Premier Investments operates a range of retail fashion chains throughout Australia, New Zealand, Singapore, the UK, Malaysia and Hong Kong. The company’s brands include Smiggle, Portmans, Just Jeans, Peter Alexander, Jay Jays, Jacqui E and Dotti. In 2016, group sales revenue exceeded AUD$1 Billion for the first time (Mitchell, 2016a). Solomon Lew, the chairman and largest shareholder of Premier Investments, recently became the first Australian to be inducted into the World Retail Congress Hall of Fame (Mitchell, 2016b).

As at 15 May 2017, Premier Investments’ share price was $12.70, giving the group a total market capitalisation of AUD$2.0 Billion. The group’s success in recent times has, in particular, been propelled by the success of Smiggle and Peter Alexander. These two brands now account “for the lion’s share of Premier’s half-year sales and earnings growth” (Low 2017) and the group plans to open further stores throughout Asia, the UK and North America (Chang, 2015; Mitchell, 2016; Low, 2017). It has been argued that Smiggle and Peter Alexander are particularly well suited to online retail and the group is targeting online sales of $100m a year by 2020 (Batholomeusz 2017). The strong results of Smiggle and Peter Alexander contrasts with the weak performance of other brands within the Premier Investments group including Just Jeans, Jay Jays, Dotti, Portmans and Jacqui E (Mitchell, 2016a).

Question 1 – Strategic and Knowledge Management (40 marks) (Maximum report length: 2000 words)

You have been asked to prepare a report for the senior management team of Premier Investments on the future strategic positioning of the firm. The business is wanting to address concerns in regards to the poor performance of some brands within the group. The business is also wanting to continue to grow through international and online sales expansion.

You need to present a response at the next board meeting.

Areas you need to address include:

  1. Premier Investments’ competitive advantage (this discussion should make explicit reference to key competitors of the firm) (6 Marks).
  2. A Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats (SWOT) analysis for Premier Investments including:
  3. Four threats and four opportunities (should include consideration of the possible opportunities created by knowledge management) available to Premier Investments; and
  4. Four strengths and four weaknesses of Premier Investments (18 Marks).
  5. Using Porter’s generic strategies, what strategy would you recommend for Premier Investments? This recommendation should be detailed and specific (6 Marks).
  6. Potential financial and non-financial measures Premier Investments could use to evaluate the success of your recommended strategy (6 Marks).

Using APA referencing, this report must be supported by reference to a range of relevant academic and other research sources (4 Marks for academic writing).