Consultancy Report on the Cranvilles Department Store. External Influences, Business and Internal Capacities

Essay, 2015

15 Pages, Grade: 1,0


Table of Content


2.1 Introduction
2.2 Outline
2.3 SWOT analysis
2.4 SLEPT analysis
2.5 Aims and objectives
2.6 Solution

3.1 Benefits and Costs

4.1 Project plan
4.2 Risk Assessment plan




The following Consultancy Report on Cranvilles Department Store will firstly analyse the business and its internal capacities and external influences, will then list aims and objectives suitable to the current situation and will showcase a solution to implement these.

The internal analysis will be conducted with help of a SWOT analysis (2.3), highlighting amongst others the strength of Cranvilles quality customer service and the weakness of their missing online presence. External factors will be illustrated though a SLEPT analysis (2.4), resulting in the definition of aims and objectives, through the SMART approach (2.5).

As the current situation of Cranvilles consists of the company only administering one shop in central New York, without an online shop nor an online presence, the need to keep up with the competition, to keep the business successful has emerged. The internet is becoming more and more important for businesses, as new technologies are introduced permanently and customers are getting used to rather buying online, than in store.

Therefore the objectives of Cranvilles include the development of an e-business strategy, in form of the website and an app, and the modernisation of internal processes by setting up an intranet further described in the solution part (2.6).

Benefits and costs (3.0) will grant justification, followed by the project plan in form of a Gantt chart (4.1) including distinct steps for the implementation. Lastly possible risks will be evaluated (4.2), giving sufficient information on the implementation before the final conclusion is drafted (5.0).

The development of the website, app and intranet will be conducted within the next 11 months, promoting the brand and strength of quality customer service by expansion to different channels. A wider customer base in different segments will be gained and increase sales by 30% and profits by 15% within the first 6 months of performance. Further efficiency of operational processes will be enhanced by a better communication system in form of an intranet.


2.1 Introduction

Cranvilles Department store is a high-end, traditional, prestigious retail store, located in Manhattan, New York. The product range consists of quality clothing for women, men and children, as well as cosmetics and homeware.

The scope of the business, as it includes one store only, serving local well-positioned customers. It is managed by the owner Mark Cranville and places special value on quality customer service, based on well-trained staff. The product range is personally selected, presenting quality products enhancing their value to the customer.

The business consists of a purchasing, finance, sales and operations department, each employing few skilled staff. As the e-commerce spending has been rapidly growing[1] in recent years and most businesses do not only have bricks and mortar stores anymore, especially traditional department stores are forced to keep up with the digital innovation.

The Cranvilles Department store is one of these traditional businesses and its owner is concerned of a possible fall back compared to other department stores in the sector, which are digitally evolved. The company does not have website or a digital business strategy, not being visible to a wider audience.

Therefore the company will extend its competitiveness by implementing a digital business strategy to widen its customer base and to acquire to new markets. Existing capabilities of the brand such as excellent service and selected products can be transferred to the new strategy. This will lead to an enhanced and modern shopping experience available via different channels.

2.2 Outline

To be able to implement a new online business strategy for Cranvilles, the strategy process model as seen in Figure 1 will be used as rough guideline.

The company will in the first step be analysed in detail, considering internal and external factors. For this the strengths and weaknesses, as well as the opportunities and threats will be looked at, conducting a SWOT analysis. External factors will be considered in the SLEPT analysis, listing social, legal, economic, political and technological influencing the entity.

Thereafter the findings will help to construe possible aims and objectives applying the SMART model. The third step of the strategic definition will include solutions for the implementation of the objectives and benefits will be contrasted with costs.

Lastly a project plan will be set up in form of a Gantt chart and a risk assessment, estimating eventualities influencing the success of the new e-business strategy.

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Figure 1: strategy process model (Chaffey, 2015, p.190)

2.3 SWOT analysis

As mentioned before, the following analysis will look at the S trengths and W eaknesses of the company aiding to find possible objectives for the future and will identify possible O pportunities and T hreats possibly emerging from the implementation of an e-business strategy[2].

