This task involves analyzing the (given) company and evaluating its use of eCommerce
? Introduce your given company
? Give details about its brick operation
? Give details about its click operation
? Evaluate how the company balances its click operation over its brick operation.
The Iceland foods ltd is a supermarket chain of British which emphasize on the sale of frozen foods. The company lies in the retail industry. The company provides frozen foods such as meats and vegetables, and groceries. The share of the company in the UK food market is 1.8%. The company started its business in 1969, and the first store is opened in Leg Street, Shropshire, Oswestry, England with the investing partner Peter Hinchcliffe who has invested £59 for the rent of one month (Iceland et al., 2016). Initially, the island was specialized in slack frozen food. In the year 1977, the new store was opened in Manchester, and they were selling their own packaged and labeled food. In the year 1984, the business became public. During the year 1993, the business acquired the chain of French Au Gel and also took over the department store of Littlewoods but the move was not successful, and it resulted in hug losses to the business. The holding of the business was named as the Big Food Group in the year 2002, and they attempted to focus on the comfort sector through a Londis bid. Moreover, in the year 2000, the business merged with the Booker plc.to expand their business.
The company has the physical presence in the United Kingdom. The company provides company provides its services to more than eight hundred stores. The company provides various food frozen items at the stores. The company operates its brick operations in all the stores in the United Kingdom. In the year 1978, the business managed to have 27 stores under their name. Further, in the year 1983, the business expanded after purchasing 17 stores of the St. Catherine’s freezer centre which was based in Bristol. In the year 1996, the business opened another seven stores in Letterkenny and Dublin. Unfortunately, they were closed in 2005 because of the financial crisis. The business is also linked with the British home stores in order to expand the business. Again in the year 2008, the company got access to the Irish market and agreed to a deal with franchise through Irish cash. In 2009, the other stores were opened in Dublin, on the road of Navan, and the Illac centre. At present, the business has ten stores in Ireland.
The new store of the Iceland foods ltd was inaugurated in the town centre of Dubley in December as the part of the department store of Beatties. Iceland foods ltd also have stores in Portugal and Spain in convergence through the retailer overseas of Spain. The stores keep the stock of the products of Iceland the Waitrose’s. Moreover, in the year 2012, the company inaugurated a new store in Iceland and at this point in time, the company has three stores in Iceland which offer services 24/7. In the year 2013, Iceland foods ltd developed seven more stores that were initially franchised. In 2014, Iceland foods ltd used the concept of stores i.e. The Food Warehouse and the size of the warehouse was double the size of normal Island store and the full range of chilled and frozen products, extended variety of special and luxury products of frozen food, production of fresh and chilled meat and also a great selection of grocery product packs in bulk. In the year 2015, The Food Warehouse was running successfully in the seven locations of the UK.
The company also provides its frozen food and groceries food through online mode which enables to provide its products within the United Kingdom. The company has website and mobile phone app in order to provide service through click button service as well. It helps to provide the services to the wide range of customers who are not able to come at the stores. The online services of the company are operated through website and apps. The business announced that they have already begun the online shopping service trial and it was estimated in 2005 that the company would expand and new 280 stores will be launched which would cover around 50 percent of the population of the UK. Further, the company completed its roll-out on the shopping services online and around 84 percent of the population of the UK were using it. The company offered free delivery on the order which is above £35 and the services which are being provided online helped in the deriving growth of delivered sales of the business to a great level. In the year 2015, the player of Iceland Bingo won £3.4 million from a stake of 15p and became the second largest online Bingo of the UK. The company is ranked on the third position of the nation in order to provide great online services to the customers and make them satisfied completely. Due to online services, the sales increased to £2.7 billion and the maintenance and generation of the cash was going strong. Further, 28 stores were opened along with the six warehouse stores of the Food.
Further, the online shopping raised to £1.3 million for charity with the charitable foundation of Iceland foods. In response to the great growth of the online service business. The company inaugurated the new store i.e. dark store which was dedicated to the picking of order online on the Tipton industrial estate. The online picking of the orders apart from the region’s retail stores permitted the company to provide more broad range and the improvised services to the customers online. The company also offers free slots of delivery in the stores to enable them to ground on expanding the traditional operations of the business offering home delivery of the products which are purchased in the stores. Therefore, the company was able to grow their operations and business by offering online services to the customers.
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Balancing of click operation over brick operation
The company is providing both bricks and click services to the customers in order to give high quality of services to the customers. The company is balancing operations of both brick and click which is necessary in order to operate in an effective manner. The company is providing similar frozen food and groceries through brick and click operations. The operations of virtual and physical presence are very necessary in order to promote the brand in the eyes of the customers. The increase in the trend of online service adds competitive advantage by providing the product and services through mobile apps and websites which offer the similar experience as they receive in the stores (Baudino et al., 2015). But the trend of online services could be the ongoing disruption for the traditional offline services of the company. So the company is balancing both the operations in order to provide convenience to its customers.
Further, the advantage of creating high functions over the new brands online helps in fulfilling capabilities. The supermarket was also doing well when they did not enter into online services. And offering the online services only helped the company to expand their business in various parts of the country. It is generally said that the balance between the click and brick operation is very challenging for most of the businesses. Iceland foods ltd as proved it wrong and had shown that the balancing is not difficult as they are providing products and services of the great quality. The company used various approaches in order to maintain the balance between the two operations and finally ended up with the un-bundle burdensome transactions solution in order to maintain the balance. From this approach, it has been observed that the company is able to achieve sustainable competitive advantage then before and it also helped the company in maximizing the profitability, and it also helped in improving the business value and image. Despite the auxiliary and the restricted role of the e-commerce for the firms, the operations of the company are being supported in the various innovative and creative ways and helps in fulfilling the needs of the customer. Therefore, there are various situations when the company wants to reduce the online sales to some extent because they have to be more conscious while providing the products and services online as compared to the offline because of the quality only. But the e-commerce helps in maximizing the value chain of pre and post sales activities and operations which further helps in maximizing the profitability.
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