Business and Management
Submitted By bekiye
An Investigation of Competition within the UK Food Retail Industry
This dissertation set out to explore the nature of competition within the UK Food Retail Industry as well as to evaluate the competitive strategies undertaken by firms in the market. This task has been undertaken through a critical analysis of a range of literature focussed on establishing the current state of play in the UK supermarket industry, examining general theory on competition and competitive strategy, as well as a review of literature that specifically addresses competition between supermarkets in the UK. Looking first at the nature of competition in the UK food retail industry, it was clear from the literature review that while the industry has many characteristics of an oligopoly as it is dominated by a small number of major firms, it is undoubtedly highly competitive. The evaluation of the competitive strategies undertaken by firms in the industry showed that between the leading firms in the market that Tesco had the best balance between price and customer perceived value but there was clear evidence to suggest that the other leading firms were positioning themselves around Tesco in order to reduce its apparent competitive advantages. While the analysis showed similar competitive strategies for the big four, it revealed different strategies being adopted by other firms in the industry who look to operate in niche markets within the food retail industry, such as Lidl and Aldi, who compete almost entirely on price to a specific market and, at the opposite end to M & S and Waitrose which compete on quality.
Chapter 1: Introduction & Methodology
Competition is an integral part of the market economy. This dissertation will attempt to examine the nature of competition as well as evaluate the competitive strategies undertaken, within the UK supermarket industry....