MarketLine Blog

Posts written by Nicola Lewis

IMAX Corporation Reducing 3D Movie Showings: 3D set to become a niche rather than the norm

MarketLine

The release of Avatar in December 2009 paved the way for an explosion of 3D movies. There was much hype surrounding the release of this movie, with director James Cameron being famous for pushing boundaries in film making technology leading to the 3D version being hotly anticipated. In its opening weekend, 70% of Avatar’s gross came from 3D viewing, leading to numerous successful 3D releases in 2010 including Toy Story 3 and Alice in Wonderland. Despite a rise in the release of 3D movies following Avatar, demand quickly began to… Read more

Overcrowded Unlicensed Medicines Industry: The NHS wins but smaller wholesalers lose

MarketLine

Unlicensed medicines, medicines which are not licensed in the UK, are becoming more popular. The market is growing due to the increasing demand for medicines which are not available on the NHS. These medicines may be too expensive or not in enough demand to justify bringing them in; the medicines may also not have the correct UK licensing to allow them to be sold in the country. There is also the potential problem with the supply chain which can result in a medicine being taken off the market temporarily and… Read more

Aldi and Lidl US Expansion: US grocery retailers should be worried

MarketLine

Aldi and Lidl have been responsible for a huge shift in the grocery market across Europe. This has been particularly evident in the UK with the discounters growing their collective share of the market from 2.8% in 2000 to 12% in mid-2017. In a market that was previously dominated by four big retailers, this has been an impressive growth. The low prices offered by Aldi and Lidl, along with clever marketing campaigns and a growing reputation for quality produce, have enabled the discounters to erode the market share of the… Read more

Food Waste in the UK: Government and retailers must do more

MarketLine

In recent years, there has been a growing awareness of food waste in the UK and a number of initiatives developed in an attempt to reduce this. Several retailers in the UK have pledged to drive down food waste from stores, while numerous campaigns have aimed to educate individuals and cut the amount of food waste from households. UK charity, Waste & Resources Action Programme (WRAP), has been at the forefront of campaigns. In 2007, WRAP launched its ‘Love Food Hate Waste’ campaign backed by the government. Results from some… Read more

boohoo.com plc: Profits soar following successful social media strategy

MarketLine

In the 12 months to February 2017, boohoo.com has been highly successful, with sales soaring and pre-tax profits almost doubling. However, boohoo’s recent financial performance comes in stark contrast to the situation it faced following its IPO in 2014. In the 2014-15 financial year, the company was feeling the effects of unseasonably mild autumn weather and trading disruptions caused by Black Friday, leading to a profit warning being issued in January 2015. While revenue and profit were up for this financial year, these figures were lower than initial expectations. As… Read more

Physical Book Vs. E-Book: Traditional book not ready to die out just yet

MarketLine

There has been much debate in recent years regarding the physical book vs. the e-book. Many commentators have outlined a sad situation in which the traditional book is dying out as the rapidly growing proliferation of digital technology replaces it. However, the situation is not quite as clear-cut as this. While it is undeniable that there have been declining book sales in recent years, this is not necessarily wholly linked to the explosion of e-books in the market. E-books are undoubtedly a more convenient way to store and carry around… Read more

School Holiday Price Hikes: Families exploited by unfair system

MarketLine

UK holiday companies are renowned for raising prices in school holiday periods. Significantly raising prices during these times allows prices to remain low for the rest of the year. As such, while certain consumers bear the brunt of this with prices rising by as much as 115%, others can reap the benefits. The travel industry in the UK is intensely competitive. The traditional model of a high-street operator selling holidays face-to-face at a heavily marked up price is no longer feasible. The surge of online travel companies offering package holidays… Read more

Next alone in its Christmas disappointment

MarketLine

The Christmas trading period is the most important time of the year for retailers, accounting for a significant proportion of a company’s sales and profit. In January 2017, numerous UK retailers revealed their Christmas 2016 trading results, with many high street retailers hailing the festive period a success. A notable exception to this was Next PLC, which revealed it had faced a difficult Christmas trading period and warned of a problematic retail environment in the UK as a whole. On 4th January 2017, Next was the first high street retailer… Read more

Belinda Wong appointed CEO of Starbucks China as part of growth plan

MarketLine

A focus on China and on increasing store openings in the country has been part of the Starbucks strategy since the company felt the negative impact of recession. Prior to 2008, Starbucks had been growing rapidly in terms of store openings, revenues, and operating profit. However, this all changed as the recession hit and the company struggled to cope. As many countries around the globe fell into recession, the impact on Starbucks was strongly felt. This led to a shift in resources to growth in international markets. It was felt… Read more

