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Marketing research specifies the information required to address the marketing issues ( marketing opportunities, evaluate marketing actions,

monitor marketing performace), design the method of collecting informations , manages and implements the data collection process, analyses and communicated findings and their implications. Retail research can help retailers to take important decisions such as market positioning, which retail format will be most suitable for the particular target market,how best to display merchandise and so on. At the retail level, research is used for concept testing, business feasibility analysis, identifying the correct product mix, understand ing the target market profilce, understanding and analyzing consumer behaviour. Qualitiative Research Methods: It is used to find out what is in consumers mind. The retailer will be able to get oriented to the range and complexity of consumer activity and concerns. Such data may help retailer to know more about things ( feelings, thoughts, intentions, past behaviour ) which cannot be directly observed or measured. Focus group study is used to identify the most likely product positioning, and to know the cues on the various features which go into the shopping such as ambience, shopping needs and requirements, style preferences. 3 Major types: 1. Exploratory Research: defines the problem in detail, suggest hypotheses, used for generating ideas for new product. 2. Orientation Method: getting to know the consumers best view and vocabulary. 3. Clinical: Gaining insights of issues which otherwise might be impossible to pursue structured reseach methods. Qualitative research can take the form of Focus Group Discussion, Projective techniques(Word assocatioation test, third person role playing, sentence completion test) Quantitative Research through survey: Survey can help to understand the consumers behaviour: current shopping patter, to know the size of the market, the retail foramats currently being used, size of the core target. The survey in many forms is one of the most widely used and well know method of acquiring marketing informations by communicating with the group of customers through questionnaire or interview. It is efficient and economical . Observation Method of Research: -used to provide information on current behaviour. The research design can be: Casual or systematic. It will be easy to observe the following information: - what is the instore traffic pattern - what is the customers reaction to the displays, visual merchandising - what is the pattern of customers movement - Whs is the reaction to private labels - which are frequently asked questions by the customers Forms of observation: 1)Direct observation: the retailer may use an observer disguised as a shopper to observe how long customer spend time in the display area. 2)Contrived observation: Buying teams disguised as customers will try to find out what happens during normal interaction between the customer and the retailers.

3) Content Analysis: used to analyse the content or meessaes of advertisement 4)Humanistic Enquiry: It involves immersing the researcher in the system under study .The researcher maintains two dairy1) theory construction which records in detail the thoughts , premises, hypothesis 2) A detailed date and time sequenced notes which are kept on the technique used for enquiry with special attention to biases or distortions 5) Behaviour recording devices: help to overcome deficiencies of human observers. People meter, Eye movement recorders, voice pitch analyse

Retail market research reports are detailed reports based on point of sale data collected from retail associations, they are essential to the retailers and the manufacturers. These reports facilitate the retailers to price their goods in lieu with the demand in the market. It also helps them evaluate the future demand of their product on the basis of this report. Retail market research reports provide the client with a detailed preview of his competitors thus enabling him to take a glance at the services provided by them in the market and it also helps in the process of critical self-evaluation. These reports provide the company with a foresight of the market. Retail market research reports provide the company with beneficial information as listed below: Implementation of category management more efficiently and effectively. Making the right assortment decision for every division. Self-assessment of sales based on the basis of market trends. Helps deal better with the competitors. It also helps them to know about the status of their rival companies. An updated assessment of brand and item sales specific to their stores. There are certain issues, which have an intricate and negative effect on the retail market. These may be rising fuel prices, increasing legislations, shrinking margins and declining street prices. These problems can be dealt with the use of market research reports, which will have an impact on the current and future markets. Veterans prepare market research reports, as it requires experience to understand the market accurately. Important requisites while preparing retail market research reports are primary and secondary research besides the quantitative analysis of the collected data. These reports are of great use in the online business market as the retail market of the developing countries is growing at a commendable rate. Almost every type of retail industry, including the IT and consumer retail industry, have benefited from such reports and as a result, the demand for such reports has increased drastically. Presently, market reports of China, India, Vietnam, and Russia are the bestsellers in the retail market. Market research reports of these countries are in great demand by the global manufacturers.

