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The company ELLE will be used so that I can evaluate the information provided and explore how aspects such as objectives, cultures and structures influence the ways in which the company functions as a business.

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Unit 1: Business At Work Introduction The company ELLE will be used so that I can evaluate the information provided and explore how aspects such as objectives, cultures and structures influence the ways in which the company functions as a business. Actif Group plc comprises of DB Actif Ltd and the subsidiary business, Actif Retail Ltd. ELLE has been established from its trading parent company, DB Actif Limited (the wholesale business) and its 95% owned subsidiary Actif Retail Limited (the retail business). The remaining 5% is owned by the managing director of the retail company, Martin Parker, and this was issued for a cash investment of �50,000 in that company. DB Actif Limited was founded by Sue Tisdall and Leonard Holihan in 1978 and initially produced exercise and fitness clothing under the brand name "Dance Bizarre". In 1994 Martin Lent bought 50% of the company and, using his experience of casual clothing at Pamplemousse, the business changed direction and concentrated on a co-ordinated product mix specialising in the fashion sportswear field. During the following two years the Company raised finance from its directors and third party private investors (including �207,000 from the executive directors). The core business of The Group is the design, wholesale and retail of ELLE's branded clothing. The ELLE trademark was licensed from Hachette Filipacchi Medias ("Hachette") in 1996, the company that publishes ELLE magazine in 30 editions throughout 90 countries worldwide. Hachette generates turnover of US$500 million per annum from ELLE merchandise. ELLE is the world's leading woman's fashion and lifestyle magazine and sells around 60 million copies per year, has 20 million regular readers and a global readership of over 80 million. The product range covered by the license comprises Activewear, Sportswear, Nightwear, Swimwear and Underwear. The license grants rights to sell ELLE products in Europe (including Eastern Europe) and the Middle East. ELLE products are sold in 13 European countries and the Middle East, through major department stores within concession outlets (including Debenhams, John Lewis, House of Fraser, Kaufhof, El Corte Ingles, Army& Navy, Stockmann and Globus), through distributors and upmarket independent fashion boutiques. ...read more.


It entices customers by relating the two and it gives either side publicity and more recognition. ELLE stores also use the ELLE magazines as part of shop floor displays. Marketing collects and analyses data on markets and consumers / customers, and then uses this information to guide business decisions as to which products they should produce and the best methods to promote them. Actif Group's strategy is to acquire the clothing rights for well-known, quality clothing brands and to use its team's expertise and skills to profitably develop these brands through a variety of routes to market in the UK and Europe. Marketing is responsible for knowing what a customer wants and sales is responsible for getting the customer to want what the company produces. The marketing department sets out to identify, anticipate, establish and satisfy a customer requirement profitably. For example, recent product strategies have been to develop and produce "Icon-based/ Fashion statement" styles eg. Farrah Fawcett T-shirts and the "Essentials" for the basis of the collection, embodying "must have" products within the wardrobe. In applying marketing techniques such as PEST and SWOT analysis, ELLE is able to look outside itself at the environment in which operates, identifying opportunities and threats in the external environment. Whilst internal marketing audits raise awareness of the strengths and weakness of the business. DB Actif Ltd and subsidiary companies present a SWOT analysis as shown. Market research is carried out in many forms, for example, investigating trends on the catwalk, questionnaires, sales of certain products so that the next version can be improved or predicted as a good seller. Therefore the right quantities can be produces and less wastage or failures would result. ELLE uses a variety of marketing strategies, eg market segmentation to identify the customer they are selling their products to. This can be done through various ways, eg. socio-economically and behaviouristically. Various marketing activities such as packaging, advertising, promotion and distribution and pricing are carried out in the department of the company. ...read more.


Newsletters are printed out monthly to every branch of ELLE for employees; they include information about the fashion trends, reports of how the business is progressing, and it is a way of communication from other areas of the company. The Company has recently invested over �120,000 in a new computer system developed by ProLogic Computer Consultants. This is a proven system dedicated to the clothing industry and its implementation is now under way. The system supports all aspects of the Company's activities from design, sourcing, sales, production, warehousing, and distribution through to retail. The system is integrated with the Sun Systems accounting package used by the Group. The system moved the company forward considerably in data management control. A website is established for ELLE within the main site for its holding company: Actif Group plc. With a website, ELLE is able to communicate with a wider range of audience. It can be regularly updated at little cost and it is cheaper than some forms of communication (e.g. full colour brochures cost more with the need to update every 2/3 months). It also gives access to employees of the business so that they can find out more information about who they work for. However, to make ELLE's use of I.C.T. better, they could enable the website to become interactive to involve and capture an audience. They could also meet their objectives better if they developed an online Internet shopping system. It allows people to shop online conveniently and therefore, increases sales and awareness. It would also be able to reach more people as all they would need is an Internet connection and delivery service, instead of a store or outlet. However, a disadvantage of this would be the clothes fit differently on each customer and there is no physical contact between the clothes and customer before the purchase, therefore more problems may occur, e.g. refunds and unsatisfied customers. The ELLE website could also be associated with the ELLE magazine sites which provides more advertisement and suitable customers, in that they shop for female clothing. 1 ...read more.

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