Sainsbury’s trialing one-hour delivery service

MarketLine

Supermarkets in the UK have faced a tough marketplace in recent years. The recession, and the accompanying squeeze on incomes, has led to many consumers becoming shrewd in their purchases and increasingly looking to find the cheapest option. This has led to a climate in which discounters, and in particular Aldi and Lidl, have been able to thrive. All of the ‘Big Four’ supermarkets have seen their market share eroded by the discounters, which led to a debilitating round of price wars in which profits were eroded. As such, there… Read more

Supermarkets facing up to the discounters; Asda left behind?

MarketLine

Supermarkets in the UK have faced a tough marketplace in recent years. The recession, and the accompanying squeeze on incomes, has led to many consumers becoming shrewd in their purchases and increasingly looking to find the cheapest option. This has led to a climate in which discounters, and in particular Aldi and Lidl, have been able to thrive. The impact on the big four supermarkets has been evident. Tesco, Sainsbury’s, Asda, and Morrison’s have all seen sales fall and profits eroded. Asda, Tesco, Sainsbury’s, and Morrison’s all responded to the… Read more

Morrison’s: Can’t match up to the discounters?

MarketLine

From November 2, 2015, Morrison’s will be making changes to its Match & More scheme. The program will no longer include Match points on comparable shopping. The scheme, which was introduced in October 2014, gained widespread coverage in the UK for its promise to match the discounters, Aldi and Lidl, on price or refund the difference in the form of points, with vouchers being issued once enough points have been accumulated. While the other major supermarkets in the UK have their own price promise schemes, none have been brave enough… Read more

Consumer Law: Shifting power from businesses to consumers

MarketLine

As of October 1, 2015 new consumer protection measures came into force in the UK. Under the Consumer Rights Act, customers are now entitled to a full refund on faulty goods for up to 30 days after the purchase. This area was previously rather sketchy, with consumers only being entitled to refunds for a ‘reasonable time’. A further measure has been the introduction of new protection for those purchasing digital content, allowing for a replacement on downloads that do not work. What’s more, if a digital download infects a user’s… Read more

Supermarket price wars: A race to the bottom?

MarketLine

Grocery retailers in the UK have been experiencing the effects of a noticeable shift in consumer behavior in recent years. The recession, and the accompanying squeeze on incomes, has led to many consumers becoming shrewd in their purchases and increasingly looking to find the cheapest option. This has led to a climate in which discounters, and in particular Aldi and Lidl, have been able to thrive. Loyalty to supermarkets has been affected, with consumers more willing to shop around for their goods. This has had a detrimental impact on the… Read more

Pop-up stores no longer a novelty?

MarketLine

A pop-up store is defined as a retail outlet that is created temporarily in a location for a short period of time. The first pop-up store was established by Russ Miller, with his company Vacant, in 1999. The case study Pop-Up Stores: A growing retail strategy’, describes how Miller was inspired to create the pop-up concept following a trip to Tokyo. The company wanted to test the theory that consumers would be eager to purchase limited-edition merchandise from niche retailers. The idea was that stores would open for a set… Read more

Motorcycle manufacturing shifting to low-cost production areas

MarketLine

Recent economic difficulties have had an impact on motorcycle manufacturers in some parts of the world, particularly Western Europe and some countries in Asia. However, other areas such as the US and India are an exception to this. India in particular is seeing huge growth in motorcycle manufacturing, perhaps indicative of the inclination of companies to locate their manufacturing facilities in low-cost production areas. The global motorcycle manufacturing industry grew by 3.3% in 2013, to reach a value of $61.5bn representing a compound annual growth rate of 5.8% for the… Read more

Starbucks: Expanding beyond coffee

MarketLine

In recent years, Starbucks has embarked on a growth strategy known as the ‘accelerated growth plan’ in an effort to grow the business. A key part of this initiative, as discussed in the case study ‘Starbucks Corporation: Accelerated Growth Plan’ , has been the expansion of in-store offerings beyond coffee. In order to aid this expansion Starbucks made a number of acquisitions, namely of Evolution Fresh, La Boulange, and Teavana. Following the purchase of Evolution Fresh in late 2011, the company set out aggressive growth plans with the plan being… Read more

Emphasis on food is shifting from nutrition to function

MarketLine

Scientific research has typically focused on the primary role of food as a source of energy and nutrients to build up the body. However, in recent years there has been a shift towards the impact that certain food components can have on human health. There has been a wealth of research to support the idea that diet and lifestyle contribute to health and may play a role in some human diseases. The concept of food being linked to human health is not new and has been reported throughout history. During… Read more

World Book Day: Are we witnessing the death of the traditional book?

