|dc.description.abstract||This report has been conducted in cooperation with Bik Bok, a Norwegian fast-fashion retail
chain for young females. The company established their operations in the UK market in
2005, and conducts their business in Oxford Street, London. Due to a lacklustre performance
and ineffective operations, an aim has been identified to make the existing London store
more profitable and increase Bik Bok’s brand awareness in the UK market.
In order to acquire information to answer the research aims and objectives, the research
process was conducted in a step by step manner. By collecting secondary and primary data,
important intelligence has been identified. Through a semi-structured interview with Bik
Bok’s store manager, a deeper insight has been obtained into the UK retail market, how the
store operates, the brand and their marketing activities. Additionally, structured interviews
in written formats, observations and surveys have been executed to acquire the latest data
regarding their customers.
The most important findings from our primary research have been identified as the
following. The demographics of the store’s customers show great diversity regarding age.
Moreover, the main respondents were British people living in the London area and tourists,
primarily from Norway. Furthermore, a majority of the customers were first time shoppers
at Bik Bok, which implies that Bik Bok has low brand awareness in the UK market.
Through extensive market research, the authors of the report have been able to obtain a
deeper insight into Bik Bok’s external and internal environment. The UK is considered an
attractive and “low risk” country to conduct business in. After the recession, the country’s
economy is experiencing a slow recovery, which has led to an increase in customer
purchasing power. In terms of social aspects, the country has high standards of living and
education. Moreover, their infrastructure regarding the telecommunication system is of a
high quality and a majority of the inhabitants have access to the Internet. Sustainable
development is additionally of high importance in the UK. Furthermore, local legislation is of
high importance for Bik Bok, hence business tax rates and the congestion charge policy
impacts the company’s operations and ultimate profitability. The competitive clothing retail environment in the UK is characterised by strong rivalry,
however there is still considered to be room for small competitors. Combined with the
growth in the womenswear sector, this indicates the attractiveness of the industry.
Moreover, the internal analysis highlights that Bik Bok has great customer service;
nonetheless, their marketing communication is not giving high priority towards the UK
market. Hence, an increase in marketing efforts and a high priority on marketing from the
headquarters is imperative for Bik Bok to become more profitable in the UK market.
By focusing on branding and promotional material Bik Bok can convince the market of its
superior merchandise. The main marketing strategy has been identified as “direct and
interactive marketing” to increase customer awareness and brand equity. Moreover, Bik
Bok should exploit the opportunities that lie in celebrity endorsement by promoting the
guest collection by the renowned Whitney Port. Additionally, an upgrade of the store is
considered a necessity to enhance the company’s success.
The proposed strategy includes recommendations for Bik Bok to attain their goals in the UK
market. By focusing on obtaining a differentiation strategy, they could benefit from
implementing a Scandinavian concept into their brand. Additionally, they will benefit from
visualizing their sustainable business operations by promoting this towards the customers.
Moreover, the long-term recommendations have been identified as adapting to the UK
market in relation to the product lines and addressing the issues of the increase in ecommerce
and m-commerce. By carrying out these proposals, Bik Bok has a great potential
for developing a flourishing business concept.||en_US