherlands, Germany, Spain, Portugal and Belgium (McDougall, (2009). The company's main headquarters are in Ireland, and it is a subsidiary of Associated British Foods (ABF) (Alam and Hearson, 2006).

When Primark first opened in June 1969 (in Mary Street, Dublin) it became apparent that more stores were required and another four were added to the growing number of the list.

Further expansion and success in Ireland dictated the move to the United Kingdom, where in 1972 four stores were opened in more suburban areas of England. The first high-street stores were Derby and Bristol (Kehoe, 2006).

Primark is known for selling clothes at the budget end of the market. The company's success is based on sourcing their supplies cheaply, making clothes with simple designs and fabrics, only making them in the most popular sizes and buying stock in huge bulks and varieties. All of the company's merchandise is made specifically for the company and as such Primark has its own brand names. Within both menswear and ladieswear there is one main brand name that supplies most of the fashion labels, which are added too by other suppliers. Primark had a milestone year in 1995 with the development of the UK business following the acquisition of the BHS One-Up discount chain. As a result, Primark acquired 154 stores in the UK between1995 to 2010 (McDougall, 2009).

Statement of problems:

Although Primark has a home section in each of its stores, furniture is not part of its home products. Therefore, considering the large volume of its customer base, introducing furniture as a product will be crucial to its customers as Primark is known for its discount prices that is its trade mark on all of its products. It is the reason why people flock to Primark.

Aims /Purpose of the study

The purpose of this study is to introduce furniture section as part of Primark’s range of Home products.

Objectives:

The following objectives will be used to achieve the aim:

  1. Examine the demand for furniture from Primark customers
  2. To match market needs with product capabilities.
  3. Examine the potential for profit maximisation.
  4. Design strategies for the launch of the product.
  5. Explore the implication of the launch of the new product on operations of the organisation

Hypothesis:

Introducing furniture as part of the Home products will be profitable to Primark (maximise sales).

Methodology

Source of data

Both quantitative and qualitative data will be collected using questionnaires and interviews. Tashakkori and Newman (2010) state that in a research where mixed methods are used, it is very important to address both the qualitative and quantitave aspect of the research in order to reach at a non-biased conclusion to the research objectives.

Questionnaire will be used to collect data regarding perception of customers about Primark having a furniture section, whether they will be happy to have it, whether they will recommend friends to get furniture from Primark, what type of furniture and quality they expect. The interview will also ask customers about where they buy their furniture, whether they are satisfied, whether they will be happy to have furniture from Primark and the specification they need. Socio-demographic characteristics of respondents such age, gender, educational attainment and employment status will also be collected. This will enable us to know the socio-demographic features of respondents and what each group want.

Population:

The target group for this project is all customers to Primark aged 18-65

Sample selection and size

Simple random sampling method will be used to select 100 customers 50 men and 50 women to complete both the interview and the questionnaire

Data Collection:

The questionnaire will be distributed to customers in-store and completed as the questions. The questionnaire will then be edited and coded and then entered into SPSS for analysis.

The interviews will also be done in-store and recorded with the consent of customers. This will then be transcribed and main themes arising out of them analysed using thematic analysis.

Statistical analysis

Descriptive statistics will be used to analyse the data. Pie chart will be used to analyse the perception of the customers about furniture introduction into Primark stores. Simple percentages and means will also be used.

Reason for using mixed method (quantitative and qualitative)

Both qualitative and quantitative methods will be used for data collection. The justification for using mixed method is that whereas the quantitative methods using questionnaire will help us to quantify and measure the result of the study and help us test the hypothesis, the qualitative aspect using interviews will give us deeper understanding of the mind set of customers, how they feel about introduction of furniture in Primark, and they type of furniture they need.

This study will use mixed methods (Tashakkori and Teddlie, 2003) design which is a procedure for collecting, analysing and mixing both qualitative and quantitative data at some stage of the research process within a single study, to understand a research method more completely (Creswell, 2002).

Significance of study:

The importance of this project stems from the fact that it will help management to decide the feasibility of introducing furniture in Primark stores by knowing customers perception about the project and to establish if the project can go ahead. When this project is concluded, it will help customers to do all shoping including clothing, textiles and home furnishing at one place and thus reduce the inconvenience of buying things at different stores. As Primark produces quality goods at competively low prices, customers will have the benefit of getting their house furniture at competively low prices and make huge savings on their household expenditure. This will also result in profit maximisation for Primak as a whole.

Ethical consideration

Informed consent will be sought from all respondents. All data collected from respondents will be anonymised and respondents are free to withdraw from the interview and completion of questionnaire if they don’t feel comfortable with proceedings.

Mile stones of the study

Gant Chart

Month

1

2

3

4

5

6

7

8

9

10

11

12

Scoping search for background study

Writing of proposal

Developing project plan

Pilot instrument

Conducting in terview/ Questionnaire administration

Editing and coding data

Data entry

Data analysis

Interpretation of result

Discussion

Preparation of draft report

Having stake holder meetings

Preparation of final draft

Submission of report to funders

References

Alam, Khorshed; M. Hearson (2006). Fashion Victims (pdf), War on Want, Retrieved on 2006-12-10.

Kehoe, Ian. "The very private Ryan", Sunday Business Post, 2006-08-01. Retrieved on 2006-12-10.

McDougall, Dan (2009-01-11). "Primark in storm over conditions at UK supplier". The Guardian (London). http://www.guardian.co.uk/business/2009/jan/11/primark-ethical-business-living. Retrieved 2010-05-22.

Primark Stores Ltd, www.primark.co.uk

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