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BRL-011: Retail Operations and Store Management-II

BRL-011: Retail Operations and Store Management-II

IGNOU Solved Assignment Solution for 2022-23

If you are looking for BRL-011 IGNOU Solved Assignment solution for the subject Retail Operations and Store Management-II, you have come to the right place. BRL-011 solution on this page applies to 2022-23 session students studying in BBARL courses of IGNOU.

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Assignment Code: BRL-011/TMA/2022-23

Course Code: BRL-011

Assignment Name: Retail Operations and Store Management- II

Year: 2022-2023

Verification Status: Verified by Professor


Attempt all the questions.


(A) Short Type Questions (10x7)


Q1) Who are the major beneficiaries of category management and why?

Ans) Naturally, the retail industry, retail chains, and independent store owners stand to gain the most from category management. As can be seen from the earlier study, the retailer has the ability to determine the ideal amount of assortments in a given category and the overall stocks because when these are in relation to sales patterns, profitability is higher and operating expenses are lower.


Vendors and manufacturers, in addition to retailers, gain from the category management process because they know exactly what to make and supply. The category manager, floor manager, brand/product manager, and others also profit. However, the customer is the most significant group to gain from category management. The buyer ultimately reaps the rewards since they are able to purchase the goods of their choice at the ideal price, location, and timing.


According to what is mentioned below, the other four components have an impact on how the organisation will operationalize and institutionalise category management. For each of the components, category management establishes crucial performance and direction standards.

  1. The category management process establishes the organisational capabilities in terms of personnel strength and competences that are necessary.

  2. It also decides what standards or guidelines should be established for information technology.

  3. The sort of trade partners needed and the nature of the ties to be kept with them are determined by category management goals.

  4. It establishes the performance measurement objectives for the category management process.


The company's future business strategies and operational procedures are determined by the evaluation of performance metrics. Therefore, the category management process will be stronger the more interconnected the various components are.


Q2) Explain the concept of a Balanced Scorecard with the help of a suitable diagram.

Ans) The balanced scorecard is a strategic planning and management tool that is widely used in business and industry, government, and non-profit organisations to better internal and external communications and track organisational performance against strategic objectives. It was developed by Drs. Robert Kaplan and David Norton as a framework for performance measurement that combined traditional financial indicators with strategic non-financial performance measurements to provide managers and executives with a more "balanced" understanding of organisational performance.


Balanced Scorecard as a Measurement System: We could refer to financial indicators as "lag indicators". They inform us of the prior activities. These lag indicators are complemented by the lead indicators, or predictors of future economic performance, in the balanced scorecard.

A company can use the balanced scorecard to translate its long-term goals and plans into a set of goals and metrics that communicate to its staff in a compelling way. The scorecard describes the crucial components in the accomplishment of strategy using measurements as a new language. While keeping financial indicators, the scorecard also includes three additional, separate perspectives: customer, internal business processes, and learning and growth.

  1. Customer Perspective: Managers define the customer and market categories in which the business unit will compete as well as the metrics to be created to evaluate its performance from a customer viewpoint in the Balanced Scorecard's customer perspective.

  2. Product Leadership: Product leaders place more emphasis on ongoing product innovation and push to provide the very best products available.

  3. Customer Intimacy: The customer-intimate firm is one that goes above and beyond to meet the specific demands of its customers.

  4. Internal Business Process Perspective: We highlight the essential processes the company must excel at in the internal business process perspective of the scorecard in order to continue adding value to the delight of customers and, consequently, to the profitability of shareholders. Each of the aforementioned client disciplines will require the effective functioning of particular internal processes in order to fulfil both the firm's value proposition and customer measures.

  5. Learning and Growth Perspective: The balanced scorecard's learning and growth perspective measures are actually the other three views' enablers. The most important elements for present and future success are identified from the customer and internal business process viewpoints. With the available tools and resources, businesses are unlikely to be able to achieve their long-term goals for their clients and internal operations.

  6. Financial Measures: Financial metrics are crucial, especially in the world of for-profit enterprise. This perspective's measures let us know whether the implementation of our plan, which is described in more detail by the indicators we selected for the other views, is enhancing our financial performance.

