Fashion business report

| June 19, 2015

Fashion business report

Submit an individual report of 2500 words (+/- 10% tolerance). This project will provide you with an opportunity to explore, implement and evaluate different secondary and primary research strategies and methods. You are expected to conduct a small-scale research study on a fashion company with the aim to acquire analytical research skills which will help you pursue more advanced research projects in the future (e.g. The Fashion Consultancy Project and The Dissertation).
Your task:
This project is divided into three stages – research planning and literature review, secondary research and primary research. Details of the tasks to be completed in each stage are provided below.
Stage 1- Research Planning and literature review
1. You will select one of the following companies operating within the UK fashion industry:
 Mulberry;
 Marks & Spencer;
 Sports Direct;
 Next.
2. You will select a specific issue (research topic) to investigate. Your selected research topic must be relevant to one of the following four macro areas:
 Consumers attitudes towards mobile shopping;
 Response to in-store sales promotions;
 Category mixes and seasonality;
 Customer service for international shoppers.
3. To ensure you can manage this project effectively, you will choose a population to focus your research on. You can use the Kantar World Panel age groups to help define the demographic of interest and draw an appropriate sample.
4. Define one research aim and three research objectives. Aim and objectives will guide you in conducting a preliminary literature review and in undertaking your research. You should carefully plan your research strategy and select the appropriate methods which will enable you to address your research aim and objectives.
5. Develop a simple GANTT chart to illustrate and manage your project schedule. Include this in the appendix.
6. Using your research aim as a “guide”, you will perform a preliminary review of the academic literature relevant to your research topic. This initial review will be limited to peer-reviewed academic journals only.
To conduct this preliminary review, you are expected to complete the following tasks:
 Identify the keywords / key phrases you will use to research your topic;
 Identify relevant academic journals (or scholarly databases of journals) by using the UAL e-library research
facilities;
 Select a maximum of 3 articles which are relevant to your research topic;
 Briefly review the articles by discussing theoretical concepts, models and frameworks presented in the
articles and evaluate how these are relevant to your research aim.
Stage 2 – Secondary research
7. You will conduct secondary research on the chosen company and the sector/market in which it operates. You are expected to use resources and databases available via the UAL e-library. These include: Euromonitor, Datamonitor/Verdict, Mintel, Fame, Kantar etc.
8. You are expected to analyse various financial and market data by using the appropriate techniques and tools and to present the findings effectively when writing this report.
Stage 3 – Primary research
9. Building on the results of your secondary research, you will conduct primary research to further explore your research topic. When planning the primary research stage of this project you must consider:
 The key issues emerged from your secondary research: your primary research should build on the results of
your secondary research;
 Your research aim and objectives: at the end of the research process you will need to address your research
aim and objectives.
You will choose one of the following two options and justify your choice in the report: Option A – Qualitative research followed by quantitative research
 Select one method for collecting qualitative data:
o Individual interviews: in-depth or semi-structured interview (max. 2 individual interviews of 15
minutes each) or
o Focus groups (1 focus group of 20/30 minutes with 3/4 participants);
 Devise an appropriate sampling strategy;
 Collect the data;
 Analyse the data by using the appropriate methods.
You will use the analysis of the qualitative data to develop a questionnaire and conduct a small survey. A survey research strategy will allow you to collect quantitative data which you will analyse by using statistical methods. You are expected to complete the following tasks:
 Identify the concepts you wish to measure;
 Devise an appropriate sampling strategy;
 Develop a questionnaire;
 Collect the data;
 Analyse the data by using appropriate statistical methods;
 Present the key findings.
Option B – Quantitative research followed by qualitative research
A survey research strategy will allow you to collect quantitative data which you will analyse by using statistical methods. You are expected to complete the following tasks:
 Identify the concepts you wish to measure;
 Devise an appropriate sampling strategy;
 Design a questionnaire;
 Collect the data;
 Analyse the data by using appropriate statistical methods;
 Present the key findings.
You will then explore your research topic from a different perspective by collecting qualitative data. You are expected to complete the following tasks:
 Select one method for collecting qualitative data:
o Individual interviews: in-depth or semi-structured interview (max. 2 individual interviews of 15
minutes each) or
o Focus groups (1 focus group of 20/30 minutes with 3/4 participants);
 Devise an appropriate sampling strategy;
 Collect the data;
 Analyse the data by using the appropriate methods;
 Present the key findings.
Marking Criteria:
 Research: you are required to conduct primary research for this assignment. You are also expected to use a good mix of sources including books, articles from academic journals, leading industry publications, market research reports and databases;
 Analysis: you are expected to analyse data and information collected by using the appropriate methods. In particular you are expected to analyse quantitative data by using SPSS;
 Subject Knowledge: you are expected to identify relevant theoretical concepts, models and frameworks, discuss them and apply them to the assignment task. Do not simply drop concepts, models and data into the report without contextualising, linking, referring / analysing or without ensuring appropriateness or stating any strengths and weaknesses in their use;
 Experimentation: you are expected to set your own research topic (within the four macro areas discussed above), select appropriate research methods (i.e. option A or B) and justify your choices;
 Technical Competence: you are expected to demonstrate technical competence in using appropriate resources and software programmes (i.e. SPSS) to analyse the data collected and present the research findings;
 Communication and presentation: a well-written report should be structured with tight conclusions, logical, spell-checked and easy to read. Apply the Harvard Referencing style consistently (both in-text and when compiling the reference list). You are expected to use tables, charts, diagrams and carefully selected images.
Title page (not included in the word count): state name, course, unit, report title, number of words, date submitted,
unit leader.
Abstract (not included in the word count): provide a brief overview of the chosen research topic and context of investigation, research methods and key findings (max. 300 words).
Table of contents (not included in the word count).
List of figures (not included in the word count).
1. Introduction – 150 words
 Context and rationale for your research: this will include a brief overview of the chosen company and
research topic. Discuss why your research is relevant in the context of the selected company;
 Aims and objectives: clearly state your research aim and objectives.
2. “Preliminary” literature review – 400 words
 Brief review of journal articles (max. 3 articles): discuss theoretical concepts models and frameworks
presented in the articles and evaluate how these are relevant to your research topic.
3. Research Methods – 500 words
 Research approach / design: discuss your research approach (i.e. inductive, deductive) and provide a short
outline of your research design. Clearly state which research “option” you have selected and why (i.e. Option
A or Option B, see above);
 Research methods (primary research): with reference to option A or operation B, discuss your sampling
strategy, questions/questionnaire design, data collection procedures and approach to data analysis;
 Discuss how you have taken into consideration the University’s Code of Ethics for researchers and Health
and Safety issues

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