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Figure 2: SWOT analysis of Cranvilles based on Chaffey (2015)

2.4 SLEPT analysis

The following analysis will now look at possible external S ocial, L egal, E conomic, P olitical and T echnological factors, being able to influence the implementation of the new business strategy both positively and negatively[3].

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Figure 3: SLEPT analysis of Cranvilles based on Chaffey (2015)

To summarise the results of both analysis, the implementation of a digital business strategy and an intranet do involve risks and opportunities. The current strength of excellent customer service can be taken advantage of and further extended, benefiting the new e-strategy. The weakness of lacking technology can be transformed into strengths, as during the new implementation of such, the knowledge of the weaknesses of the competitor’s websites as well as their strengths can be utilised. Also the regular customers’ needs can be adapted and new accounts can be won.

2.5 Aims and objectives

Following the throughout analysis of the company’s internal and external situation via several techniques, possible aims, objectives and solutions to implement a successful e-business strategy should be presented.

Generally Cranvilles aims at

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Figure 4: Cranvilles aims

As the following objectives both concern customers and the internal organisation, they will be subdivided into Sell- and parts of the Buy-side, as seen in the following figure.

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Figure 5: Buy-side and Sell-side of a business (Chaffey, 2015, p.14)

The objectives are based on the SMART model[4], mapping these out as useful for the company as possible. According to the theory objectives should be specific, measurable, actionable, relevant and time related.

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Figure 6: Sell-side and Buy-side implementations for Cranvilles

2.6 Solution


To meet the aims of strengthening the brand Cranvilles and to increase the customer base to national and international customers from different segments, the sell side will be expanded by the implementation of a website and an app.

The website will have the domain and will be able to be found on Google through the investment of search engine optimisation (SEO), pay-per-click (PPC) and via intermediaries such as fashion blogs[5]. Customers will be allowed to buy online without time or geographical restriction, making the shopping experience convenient and global.

The website design will be simple, easy to use and will include the same range of products as in store, further featuring online exclusive products. Additional options like the application of filters, best seller products, product suggestions, express shipping, return allowance and several payment options will increase customer service and satisfaction. Each customer can create an individual profile, create a personal wish list, managing current and previous purchases and also has access to rewards, depending on the buying behaviour. These personalised profiles will also help monitoring and understanding buying behaviour of customers and will help in conduction useful market research[6].

Apart from this, the website will include content in form of a blog, concerning new trends and news from all sectors of fashion, homeware and cosmetics, as well as theme arranged sets of products fit to the respective season, attracting a younger audience.

Security of personal details, as well as secure means of payment, for example through PayPal, has to be granted. A solid security system will be applied, to protect the customers and the company’s sensible data from hackers.

The app will again include the same range of products and will contribute to the aim of an omni-channel customer experience. It will be available for both the IOS and android system and will be updated regularly to keep up with technological improvements. The search for products and the purchase and check-out of such will be clearly structured and easy to use. The same payment and delivery options, personalised features and blog content will be available, to standardise shopping via technological channels.

For future projects, the implementation of media presence on several channels such as Facebook, Instagram, twitter and Pinterest and the collaboration with popular bloggers supporting the brand and its services and connecting with customers, would be recommended.


[1] E-commerce sales for U.S. retailers grew by 13% only from 2012 to 2013, making up 5.6 % of total sales in the US compared to 5.3 % in 2012. United States Census Bureau: released in May 2015.

[2] Chaffey, 2015, p.197

[3] Chaffey, 2015, p.128

[4] Chaffey, 2015, p. 210

[5] Chaffey, 2015, p. 21

[6] Bax et al., 2013, p. 21

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Consultancy Report on the Cranvilles Department Store. External Influences, Business and Internal Capacities
Anglia Ruskin University
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consultancy, report, cranvilles, department, store, external, influences, business, internal, capacities
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Judith Köstler (Author), 2015, Consultancy Report on the Cranvilles Department Store. External Influences, Business and Internal Capacities, Munich, GRIN Verlag,


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