What is Retail Market Research? Retail Market Research is conducted so that retailers might learn more about their target demographic and how to meet their needs and wants. It is also done to learn about opinions, trends, and the competition. Why Is Retail Market Research Important? Conducting research prior to launching new products or services is vital. Moreover, getting consumer opinions about current products can provide many growth opportunities. Ultimately, the goal is to improve sales, and market research is the key as it sheds light on areas where the best ROI can be realized. Retail Market Research Benefits:

Learn about retail trends Improve marketing / advertising efforts Gauge interest in new products or services Locate new customers Improve products / services / retention

A GUIDE TO RETAILING IN 2018 BY THE CENTRE FOR RETAIL RESEARCH The Government has accepted the Centre for Retail Research proposal to turn many redundant shops into houses

The Centre for Retail Research published its analysis of how UK retailing will have changed by 2018 on 28 May 2013, entitled <strong.Retail Futures 2018.</strong. Retail Futures 2018 forecasts that by 2018: Total store numbers will fall by 22%, from 281,930 today to 220,000 in 2018. Job losses could be around 316,000 compared to today The share of online retail sales will rise from 12.7% (2012) to 21.5% by 2018 or the end of the decade. There will be a further 164 major or medium-sized companies going into administration, involving the loss of 22,600 stores and 140,000 employees. Many of these companies will survive but at the cost of closing more than half their stores. In spite of the Portas Pilots, the High Street will continue to suffer: around 41% of town centres will lose 27,638 stores in the next five years.

UK retailing has the highest proportion of online retail sales, so what happens here is being closed watched by foreign observers as Britain becomes a test bed for retail innovation. Key catalysts for the looming retail crisis: Consumer spending has increase by 12% since 2006 outstripped by retail operating costs (including rates) which have risen by 20%. It will be several more years until the UK returns to previous levels of growth: in fact GDP/head has not yet returned to the level it was in 2008/. Customers are shunning the high street: their share of consumer spending has declined from 50% in 2000 to a predicted 40.2% next year. As fewer shop in stores, online retail is set to account for 21.5% of total retail sales by 2018 from 12.7% today, the highest online retail share in the world With such a high number of transactions carried out online, retailers with a strong web offering now need just 70 high street stores to create a national presence compared to 250 in the mid 2000's UK is facing a crisis. Retailing and retailers will either make clear strategic decisions that permit online retail to coexist with other retail channels in a multichannel world allowing bricks and mortar retailers to transform themselves, or, by avoiding making these decisions, multiple retailers will disappear or be so mortally wounded that a large minority of business categories become dominated purely online retailers Much comment about retailing either sees shops as doomed (most shops will close as online takes over the majority of retail sales) or believes that online will peak, making the crisis shakeout in the industry (business as usual). In fact neither view is accurate, radical changes need to be made by retailers, town centres and the government to preserve what is best in retailing. About the Report Retail In 2018: Shop Numbers, Online And The High Street is a long report and is not available to download from this site. Please enquire to research@retailresearch.org if you need a copy. Store Vacancies Store vacancy rates across the country have increased from 5.4% in December 2008 to 14.1% in March 2013 (according to the Local Data Company), a rise of 161%. Without intervention, the vacancy rate can rise yet further, perhaps above 20%.

Store Closures Stores are always closing - and reopening - but this time the pace of change is considerable and the total number of shops by 2018 is expected to fall by 22% over the next five years to 222,000.

'Thriving' and 'decaying' retail towns and cities Across the country the situation varies drastically as disadvantaged retail pockets become more prominent. More towns will need some reduction of retail space because of the fall in the demand for shops. However Retail Futures 2018 predicts that more than a third of town centres (41% or 153 stores) could experience a rapid decline by 2018 if no action is taken. Just over a fifth (78 or 21%) of towns are declining in retail terms and 75 are stable but under pressure. The retail centres most vulnerable are those near low-income populations located on secondary or tertiary shopping areas. Of course the shops in some prosperous and tourist areas will continue to do well, but Wales, the North and the Midlands can expect a much higher proportion of stores to be shuttered. The number of high street stores is expected to fall by 19.9%, but an even greater impact will be felt by neighbourhood stores. These will decline by 34,587 (-26.2%) as a result of the declining profitability of neighbourhood shopping in many areas, the unwillingness of multiple retailers to continue operating in small neighbourhoods and the move towards perceived lower prices and better availability of stores in town centres, retail parks and internet shopping. But it is not only the high street that is affected. Major retailers like Tesco, Wickes, ASDA and B&Q have announced dramatic reductions in opening large new stores (though convenience is still massively important) and all have plans to subdivide giant stores, leasing space to other retailers. Regional Impacts The destinations that do well will be those: serving a mainly prosperous hinterland; areas of growth, new housing and young families; easy-to-reach tourist areas aimed at middle-income families; and areas where unemployment is low. The best performers will be areas like London, the South East, key shopping cities like London, Birmingham, Leicester, Manchester, and Glasgow, and tourist areas like Oxford, Harrogate, and Brighton. There will be retail problem areas within otherwise thriving decent retail zones (eg Oxford) and successes in areas where we expect large percentage falls in shop numbers. But in very general terms the changes in store numbers reflect the North-south divide. Regional store closures and vacancy rates