Q3) Explain the concept of perception in influencing consumer behaviour.

Ans) The consumer recognises, arranges, and understands information through perception. An advertising on TV, for example, may first expose a consumer to information, and then a subsequent exposure may catch his attention, prompting comprehension and ultimately memory retention.


After completely absorbing and comprehending the information, the consumer utilises it to compare various product categories and brands before deciding whether or not to buy the item. Low participation categories have a different perception process since the customer may simply memorise the information rather than making an effort to understand it.


Repeated exposure may help people remember the information, which could make them more likely to recognise the brand when they see it in a store. When choosing a high involvement purchase, the buyer should pay close attention to details on the product or brands in a category and the needs they will serve. To deal with the deluge of messages they receive from many sources, consumers must be discerning in how they perceive information.


Each of the four stages of perception exposure, attention, comprehension, and retention involves this selectivity. Information that supports a consumer's beliefs and/or is timely, relevant, or interesting tends to be retained by them. The two key components of a perceptual process, selection, and organisation, thereby explain why two distinct consumers will interpret the same information in different ways.


Distinguish between the following:


a) Merchandise on hand and Merchandise on order


Merchandise on hand

The price of the items that are currently for sale is known as inventory. It excludes any merchandise that is on its way to the retail location or that has been returned but has not yet been examined to see whether it can be sold again. It does, however, incorporate all finished goods inventory.


Merchandise on order

A consumer may utilise the "Merchandise On Order Form" to place orders for products or merchandise with a seller or retailer. This order form will undoubtedly organise and streamline the order workflow because the data will be collected properly, preventing purchase errors.


b) Horizontal Price Fixing and Vertical Price Fixing


Horizontal Price Fixing

It is known as horizontal price fixing when manufacturers, wholesalers, or retailers come to an agreement to establish pricing for particular goods. Regardless of whether the pricing are reasonable or not, any sort of deal between retailers, whether oral or written, is seen as illegal. According to the Monopoly Restrictive Practices Act, such practises are prohibited in India. Additionally, it is unlawful for shops to collaborate on the use of any discounts, rebates, or other price-fixing strategies.


Vertical Price Fixing

When manufacturers or Pricing in Retail wholesalers try to regulate the retail pricing of their products and services by forbidding retailers from selling the related things below the minimum prices determined by them, this is known as vertical price fixing. In India, retailers are required to sell products at the maximum retail price that has been set by the suppliers or manufacturers and must include all taxes.


c) Deceptive Advertising and Bait and Switch Advertising


Bait and Switch Advertising

It is against the law for a business to advertise extremely low pricing for specific products in an effort to draw customers into their store. When a customer enters a store or calls a toll-free number, they are informed that the advertised item is out of stock or of lower quality and are given the option of a substitute at a price that is greater than the stated price for the advertised item. The retailer does not intend to sell the concerned items for the listed price. The FTC examines the sale of the aforementioned goods at the stated prices, the quantity of such goods sold, and the overall sales revenue in relation to the cost of advertising.

Deceptive Advertising

Deceptive advertising refers to when a store makes a false claim or intentionally misleads customers by using misleading representations of a product's benefits, usage, or physical characteristics. The store must keep in mind that the national laws are more concerned with whether the customer was duped by the relevant advertisement than with the advertiser or retailer's intentions.


d) Financial Goals and Profitability Goals


Financial Goals

In order to meet the interests of all stakeholders, including those of shareholders/investors, employees, vendors, etc., a firm defines the financial goals it would want to have for itself based on the business goals.


Profitability Goals and Consumer Satisfaction levels

These are the consequences achieved based on the category management process followed by the company. Hence these act more as measurement criteria for the performance of the company against the above-mentioned goals.

Write short notes on the following:


a) Dimensions of customer loyalty

Ans) There are various aspects of client loyalty, which are covered below:

  1. Emotional Loyalty: The store and its products become emotionally connected to the customer. As a result, many patrons have a connection to their old Kirana business that spans multiple generations on both sides.

  2. Price Loyalty: In this type of loyalty, the customer is more loyal to the retail store than to the product's price. As a result, the client is willing to change retailers depending on the price offered for regularly purchased items like food and other necessary purchases.

