Balancing the product portfolio to satisfy customer demand
A JD Sports case study

Page 1: Introduction

JD is the UK’s leading retailer and distributor of fashionable sports and casual wear. JD has a reputation as the most innovative visual merchandiser of sportswear and branded fashion. It was founded in 1981 in Bury, in the North West of England, with one shop - John David Sports. The JD Sports Fashion PLC Group now has over 900 stores across the UK and the Republic of Ireland. In more...
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Page 2: The product life cycle

The product life cycle (PLC) is the term used to describe the stages a product goes through from initial development (start of life) to its removal from the market when sales have declined (end of life). There are six stages to the PLC: Development Introduction Growth Maturity Saturation Decline Development is the first stage of the cycle when a business has a new product idea. The idea may come...
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Page 3: Purpose of the product life cycle

Understanding the life cycle of a product is important to a business for a number of reasons. One important reason is that understanding the PLC will help a business to manage its cash flow. In the development stage money will be spent on developing the product with no sales to cover the cost of that development. When the product is introduced into the market the business will probably incur...
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Page 4: Promotion

There are several ways a business can promote its product to maintain growth at the peak of the PLC. JD is a market-orientated business which means its focus is on satisfying the needs of its customers. It segments its market demographically and uniquely understands the buying habits of its predominantly sports and fashion conscious customers. A product that JD decides to feature in its...
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Page 5: Extension strategies

As sales begin to decline, a business needs to decide whether to withdraw the product or use extension strategies to boost product sales and extend its ‘life’. Extension strategies include repackaging, adding extra features or changing the product price. A business needs to have a mix of products at different stages of the PLC to meet the demands of its customers as well as maintaining...
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Page 6: Conclusion

Understanding customer buying habits and having the right mix and balance of products is essential for business survival, particularly in the fast moving environment of fashion and sports retail. JD understands the importance of market research to understand what its customers want. JD constantly analyses its product portfolio to ensure that it reflects these wants. A business needs a mix of...
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