1. It is important to understand in great depth how your chosen retailer implements its retail mix in respect of each element described above. This understanding can only de developed from detailed observations undertaken during store visits and through analysis of in-store and printed/broadcast marketing communications. 2. It is important, however, that your work is not merely a description of each element of the retail mix, but rather seeks to analyse the contribution of each element to sustainable competitive advantage. 3. According to Crawford and Mathews (2001) retailers compete for target customers on five major factors: – the price for the benefits offered – service level – product selection (merchandise line width and depth) – location – customer experience (positive feelings and behaviours generated in the purchase process). They must dominate on one key factor and differentiate themselves on at least one secondary factor within their primary competitive set. 4. Levy and Weitz (2007) describe sustainable competitive advantage as “an advantage over the competition that is not easily copied and thus can be maintained over a long period of time.” 5. According to Johnson and Scholes (2008) competitive advantage is built on core competences which are the skills and abilities by which resources are deployed through an organisation’s activities and processes in ways that are difficult for competitors to imitate. 6. Resource-Advantage Theory (Hunt and Morgan 1996) argues that firms gain competitive advantage by offering superior value to customers and/or having lower operating costs. Advantage is based on tangible and/or intangible resources. Because retail demand is dynamic in order to sustain competitive advantage resources must be applied to create changing retail mixes to accommodate changing consumer preferences 7. Porter (1985) proposed three generic strategies by which a business might achieve competitive advantage: overall cost leadership, differentiation and focus. 8. Bowman (1995) proposed “market facing” generic strategies based on price and perceived benefits: no frills, low price, hybrid, differentiation (with and without price premium) and focused differentiation.