  3. Monopoly Loyalty: Here, certain compulsions are what motivate the allegiance.


b) Inventory Management

Ans) The right kind of merchandise assortment ensures that the retail store is able to achieve the maximum sales possible; any errors in the proper monitoring and management of inventory may result in sales loss, a higher proportion of slow-moving merchandise, more markdowns, and ultimately a loss of profit margins. Inventory management is the core of store operations. The merchandising team may need to weigh the expense of shipping against the just-in-time delivery to determine how much inventory should be kept in the store's warehouse or back room.


c) Achievements of Pantaloon Retail

Ans) In the value and lifestyle segments of the Indian consumer market, Pantaloon Retail is a market leader with a variety of retail formats. As the largest retailer in India, Pantaloon Retail builds trust by providing clients with cutting-edge services, high-calibre goods, and reasonable prices that improve their daily lives. It uses more than 15 million square feet of retail space to service customers in 60 rural and 85 urban areas around the nation. Pantaloons Retail started out small in 1987 and has come a long way to reach its many accomplishments.



d) Vertical Price Fixing

Ans) When manufacturers or wholesalers try to regulate the retail prices of their products and services by forbidding retailers from selling the concerned things for less than the minimum prices set by them, this is known as vertical price fixing. In India, retailers are required to sell products at the maximum retail price that has been set by the suppliers or manufacturers and must include all taxes.


Retailers are not allowed to sell products above MRP prices under any circumstances, as was the situation in the years prior to the regulation's implementation and strict adherence. No manufacturer or distributor may forbid retailers from selling the products and services below the MRP rates if they so choose. This is done to maintain the competitive spirit and fair pricing in play.


Q6) Briefly comment on the following:


a) “Probably with the success of an isolated store, many others want to open stores selling similar product lines to cash in on the shoppers’ flow into the area.”

Ans) A string is another name for an unplanned shopping area made up of a collection of retailers carrying the same brand of goods. These shops will typically be situated close to one another on a street or major thoroughfare. Many others wish to start stores selling comparable product lines to capitalise on the influx of shoppers to the neighbourhood after one isolated store's success, it's likely. For instance, furniture shops, hardware shops, sanitary/bathroom fitting shops, clothing shops, auto repair shops, etc.


The benefits of a string location include lower rent, better exposure from the roads and streets, the availability of room for the store to expand, and fewer operating costs. The drawbacks include a smaller selection of products, more advertising expenses, additional travel for customers interested in the relevant products, and the need to construct the store's physical location from scratch.


b) “Earlier retailers used to outsource certain functions to an outside agency because they were not experienced in the said function or were finding it uneconomical.”

Ans) Because they lacked the necessary expertise or thought it would be unprofitable, retailers in the past used to contract out specific tasks to an outside agency. But today's retailers are approaching outsourcing positively because they believe that focusing on their core responsibilities such as buying, merchandising, category management, marketing, sales promotion, and customer service is much more beneficial because it allows them to differentiate themselves through their expertise in one or more of these functions, which they would prefer to keep in-house. In addition to accounting, retailers are rapidly outsourcing operations related to warehousing, shipping, transportation, hiring, and human administration.


c) “All retailers who are involved in sale of merchandise makes an implied warranty of merchantability.”

Ans) All merchantable warranties are implied by all retailers engaged in the sale of goods. The term "merchantability" itself suggests that the goods are suitable for their intended usage in daily life. For instance, if an article of clothing loses its colour during the first regular wash as specified on the wash-care label for such goods, the merchant cannot shift the blame on the supplier or manufacturer. The retailer will be liable for providing a new item of clothing of equal or equivalent value.


d) “The human resource compensation plays important role in the motivation of personnel.”

Ans) The necessity of training and developing human resources has increased in the contemporary environment, particularly in relation to organised retail in India. In the retail industry, it's important to have the correct amount of employees at all levels and to make sure they can both meet the needs of store owners and provide customers with the services they want. After being hired, the staff must be regularly observed and put through processes for training and growth. This aids in closing any performance gaps and encourages them to give better performances. Compensation for human resources affects employee motivation significantly, so it must be managed with the proper knowledge and strategy.

