The high street retailer Clinton Cards has recently gone into administration and is an example of how external factors can affect businesses. Clinton Cards’ decline was accelerated by a key supplier refusing to support a debt restructuring proposal. (BBC, 9th May 2012, The Times newspaper, p47, 11th May 2012)
The business was also subject to other factors affecting its trading. These included the economic impact of the continuing UK recession, with less consumer spending, as well as the social and technological impact of e-cards, which have changed how people send greetings to each other. Even the weather can have an impact on a business’ performance. The British Retail Consortium reported that UK retail sales last month were hurt by the wettest April since records began. (BBC, 9th May 2012)
The high street photographic business Jessops faced similar challenges from competitors and new technology. By analysing the impacts of factors in its external environment, Jessops has been able to respond to possible threats, developing innovative products and ways of delivering services, both in-store and online, to attract customers.
Taking advantage of digital solutions, such as kiosk technology and linking to social media has meant that Jessops can now offer a wider choice of photographic delivery services which provide quicker response times. These have invigorated the business and attracted new, younger customers to use Jessops. At the same time, the company is maintaining its key strengths in photographic equipment expertise which are valued by its traditional camera customers.
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