Thursday, 27 November 2008
Unless you live under a rock, you'll have heard about the trouble Woolworths is in, after 99 years trading. But when you think of Woolworths, what do you think of?
(Woolworths Storefront photograph care of markhillary)
For me, Woolworths is the home of Pick 'n' Mix. that's what I remember most about it - especially the invention of a "fill a cup" for one price :-)
(Woolworths Pick 'n' Mix photograph care of Route79)
Woolworths, as been described elsewhere, is the jack of all trades and master of none. It doesn't just sell one particular genre of product. It has tried to take on rivals such as B&Q (DIY range), HMV/Zavvi (CD, DVD range), Currys/Dixons/Comet (electricals range), various clothing chains, especially Adams (childrens clothes range), The Link (mobile phone range), Toys 'r' Us (toys range)......the list goes on. Each of the companies listed, whilst having a vast range, have focused on particular market areas. Currys is firmly electricals orientated. It doesn't sell Pick 'n' Mix or children's clothes. Customers who walk into a Currys store are fairly certainly after electricals of some sort.
Is there an affiliate lesson here?
1) Don't be afraid to take on the big boys
Firstly, at least Woolworths tried to satisfy/expand it's customer base by offering a wide range of products. It's ultimately failed in purpose but that didn't stop them giving it a go.
By taking on the big boys (e.g. top gadget sites or top discount voucher code sites), you need to follow point 2:
2) Be realistic
Whilst you are setting up your discount voucher cashback megasite, factor in the fact that you may well not succeed. Not everything I've done has worked as well as I had hoped - otherwise I'd be sitting on a beach right now (or living in my Condo in Orlando ;-P ) rather than staring at the rain in Wet Wales.
As they say, Rome wasn't conquered in a day.
3) Are you a Jack of all trades?
Woolworths have diversified so much it's impossible to label them as a particular kind of retailer. You could call it a department store but I wouldn't consider it similar to Wilkinson or Debenhams. You could call it a cheap shop but it's not on the same level as Home Bargains or Poundland.
Discount voucher sites and cashback sites are able to target just about every market there is. But for a one man band running a blog, doing this may be difficult. You'd be better off setting up niche sites focussing on a sector (e.g. lingerie) or even more niche than that (e.g. black men's boxer shorts). Find the fine line between too broad and too niche. Aim for that.
4) Consider your customers
Ultimately, you need leads and sales to make money. You need to consider a) what they are interested in and b) what will help them convert. There's little point in setting up a blog about price sensitive products as is there little point in setting up a comparison site for products that always stay the same price.
5) Don't sit still
If it doesn't work, change it. If it does work, tweak it. Continue to update and modernise your portfolio as a stationary business is one that is not growing, leaving more leeway for rivals to start targeting your market, offering better services to lure potential customers away.
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I have been following the Woolworths story for around a year now and like everyone saw this coming. As I said to my partner once, what does it actually sell? Even though she goes in there alot she wasn't quite sure herself!
Just looking at that picture you posted it looks so tired, very 70s and whenever I have been in the place always seems to be a complete mess with stuff everywhere, on the floor, stuff mixed up on the shelf. Just a big mess.
However I find myself really drawn to it, I am fascinated by the whole company and have run through my head what I would do if I was in charge. I do alot of internet shopping for about 10 years now and have never bought anything from their website. I think that says alot.
Have a look at their corporate site and have a look at their interim reports, an interesting read.
Lastly a great quote from the new CEO who has been in the job about 8 weeks:
He said half the stock was in the stockroom and questioned why Woolies sold "54 different types of pencil cases but not women's tights".
PS - Sorry for the long comment, just gutted not to see the promised turnaround. C'mon Phillip Green, get a pound out!
Written on Thursday 27 November 2008 at 20:28:26 GMT (Permalink)
Excellent piece of advice
Written on Friday 28 November 2008 at 15:49:43 GMT (Permalink)
The beginning of the end - http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/...
Written on Thursday 11 December 2008 at 16:44:14 GMT (Permalink)
Thank you to all previous commenters.
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