Q7) Explain the organization structure normally used by a national retail chain.

Ans) It goes without saying that a national retail chain's organisational structure will be more complicated than a retailer with only one location. This is due to the fact that a national retail chain's locations are dispersed across a large geographic area and that several strategic, merchandising, store operations, and administrative duties must be carried out by experts in those particular tasks.


We'll use JCPenney as an example, a well-known national retail chain in the US that uses multiple channels to sell its goods, to help you better grasp the workings of a chain shop. Levy et al. emphasise that JCPenney began as a family-owned company with the main tasks or functions being designed to accommodate the family members. Many national chain retailers have embraced Paul Mazur's functional organisation concept from 1927, with certain adjustments made to fit their particular requirements. The Mazur plan has placed a lot of emphasis on dividing up the major activities of "buying" and "store administration" into numerous specialised tasks in order to give each of these tasks more individual attention.


Other significant retail giants including Home Depot, The Gap, and Best Buy have followed the aforementioned organisational structure, with the appropriate modifications made as needed. It is evident from the aforementioned organisational chart that the Chairman and CEO are directly under the leadership of the President and Chief Merchandising Officer, Chief Operating Officer, Chief of HR & Administration, Chief Financial Officer, Chief Information Officer, and General Council & Secretary.

While the merchandising, planning, marketing, finance, visual merchandising, information systems, and human resource departments are housed at the corporate office, store managers and other store-related workers are employed in their respective stores.


According to the aforementioned organisational structure, the COO is in charge of overseeing store managers and sales representatives at more than 1000 JC Penney locations across the US. Supply chain management, store design, interior design, visual merchandising, and construction activities for the establishment of a new store are additional responsibilities of the COO.


(B) Essay Type Questions: (15x2)


Q8) Explain the concept of store planning and its elements.

Ans) Planning a store is just as vital as planning a home. The owner must specify in minute detail how the space in the various rooms of the house is to be divided up among various goods and materials. The area should be utilised in a way that gives off an overall impression of organisation, clarity, and harmony between various materials and utilities and the people residing there. If the store sells multiple brands of goods, it must clearly identify the various areas or departments according to the store's categories and merchandise. This makes purchasing for customers incredibly easy and productive.


Store Planning for the small independent merchant is given a new perspective through Retail Store Design and Display. The retail industry may improve its bottom line with the help of a new design process that is guided by a budget. Therefore, the layout and design of the store must be carefully prepared to satisfy the merchandising objectives of the merchant. These should make the store simple to navigate and shop in, as well as enable the efficient display of goods.


Space Allocation

The merchant must choose the spaces to be divided among several divisions and parts before creating a floor design. The area is divided up according to square footage. In order to give the merchant, the intended benefit and returns from every square foot allotted to distinct parts and departments, the actual space allocation must be based on specific workings. Let's examine the many types of spaces that can be assigned in a business.


Types of Spaces Required

There are other locations in a store that the merchant needs to consider in addition to the sales floor. The merchant must strike a balance between the demand for product density and the convenience and use of the store. In a store, there are five different types of space requirements.

  1. Floor Merchandise Space: Customers can browse, inspect, and inquire about the goods in this major selling area. Different sorts of fixtures are utilised in this area to display a wide range of goods.

  2. Wall Merchandise Space: Today, the stuff is efficiently displayed on the walls. Waterfall hanger systems, which are widely used for displaying clothing, as well as glass racks are employed as wall fixtures for product display.

  3. Aisles, Service Areas, and Other Non-Selling Areas: The merchant must set aside a suitable space for the main aisle. Along with sub-aisles that move to various parts and departments, this aisle may move through the store's selling area.

  4. Office and Other Functional Areas: There is a requirement to provide office and other functional space, especially for large scale retailers. These spaces include the store manager's office, offices for assistants and account staff, training rooms, cash rooms, break areas for salespeople, dining areas for staff with self-service cold beverage dispensers, restrooms for both customers and employees, and other areas as may be deemed appropriate for the store.

