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In what ways has The Carphone Warehouse gained competitive advantage?

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TITLE: Unit 1 SUB-TITLE: In what ways has The Carphone Warehouse gained competitive advantage? INTRODUCTION: Mobile phones are an ever increasing feature in our modern society, if you walk down the street, you will observe that many people are carrying or using a mobile phone. There are 4 or 5 key providers in the mobile phone market within the UK, The Carphone Warehouse being the largest independent retailer of mobile communications in Europe. I felt that, as a member of modern society, and a mobile owner, it would prove interesting to discover exactly how the Carphone Warehouse has managed to expand and grow to this degree. Within this investigation, I will hope to look in depth at the different strategies used by the Carphone Warehouse and the customer services offered to gain consumer confidence and repeat business. I will first describe and explain the information that I have gathered, then finally analyse and evaluate my findings, coming to a firm conclusion to my question. HYPOTHESIS: It is in my opinion that my findings will show that the Carphone Warehouse has managed to gain and maintain competitive advantage through its continued growth and focus on customer service and innovation. FINDINGS: The Carphone Warehouse is a new generation retailer. They began trading in 1989, and are now the largest independent retailer of mobile communications in Europe. As from 29th September 2001, they operate in 12 different countries, ranging from here in the UK with 431 stores, to Poland with 3 stores, collectively they manage over 1,085 stores, and are the market leaders for mobile retailers in Spain, Sweden, Ireland, Germany, The Netherlands and Belgium. ...read more.


Throughout employment, they are constantly being trained and assessed, to ensure that they are up to date with new offers and technological advancements. To ensure that they maintain the standard of service required by the company, the Carphone Warehouse has set up 5 regulations that must be adhered to (see appendix): 1. if we don't look after the customer, someone else will 2. Nothing is gained by winning an argument, but losing a customer 3. Always deliver what we promise; if in doubt, under promise and over deliver 4. Always treat customers as we ourselves would like to be treated 5. The reputation of the whole company is in the hands of every individual The Carphone Warehouse was named the Retail Employer of the Year by Retail Week magazine in both 1999 and 2001. Additionally, its employee turnover (in the UK) is about 20% per annum, whereas, other UK key retailers manage an average of between 32%-37%. This proves that their training, strategies and general employee ethos is productive and rewarding. A further method used by the Carphone Warehouse to maintain such a high standard of customer service is its innovative approach to new ideas and developments. If offers a multitude of unique services only available to its customers, that help them to stand out and be positively noticed as a mobile retailer. A prime example of this is the Express Repair service, where by, if the phone breaks down a 'loan phone' will be leant out while the other is fixed, or, alternatively, you can chose an express in-store repair service. ...read more.


Further more, they've won the award for the UK Mobile News' equivalent in 1998, 2000 and 2001, and, finally the UK Mobile News award for Best Large Retailer award from 1995 to 2001. These awards symbolise their rising achievements and recognition as one of the more successful mobile retailers in the country, maybe even Europe. EVALUATION: The before-mentioned information indicates that the Carphone Warehouse has achieved phenomenal growth by its recent expansion plans. They have focused on supplying their customers with advanced and varied service, and providing an infrastructure that is unsurpassed. They are so far managing to remain at the front of this swift moving industry by being one of the first mobile retailers to constantly introduce and develop quality services and ideas. They have been able to use their customer loyalty and commitment to their quality service to manufacture a strong brand, and have ensured that they have supportive, skilled staff to rely and depend on throughout the business. With technological advancements being made every day, the future of mobile communications is vast. It is in my opinion that for The Carphone Warehouse to continue beating its rivals and increase its share of customer spends, it needs to maximise customer satisfaction by continued high quality, knowledgeable and personalised customer service, and to continue with its innovative ideas for the future. Finally, using the questionnaire as evidence to back up my conclusion, they need to invest pore time and energy into advertising and promoting themselves, as I'm certain that along with their widespread ideas and schemes, they will witness further, aggressive growth. ...read more.

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