It is important that an individual is familiar with the historical background of the organisation and the fair share of success and failures they have incurred in the past and the vision they have for the future. The company that has been chosen for the research is Woolworths Group, and it is one of the major providers of retail services in Australia. The products of this company comprise some of the most recognisable and trustworthy brands in the retailing industry and this company serve millions of customers on a daily basis. The mission of the company is to deliver products to the customers conveniently and ensure that the products turn out to be value for their money. The company has more than 3,000 stores across Australia, and they employ more than 205,000 employees who serve more than 29 million customers every week (Woolworthsgroup.com.au, 2018). As of 2017, the annual revenue of the company amounted to almost $56 billion making it the second largest company by revenue in Australia (Woolworthsgroup.com.au, 2018). The company is also known to be a partner to thousands of local farmers and manufacturers.
In the current scenario, the retail sector of Australia is facing challenging circumstances mainly due to high levels of competition and because of increasing digital disruption. However, some of the major retailers have managed to ensure that they can transform the challenges and utilize them as one of their strategies by formulating a plan that would aim at enhancing productivity and profitability of the organisation. The retail sector of Australia will also be able to employ almost 8.9% of the population. It indicates that the industry will be accustomed to the growth of 1.7% per annum in the next five years. The retail industry highly contributes to the economic stature of the country. In the year of 2012-13, this particular industry contributed almost 4.5% to the GDP of the country (Growth, 2018). The retail sector has one of the youngest age profiles of all of the industries. In addition, the industry is also very diverse, and they have a coordinated approach to workforce development.
EconomicThe economic condition of Australia is considered favorable for the operations of a retail business. The company has a skilled workforce, and the exchange rate and the currency of the country are considered stable. The stability of the currency is an important factor for the company.
PhysicalThe competent physical factors comprise of the resources available for the company that allows them to function better in the retail sector. Some of the resources comprise the availability of the raw materials and their financial capability.
Socio-culturalThe beliefs and the trends popular among the population of the country play an integral role in influencing the operations of the company (Eriksson and Svensson, 2015). The understanding of the social conventions and the choices of the customers is important for the organisation.
GlobalAustralia has a favorable relationship with most of the countries and because of that; the company has an opportunity to expand in other countries. The company has to comply with the legislative structure and perform business functions accordingly.
TechnologicalThe technological advancements taking place in the country plays an integral role in enhancing the shopping experience of the people. The company has been able to integrate service-oriented architecture (SOA) in its operations to ensure that the company can support the development of technology (Oliva et al., 2016). The technological factors linked with the businesses allow the company to understand customer needs and preferences.
Political/LegalThe political situation of the country is stable allowing it to operate better in the industry. The tax rates and incentives policies of the country are also favorable for allowing the company to function better.
The legal framework of the country is robust enough to protect the intellectual property of the organisation. The country’s data protection laws and employment laws allow them to ensure the protection of the company’s confidential data and protect the interests of the customers.
DemographicAs of 2017, the population of the country is about 24,770,700 and the choices of each one of them differs, thus, resulting in the differentiated purchase decisions with moderate impact on the functioning of the company (Abs.gov.au, 2018). However, the demographics of the company have a key role in influencing the operations and changes in the strategies as well.
The strategic management tool that is being used for the understanding of the industry environment for Woolworth’s group is Porter’s five forces. It also allows the understanding of the influence of competitive forces in influencing the profitability of the company.
For the operations of Woolworths Company, the supplier power has been identified to have a low impact on the functioning of the company as to ensure the proper management of their supply chain; the company can approach multiple suppliers of raw materials and for products from different brands as well.
The power of the buyers has been estimated to be from moderate to high, thus implying that the customers can seek more offers and discounts for the products available in the stores. The customers are the key stakeholder of the company, and it provides them with the opportunity to ensure that they can avail products at best prices possible (Bamiatzi et al., 2016).
The threat of the potential entrants in the industry is low because the industry is already equipped with a sufficient amount of companies that have been able to gain a huge customer base. The company has, however, managed to eradicate the threat of these competitors and safeguard its competitive edge.
The threat of substitution is being identified to be from moderate to high. Since the company, Woolworths has managed to maintain their market dominance, but the company has also managed to gain some of the competitors in this sector thus rating the threat of substitution from moderate to high. If the customers are not satisfied with the product portfolio or the pricing range of the company, then they will search for companies with similar products but with the affordable price range (Sutton-Brady et al., 2015).
The rivalry among the competitors has been rated high because, in the retail sector of Australia, Cole’s supermarket chain has been recognized to be its biggest competitor. The competition between the companies does take a toll on the profit margin, and it can be prevented by building product differentiation and by attracting a large customer base than the competitor.
Coles Supermarket has been identified as the biggest competitor of the company. The annual revenue of both the companies is almost similar to a marginal difference. Both the companies belong to the retail sector, and the competitive scale between both of them is always high. By 2017, the competition in the retail industry was just limited to between Coles and Woolworths. However, in the current scenario, the competitive nature has increased with the entry of Amazon and ALDI (Business Insider Australia, 2017). Both of these companies have differentiated product portfolio, and their performance in the market has been praised ever since their foundation. In addition, they have appropriate return policies and home delivery options within a limited timeframe. The companies have managed to dilute the scenario of intensified competition between only two companies in the sector. Due to the popularity of both the companies overseas, there is a possibility that Woolworths will be accustomed to a much higher level of competition in the future.
The company has a fair quantity of tangible and intangible resources. They invest a substantial amount of financial capital for the proper use of assets in gaining profit margin for the company. The key tangible resources of the company are property, plant, and equipment. The tangible assets of the company are being tested for impairment on an annual basis. The company identifies impairment loss whenever the recoverable amount surpasses the carrying amount. The recoverable amount is determined based on the cash flow projection (Asx.com.au, 2018). The intangible resources of the company comprise of brand names, liquor licenses, gaming licenses, gaming entitlements, and research and development. The intangible assets of the company play an integral role in forming the consolidated accounting policies. The investments made in equity securities are being identified as financial assets of the company.
As it has been identified in the previous sections, Woolworths is a retail organisation that operates in Australia. The company is being considered as one of the prominent and one of the best retail companies in the country. From the external analysis conducted above, it has been found out that the company has been subjected to suitable market and economic conditions of the country. The primary intention of the company is to establish a customer-centered store that allows them to prioritize the needs and requirements of the customers at the initial stage. They are capable enough to ensure that they can generate sustainable performance in food. The company has managed to witness growth both in the store operations of Australia and New Zealand. The company has also witnessed a substantial amount of growth with the branding of the products of their own brand. The company has also been able to launch their online community ‘The Bunch’ that allows the customers to taste the Woolworths own brand products free (Woolworthsgroup.com.au, 2018). Thus, it can be said that the company has been trying to gain the loyalty of the customer base with the help of a different range of products.
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