The idea of this report is to analyze the retailer I have chosen how approaches its: Organizational Structure and Management, Marketing and Human resource management and, to discuss the different impacts the external business environment has and will have on the retailer. That is the reason why I have chosen the retailer Debenhams for this report. It is a dominant international brand with a proud British heritage which trades with over 22 countries. It gives an elite selection of own brands as well as international brands. Debenhams have experienced financial issues. The struggling department store chain has a voluntary company arrangement, a form of insolvency to cut its costs by a procedure that allows a company to arrange debts by paying only a part of the amount that it owes to lenders. Debenhams is a market ruler in beauty and health which does it a suitable option for this assignment because they are working in more than one continent and have experienced difficulties during the current changes in the retail sector.
ORGANIZATIONAL STRUCTURE AND MANAGEMENT
The business was established in 1778 by William Clark, who began trading in London as a drapers’ store. The owner was selling precious bonnets, fabrics and gloves for 25 years. In 1813, William Debenham invested money in the firm. However, in 1905, Debenhams Ltd. was born. Moreover, after further improvement, the business unites with Marshall & Snellgrove. These days it is held by Celine UK NewCo 1. (based on Statista Research Department, last edited Dec 7, 2015)
This statistic describes the number of Debenhams shops by region at the end of the 2014-2015 financial year. Debenhams had a total of 165 stores positioned in the U.K., and an additional 87 stores and franchisees expanded worldwide. (Statista Research Department, last edited Dec 7, 2015)
Debenhams has several business strategies. One of them is to deliver a fascinating client proposition by offering the best of the high street. They propose an exclusive combination of luxury brands and international brands across various product sections. The second one is the growing opportunity and option by multi-channel. The retailer continues to invest in top quality service so their clients can use the best of online shopping. They have arranged the administration of stores and also online so that they can give the buyers seamless shopping experience as they frequently shop using more than one channel. ‘15% of Group gross transaction value (GTV) is generated online, and a third of online orders are collected from their stores’ (Debenhams). However, this shows that people shopping online are increasing. Debenhams takes this as an opportunity and wants to make their customers come for more. Debenhams has a line and staff organizational structure. This kind of organizations has staff and line departments. Experts are part of the staff department, and they are assisting and advising the line managers while they are making the arrangements, which are a commission. Debenhams is using these techniques to keep its employees motivated and successful in decision making. I believe that the retailer is correct, trying to improve its online platform because more and more customers use online shopping.
Marketing, according to Kotler’s (2017) Principles of Marketing states, is:’ Engaging customers and managing profitable customer relationships. The two-fold purpose of marketing is to attract new clients by assuring superior value, maintaining and advancing current customers by delivering value and satisfaction.’ Regarding this, Debenhams has the purpose of pleasing the clients of their shops for years. ‘The chain has 166 stores, which at first will all continue to trade. However, it also has £621m of debt. Their current approach is to renegotiate the rents on some of its stores, while around 50 of them have already been set apart for closure, next year.’ (BBC News 2019). High Street retailers have been under increasing pressure because more people like to shop online and visit shops less. For some people, it is easier to buy online. For example, if they do not have time during the day to visit the shops, they can order online when they have free time. ‘Debenhams reported a record pre-tax loss of £491.5m last year and said that sales had fallen sharply over Christmas (BBC News 2019)’. ‘Debenhams had announced their Christmas trading figures, and it is not pleasant. For once, Debenhams exceeded expectations, reporting a fall of 3.4% and a huge 5.7% for the 18 weeks’ (Forbes January 2019). Debenhams have had difficulties for some time. Stick in increasing costs, locked into long lessor leases, facing rising competition from online and without a compelling in-store experience. It seems that the doubt that Brexit is making across the U.K. economy was the last step to failure. Many people prefer online shopping, especially on holidays because the shops are chaotic at the time, but not everyone would prefer to order through the internet. However, a person never knows what he will get without seeing it. So, people who value the gifts they buy still use the stores because they cannot risk not to get what they expected. Market Position, Store Network, and Multi-Channel Business are the strength of Debenhams (Debenhams plc SWOT Analysis). ‘Their products are available online across 60 countries’. (Debenhams) (based on Statista Research Department, by Tugba Sabanoglu, last edited Mar 12, 2019)
This statistic shows that the majority of sales at Debenhams are made in stores, around 77% percentage of sales in 2016.
On the other hand, online sales have grown by roughly 10% from 2013 to 2016. Defining Social Shopping for Debenhams is seeing the way their clients are shopping for style and beauty and connect via their mobile phones. There is a chance for Debenhams to be the leader in what they define as the new ‘Social Shopping’. Shopping is a pleasant leisure activity which you can enjoy with your friend and family.
As they are planning to do, for Debenhams, it is better to invest in the online platform and try to provide the best services they could because online shopping is part of our daily life.
HUMAN RESOURCE MANAGEMENT
According to Michael (Armstrong 2006): ‘Human resource management is defined as a strategic and coherent approach to the management of an organization’s most treasured assets – the people working there who individually and collectively contribute to the achievement of its objectives.’ The term Human Resource Management is a process that covers the procedures, tasks, activities, and policies in an organization which supports their business gain a competitive advantage. It is intended to maximize employee performance. In the cultural aspect, Debenhams are friendly and warm. They are starting on a comprehensive review of their Colleague Proposition and working to build a new Proposition. Their intention is to make shopping confidence-boosting, sociable and fun. Debenhams aim for equal opportunities for their colleagues. The company seeks wherever possible to make reasonable changes so their Colleague who becomes incapacitated during their employment can continue working productively. They achieve this by providing equipment, altering working or providing additional training. Also, Debenhams has a different kind of approach. They use a logical framework to develop upcoming leaders within their stores and support center. I think this company has made the right decision and continues to improve the working conditions for its workers. For example, Google (in America) has the best working environment, and in this way, people do not feel sad, depressed or obliged, they are much more productive and happier with their jobs, I think every company should aim for the best of their workers because, in this way, the company will be profitable. Also, a company cannot be successful without good employees.
On this basis, we conclude that the search made in this report proves that, Debenhams current access to its organizational structure and Management, marketing and human resource management, and shows that they are viable and socially responsible. Debenhams has been offering quality and luxury goods since its beginning. They have gone through many stages but still, keep the same quality. They have created a convenient online platform for their customers to have fun while shopping and be able to do it wherever and with whom they want. Debenhams is continuously improving its platform to fulfil their clients’ wishes. They also want their employers to be equal. To improve the working environment, the company organizes an event where workers speak their minds and changes are made if necessary, after discussing them. I think Debenhams is a successful company that has accomplished a lot and continues to and also is one of the well-to-do retailers on the high street.