MarketLine

Thursday 6th March 2014 is World Book Day; a day when the joy of reading is celebrated and promoted. Numerous events will be held in schools, nurseries, libraries, and book shops across the UK and Ireland. Many children will dress up as their favorite storybook characters and numerous World Book Day tokens will be exchanged for one of eight World Book Day new book releases. A smartphone app will also be launched aimed at young adults, featuring stories from leading teen authors. This delivering of content digitally highlights the era… Read more

Pfizer re-entring to the OTC healthcare market

MarketLine

Pfizer Inc., the world’s largest pharmaceutical company, exited the over-the-counter (OTC) healthcare market in 2006 with the sale of its Consumer Healthcare division to Johnson & Johnson. Just 3 years later, in 2009, Pfizer re-entered the market with its acquisition of Wyeth. This article will examine the rise of Pfizer into a diversified healthcare company, the circumstances that led to the disposal of the Consumer Healthcare division, and the subsequent re-entry to the OTC market in 2009. Pfizer, Inc. was originally founded as fine chemicals business. Following a series of… Read more

Müllerlight: A Successful Attempt to Tackle the Clash of the Health and Indulgence Trends

MarketLine

Dairy manufacturer Müller’s Müllerlight Inspired By cheesecake brand extension has sold over 9 million units in the UK since its launch in mid-2010. The brand appears to have been effective in solving consumers’ conflicting desires for healthy foods and indulgent foods – which is still one of the most important unmet needs for the food industry to address. The success of Inspired By highlights several ways to overcome the problem, and the rewards available to companies that do. Datamonitor’s 2010 Consumer Survey found that across all parts of the world,… Read more

Are we witnessing the death of the traditional book?

MarketLine

Thursday 7th March 2013 is World Book Day; a day when the joy of reading is celebrated and promoted. Numerous events will be held in schools, nurseries, libraries, and book shops across the UK and Ireland. Many children will dress up as their favorite storybook characters and numerous World Book Day tokens will be exchanged for one of eight World Book Day new book releases. A smartphone app will also be launched aimed at young adults, featuring stories from leading teen authors. This delivering of content digitally highlights the era… Read more

The OTC Healthcare Market has Become Increasingly Attractive in Recent Years

MarketLine

In recent years, a number of major healthcare companies including Pfizer, Roche, and Bristol-Myers Squibb (BMS) have sold their over-the-counter (OTC) healthcare divisions in a bid to focus their attention on pharmaceuticals. Bayer acquired Roche Consumer Health in 2004, while BMS sold its OTC unit to Novartis in 2005. Pfizer sold its Consumer Healthcare business to Johnson & Johnson in 2006. However, more recently this trend has reversed with companies re-entering the OTC healthcare market. For example, Pfizer marked its re-entry to the market in 2009 with its acquisition of… Read more

Unorganized retail in India currently dwarfs the organized retail channel

MarketLine

Indian apparel retail is divided between two sectors: organized and unorganized. Organized retail involves the sale of merchandise by licensed retailers. The unorganized retail sector in India refers to the traditional retailing formats of pavement vendors, mobile vendors, and traditional local kirana shops. Unorganized retail generally involves the sale of unbranded merchandise. Sales through the unorganized retail sector are predominant in India with the organized retail sector being a lot smaller. It is estimated that over 95% of retail in India is done through the unorganized channel. However, as the… Read more

Tax avoidance by large multinational companies in the UK is unfair to small businesses

  Starbucks has recently been in the news after it came to light that they have reportedly paid no tax in the UK for the last three years. Reuters has suggested that the company is making use of offshore licensing, steering profits to Switzerland, and intra-group funding to reduce the profits they earn in the UK. This has resulted in the company reporting losses, whilst expressing to investors how successful the UK arm of the business is. This contradiction is the result of tax avoidance through the use of an… Read more

UK retailers working towards becoming more sustainable

  Many of the UK’s leading retailers are currently working towards and making progress with a range of initiatives with the goal of becoming more sustainable. This is according to a 2012 report released by the British Retail Consortium (BRC), ‘A Better Retailing Climate: Towards Sustainable Retail’. The BRC argues that while the sustainability initiatives are good for the environment, they also make good business sense. The report has found positive results with regards to the sustainability targets. For example, retailers have been committed to reducing the amount of waste… Read more