RETAILER ANALYSIS – Final Paper Retailer: Sephora


Prepare a paper about your retailer using the guidelines listed below. In researching and preparing your paper, you should use a minimum of 7 sources of information. Develop a reference list of your sources and appropriately reference them throughout the paper as you present information from them. Do not summarize information without giving credit to the source.


The following is an outline of what you need to include in your paper.  You will need to touch on each of the 7 areas. If you are not able to provide information on a specific section or bullet, please explain why it doesn’t not relate or apply to your specific retailer.  The paper should be no longer than 12 pages.  Be concise and please, do not repeat previously presented information. Each section should contain different information. Some information my overlap so when it does use that opportunity to expand it further.


1. Overview and Current Climate (30 pts)

Take time to do this.  It is the basis of your analysis. Write this as though your reader knows nothing about the company.


What is your retailer’s primary business? Describe the current climate and situation that your retailer finds itself in as it attempts to compete. Describe what is occurring in the industry. Provide a brief overview of the retail sector in which the retailer operates. What environmental and economic factors are affecting the retailer? Describe competitive pressures, changing demographics and buying preferences, consumer behavior issues, image issues, etc. that affects this retailer and how they conduct business? How has the industry changed as a result of ecommerce and technology?


2. Retail Model and Strategy (30 pts)

What is their business model (how do they choose to operate)? What is their corporate strategy? What are their goals? What parts of their business are growing and generate the most revenue? How is your retailer seeking to increase revenue in the future?


3. Corporate Analysis (30 pts)

Who is the parent company of your retailer? What retailers are part of their portfolio? What is the parent company’s overall market strategy and how does this retailer fit into their overall strategy?


4. Competition (30 pts)

Who are the retailers’ competitors (both direct and indirect)? How does your retailer compare to these competitors in terms of its size, market dominance/share, sales, profitability, etc.?

What is your retailer’s competitive strength? How do they try to compete? Are there strategies that have not worked for them? What retailers have they identified as competitive threats? Why?


5. Retail Market Strategy (50 pts)

a. Target Audience – Who is their target audience? (Describe demographically and psychographically, if possible) How does this compare to the competition?

b. What image do they want to convey? How do they attempt to position themselves in the minds of consumers in the market? What is their current image in the industry and in the minds of consumers? Is this image working for them? How does this compare with the image of competitors?

c. How do they make use of technology (web and ecommerce, supply chain management, information systems, etc.)? How has technology affected the way they conduct business?

d. What is their global presence and strategy? What countries have they entered? How successful have they been expanding into these countries? What obstacles have they faced?

e. What is their location strategy? Why have they chosen this strategy?

f. What is their approach to managing human resources? (if this info is available)

g. Describe their merchandising strategy – how they buy, what they buy, breadth vs depth of merchandise, etc. How is it reflected in their financial strategy?

h. What is their pricing strategy and how does this affect their profitability?

i. Describe their approach to advertising and sales promotions. Has it been effective for them?

j. What challenges does your retailer face in terms of the retail strategy variables just described? Do some appear to be working better than others?


6. Mini SWOT (20 pts)

Summarize your retailer’s primary strengths and weaknesses and support your assessment. What are their biggest challenges now and in the future? How are they preparing to meet those challenges? What do they view as their opportunities for the future?


7. Looking to the Future (10 pts)

What do you think the future holds for this retailer? If you were hired as the CEO, what specific strategies would you pursue in the future for this retailer? What opportunities would you capitalize on? Why?

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