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Customer Service Assignment - Homebase

Essay by   •  February 13, 2012  •  Case Study  •  1,676 Words (7 Pages)  •  2,113 Views

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Introduction

For those of you who are unfamiliar with Homebase, it is a store that sells home furniture, appliances, DIY and garden products.

The Homebase nearest to me is on a Fonthill Retail Park, Fonthill Road, Clondalkin, Co. Dublin and so there is a large car park, which is good. It is a large store with an upstairs level mainly kitted out with goods for kitchens, bathrooms and bedrooms, such as shower units, tables, lights and beds. The rest of the store has smaller goods like storage boxes, paint, power tools, doors, locks, bolts, handles and many more house hold items.

The garden equipment can be found inside and outside to the side of the store, with a vast selection of plants and additional goods to brighten up your garden. It has a great choice of goods and I am tempted to pay another visit to buy a few things for my garden.

The staffs are all pleasant and very helpful, especially if you can't find what you are looking for, which happens quite a lot due to the large size of the store. All employers are wearing uniforms what is really helpful when you need advice. Prices are good and similar to places like B & Q or Atlantic.

Homebase history

Homebase is a British home improvement store and garden centre, with 350 stores across the United Kingdom and the Republic of Ireland. It is well known by its green and orange colour scheme. Together with its sister company Argos (with 750 stores), it forms part of the larger Home Retail Group.

Homebase was founded by Sainsbury's supermarket chain and Belgian retailer GB-Inno-BM in 1979 as Sainsbury's Homebase, to bring supermarket-style outlay to the British DIY market. Its first store was in Croydon, opening on the Purley Way on 3 March 1981. Homebase was tripled in size in 1995 with the acquisition of the rival Texas Homecare from the Ladbroke Group plc. These stores were rebranded and redesigned to the Homebase format, the first to be converted being in Longwell Green in Bristol in February 1996 and the Last 60 Texas stores were converted to Homebase in 1999. There are now 350 nationwide stores.

In October 1999 Sainsbury's bought Hampden Group plc, the franchisee of seven Texas stores in Northern Ireland and three Texas stores in the Republic of Ireland, which were converted into Homebase stores.

Sainsbury's sold the Homebase chain in December 2000 in a two-fold deal worth £969 million. Sales of the chain of stores to venture capitalist Schroder Ventures generated £750 million and sale of 28 development sites, which had been earmarked for future Homebase stores, were sold for £219 million to rival B&Q's parent company, Kingfisher plc. At the time, the chain had 13% of the UK market, behind B&Q and Focus Do It All.

Homebase was later sold on to GUS plc (formerly Great Universal Stores plc) in November 2002 for £900 million, where it formed part of the Argos Retail Group. On 10 October 2006, GUS completed a demerger between its two businesses Experian and ARG. ARG was renamed as the Home Retail Group, which Homebase now operates as part of.

In early October 2007 it was announced that Home Retail Group, had signed a contract for the purchase of 27 leasehold properties from Focus DIY. The purchase price being paid is £40m in cash. The properties are expected to be transferred over the period up to 31 December 2007 and will then be re-fitted to the Homebase fascia over the course of several months in readiness for the peak spring period. No other infrastructure and no merchandise stock are being acquired as part of the transaction, although staff in these Focus stores will transfer across to Homebase.

Early in its history, Homebase used its Sainsbury's experience to move into using central warehouses from which to deliver its stock. By the 1990s it was receiving the vast majority of its stock into central warehouses, then delivering it to stores. Homebase still receives a few direct deliveries to its stores from manufacturers and vendors.

From May 2009 Homebase discontinued its own loyalty program, the Spend & Save Card and replaced it with the Nectar loyalty card scheme, the UK's largest retail loyalty card. The Spend & Save card had been used by Homebase since 1982, and was believed to be one of the first store loyalty cards in the world.

Homebase allows customers to collect and redeem points within its stores, becoming the first national DIY retailer to participate in this way. Although competitors B&Q also have a system for processing Nectar points, this is only available on their website, and even then, points may only be spent, not collected.

Description of the site

Big bright orange customer service desk is located on the right site of the main entrance so there is no problem to find it.

There are two computer stations and two phones at the help desk. Printer and fax machine is located on the left fare end of the desk. There is one customer care rep. in black uniform with customer care badge. The desk looks very spicy and well organised. Very good visual presentation of the help area.

I did not observed any special circumstances relating to this area.

Homebase - a network number 2 on the British market with a specialization on home decoration and garden center. It is a tradition that Homebase dictates style of houses and apartments. Therefore, a

decorative assortment placed in the centre of a trading hall.

Articles' for home decor are specially highlighted. Merchandisers are trying to introduce products in a manner that it will inspire the buyers

Corporative colours of Homebase orange and light green - are present only in the navigation and presentation of promo areas. The whole trade area is light and bright due to the quality of lighting, light walls and structural elements, racks of milk and a light gray colour.

Laconic but effective navigation - ends of gondolas with signing "Great Price" on it draws attention. On top of the shelves - «Enjoy. Up to 15% discount on all items in the shop ».

Shop is talking to the buyer, and it does not

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