  5. Back Room: This is the component that every store must have. It is the place where goods are received in large format retailers. Next, essential record-keeping entries are made here, along with any labelling, security-tagging, etc. This area is also utilised to store excess inventory.



The most effective technique to move clients from one part to another is to implement a circulation strategy that is appropriate for the product type and shop layout. Customers should be exposed to as many different product categories and departments as possible. The free flow, grid, loop, and spine are the four fundamental styles of layout.

  1. Free Flow: Small businesses that specialise in selling a specific product category, such as clothing for women or men, children, or pets, furniture, purses, etc., frequently utilise this style of layout. The fixtures and goods are arranged in free-flowing patterns in this type of layout.

  2. Grid: Supermarkets, medicine stores, and convenience stores frequently use this design. Long rows of fixtures and counters are used in this design.

  3. Loop: The departmental stores are highly fond of this design of layout. As it rings or around the entire store's perimeter, it is also known as a racetrack. The loop layout is regarded as one of the best layouts for boosting the space's productivity.

  4. Spine: The spine layout aims to integrate in a particular way the benefits of the free flow layout, the grid layout, and the loop pattern. In this arrangement, there is only one aisle that serves as both a route from the front door to the back of the store and a return route for customers.


Prevention of Shrinkage

The retail management team must include shrinkage prevention when planning the layout of the business. The merchandise must always be visible while creating a layout plan, which is the most crucial factor to keep in mind. Trial rooms, nooks, and corners that are inaccessible to normal shoppers, lanes packed with merchandise, or areas hidden behind tall displays are the most vulnerable spots for theft.


Q9) What are the major purposes of public relations exercises? Explain the advantages and disadvantages of the same.

Ans) Promoting a favourable and good perception of the retailer among the general public is the goal of public relations. The goal is to change the perception of the store among all relevant parties, including patrons, investors, the government, channel participants, employees, and members of the general public. The public relations campaign may be sponsored-controlled or unsponsored, paid, or unpaid. Since there are no direct payments given for the use of the place or time, publicity that is a component of public relations efforts is a non-paid and impersonal activity. The publicity effort is not sponsored by any one company in particular.


Public relations initiatives might take the shape of organising or sponsoring a marathon, cycling event, fashion show, school festivities, and so on. They can also take the form of financial contributions to social organisations.


Major Objectives of a Public Relation

  1. A public relations campaign's main goals are to:

  2. Improve public understanding of the retailer's long-term objectives.

  3. Help improve the organization's brand that operates the retail outlets.

  4. Promoting retailers as organisations or businesses with a conscience.

  5. To increase the credibility of the retailer's image and objectives in the minds of the general public.


Advantages of Public Relation

The following are the main benefits of a public relations effort:

  1. Image improvement for the retailer.

  2. Due to its extensive coverage, a news storey that appears in a reputable news outlet or newspaper carries a high level of credibility and PR value.

  3. The time and space allocated for the stated message are provided at no direct expense.

  4. In comparison to paid advertisements, news articles are more memorable.

  5. To fit their image of the store's offerings, customers position the store favourably in their minds.


Disadvantages of Public Relation

There could also be drawbacks, which include the following list:

  1. Many small to medium sized stores find sponsored advertisements to be a more effective alternative because the time and money needed to organise an event or sponsor a meaningful public event is out of their budget.

  2. The shop has no influence over the message's placement, timing, or content.

  3. Particularly for small to medium sized retailers who are primarily concerned with short term goals, the funding requirement and preparation for the public relations effort may not be suited for garnering immediate and short-term publicity.


Types of Public Relations (PR)

Basically, there are two different sorts of PR that could happen: planned PR and unanticipated PR. According to the type of coverage the event may garner, unanticipated PR may be distracting or detrimental, whereas planned PR is typically an image enhancer. A lot of preparation and coordination goes into planned PR, which aims to get extensive media coverage for the targeted event.


Unexpected publicity happens, as the term implies, without the knowledge or consent of the company. The retailer could face criticism for its treatment of the environment, unfair business practises, or other factors. As a result, many large format stores have a specialised department to continuously monitor its PR activities, which can help the retail chain project a positive image.

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