Online Retail Online retailing as a percentage of all retail sales is now 12.7%. Food online sales are very low (3.7% of all food sales) so that the share of non-food is now up to 19%. This will change quickly over the next five years, although we expect all four main grocers to develop massively their food online offers so that with Waitrose and Ocado the food online share should be up to 9.5% by 2018. Growth of online retail

These figures are estimates. It may take a year or two longer before online retail gains 21.5% of the retail market but many commentators feel that the online share will get to 25% by somewhere around 20202023. The Role of Shops Retail stores will remain an important, although smaller, part of retailing in high streets, malls and retail parks as online continues to grow. The 'normal' retail model needs revisiting, under the combined pressures of high costs, consumer reluctance to spend, and rapid growth of online retailing. The Shoppers of the Future Customers now 'shop' in multiple ways, checking a store's website, visiting one or more stores, looking at product reviews, viewing the prices of competitors on a smartphone whilst standing outside a store, and choosing finally whether to buy the goods in-store or online and collect it in-store or have it delivered to a nominated address. Retailers have to make clear strategic responses to the changing patterns of how consumers shop, including: deciding the proper number, type and location of stores (and the speed of any necessary disinvestment from stores); and how to integrate fully their physical stores, the online sites and other channels such as social media coherently. The High Street of the Future High streets are an essential part of town centres, creating employment and vitality; the best of them bring tourists and shoppers in - developing services, leisure and entertainment markets as well as retailing. Retail Futures 2018 argues that high streets are threatened by the current changes in retail structures and shows that the town centres of 153 UK towns (41% of the total) will experience a rapid decline as a result of changing retail patterns and need to shrink to survive. Some smaller and less successful secondary and tertiary sites may disappear almost completely. Retail Futures 2018 recommends that a pump-priming fund of 320 million is required to start redeveloping these problem town centres to turn failing and empty shops into good residential accommodation, create more

service/entertainment/leisure outlets, and/or provide offices, doctor's surgeries, classrooms/meeting rooms or other facilities for which there may be a local demand. As a result of this policy perhaps 15,000 20,000 new homes could be created over four years. Don't make a transformation into a crisis Although retail change might seem to concern only retail employees and change-averse retail businesses, the transformation will have unintended consequences for the many hundreds of billions tied up in retail property by pension funds, investment companies, shopping centre owners and retailers themselves. The current business model is intimately involved with real estate: a significant fall in property prices caused by major falls in the demand for stores (and store profitability) will affect all property assets for many years to come. One response will be to reduce rents (and therefore the profitability of developments). It is already having a significant negative effect on many UK high streets and a detrimental impact on town centres. Action now will prevent the transformation of retailing from becoming a long-term crisis for property markets and town centres.

Background
The Retail Industry is one of the most important sectors in the economy, providing over 15 per cent of all employment and including some of the largest and most admired companies worldwide. Retailing deals with a large variety of products ranging from physical products such as packaged goods, to intangible products such as financial services or travel. Traditionally, this sector comprised mostly small businesses who typically invested very little in research, however, these days the retail sector is a driver of technological and managerial change. The importance of retailing for consumers does not need much explanation: most people deal as consumers with retailers almost every day and for many people shopping plays an important part in their lives! There is a long tradition of academic retail research, with the Journal of Retailing being the oldest journal in the marketing discipline. Retail research spans across a range of disciplines, including economics, geography, marketing and management, psychology, sociology and transportation, to mention a few. Recent years however has seen a further increase in the interest in retail studies. At Monash University this increased interest is evidenced by a substantial increase in research output over in the last few years. Staff published in top tier scholarly journals, including the Journal of Retailing and Journal of Marketing Research. Staff were successful in competitive grant applications such as ARC grants and attracted external industry funding. Last but not least there in increasing number of Higher Degree students (Mphil, PhD or DBA) choosing retail topics for their dissertation studies. Several of the CRRU staff also participate in the Experimental Design research group. This group has access to the Business and Economics Behavioural Lab, a state-of-the-art facility for research into consumer perception and decision making processes including brand perceptions, information search and store choice.