Retail Marketing - Analysing bottoms up.

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 OX4 1DS.

Tel : 01865 722341.

Retail Marketing – 7424

James Hartin


  1. Contents Page

  1. Executive Summary

  1. Situation Analysis

  1. Company Analysis

  1. Target Market

  1. Research Objectives

  1. Type and Method of Observation Used

  1. Threats to Validity

  1. Why does Bottoms Up do it this way?
  1. Customer Service
  2. Store Ambience
  3. In Store Communications

  1. Customer Satisfaction

  1. Possible Recommendations from Other Retailers

  1. What Should Bottoms up do? Recommendations!

  1. Evaluation of Recommendations

  1. Appendices I

  1. Bibliography

  1. Results Sheet for Observation

  1. Executive summary

The ‘Take Home’ alcohol market has been one of the largest growing sectors over the past twenty years, now controlling a large market segment of the industry. It was decided that Bottoms up (St. Clements, Oxford), which is a subsidiary of the Whitbread division should go under an observation process.

The use of participant observation enables management to review in store marketing communications, customer service and satisfaction. Problem areas will be highlighted - the feedback will be used to make recommendation and then lead to any changes that management deem fit to be made.

After completion, satisfaction and quality levels should rise, ensuring that Bottoms Up create and maintain a not only a high loyal customer base, but that they keep a competitive advantage over their rivals.

  1. Situation Analysis

Bottoms Up is a division of Threshers, and along with Wine Rack is a subsidiary specialist in wine selling. Within the alcoholic drinks market we can notice the following trends over the past few years. Beer consumption is down by 19% since 1980, but this is considered against the move in preference towards premium imported beers. Most notably for off-licences is that the take home market for beer has moved from its infancy in 1980 to a far larger market share.

Wine consumption is rising at a steady rate along with the higher standards of living, foreign travel and the ever increasing ranges of style and product offers.

Spirits have declined in a similar fashion to beers, although higher proportions of older customers still take to spirits in later life. It is now the younger drinkers who prefer vodka, white rum and liqueurs to the traditional Scotch, gin or brandy.

  1. Company Analysis

Bottoms Up was founded by Brian Barnett, formerly of Augustus Barnett – a chain that operated over 540 stores.

Bottoms Up is a subsidiary of the Whitbread organisation. Their outlets include Thresher, Bottoms Up, Drinks Cabin, Huttons AM/PM, Thresher Wine, and the upmarket Wine Rack. Although these companies are actually working under one large organisation, this individual Bottoms Up must be observed and findings reported back to management for improvements and recommendations to be made.

  1. Target Market

The target audience for alcohol consumption is aimed at anyone above the age of 18. However, the largest drinking sector would be between the ages of 18-30. Within this sector we find students, and first time workers who still enjoy socialising.

The Bottoms Up, situated at the bottom of the Plane is positioned in the centre of a vibrant student habitation – this would mean that students would be the primary audience focus. As the store is situated in-between Oxford town and Cowley, it is in an excellent position to attract not only students, but tourists, lecturers and families.

  1. Research Objectives

  • To establish what in-store marketing methods that Bottoms Up employ, so that they can be analysed and evaluated through observation.
  • To evaluate the appropriateness of the tools used in the in-store environment.
  • To provide a series of recommendations on the basis of information gathered from competitors and observations made.

  1. Type and Method of Observation used

Through systematic observation, recording, description, analysis and interpretation of peoples behaviour, a comprehensive amount of data can be gathered which then allows one to provide an description of the workplace and its environment.

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According to Saunders (2000), there are two main sections when it comes to observation: Participant and Structured. The method employ used for the observation of Bottoms Up will be ‘participant’. This provides a qualitative analysis of the workplace and those who work within it.

By immersing oneself in such an environment, ‘this enables the researcher to share their experiences by not merely observing what is happening but also feeling it’ (Gill & Johnson, 1997 p.113).

For such a retailer as Bottoms Up, it becomes difficult to blend into the background and the purpose of visit to be kept undisclosed ...

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