Page 1: Introduction
Organisations that operate in the business-to-consumer (B2C) market are increasingly turning to market research to support their decision making processes. A retail business, for example, might be considering opening new stores, expanding internationally, proposing to diversify its product range or thinking about acquiring another company. Before proceeding, the business will require specific information to understand the implications of making such changes. The process of collecting this information and developing this understanding is known as market research.
This case study focuses on how JD (part of JD Sports Fashion PLC), the UK’s leading retailer of fashionable sports and leisure wear, uses market research to support and develop its business. As a B2C retailer, JD’s performance depends on providing the most desirable brands and products at the right price and in the right locations to meet with the demands of the consumer.
Founded in 1981 in Mossley, near Manchester, JD today is a nationally recognised UK high street fascia. For 20 years, the business expanded through organic growth, meaning that growth was generated by building sales revenue through increasing its network of stores.
JD has expanded more rapidly in recent years through acquisitions (inorganic growth), significantly increasing its JD store base through the purchase of First Sport (2002) and All:sports (2005). Through the purchase of Scotts (2004), Bank (2007) and, most recently, Blacks (2012), it has diversified the business into the young branded fashion and outdoor markets.
The Group has also made international acquisitions including Chausport (France), Champion Sports (Ireland) and Sprinter (Spain) as it has expanded its business overseas. The group has also secured brands such as The Duffer of St George, Sergio Tacchini (under UK licence) and the fashion brands Chilli Pepper, Nanny State and Sonneti. The JD Sports Fashion Group now has over 900 stores across the UK and Europe and a reputation for stocking exclusive and stylish ranges.