TMA 01

TMA 01 Printable page generated Tuesday, 21 Nov 2017, 19:58
TMA 01
Cut-off date: This tutor-marked assignment (TMA 01) must be submitted by 12 noon (UK local time) on the date
shown on the study planner on the module website.
Word count: The total word limit for TMA 01 is 1000 words.
TMA 01 accounts for 20% of your continuous assessment for the module.
Learning outcomes
This TMA is intended to assess the following:
your knowledge and understanding of key concepts and ideas covered in Block 1 of B207
your critical understanding of why new products and services are imperative to contemporary business practice
your ability to select information from a case study, and develop arguments based on that selection
your ability to apply module ideas to a practical situation as presented in a case study
your ability to use academic and business and management language appropriately and effectively to communicate
your ideas
good academic practice in citing sources of information appropriately.
Assignment task
TMA 01 is made up of two parts: Part A and Part B. You need to complete both parts of the assignment.
Part A: Case study – Tiger
Part A of this TMA will be marked out of 80 marks.
Read the case study and answer the following questions:
1. Describe how two of these three business functions (marketing, operations or finance) would identify and address
this organisation’s innovation needs. (30 marks)
2. Apply your two chosen business functional innovation perspectives to the case study to describe Tiger’s approach to
innovating. (30 marks)
3. Discuss two issues that the managers at Tiger might face when choosing between these functional perspectives, in
order to decide a direction for the business in the case study. (20 marks)
Danish homeware chain, Tiger, is flourishing without the internet
Shopping in an actual shop will go the same way as vinyl LPs and loose-leaf tea – a niche hobby for the purists.
That’s the belief of many in the retail trade and seems to be borne out by shopping figures from this Christmas.
Total retail sales rose 1.5pc in December, according to figures from the British Retail Consortium, driven by growth of
17.8pc in online shopping. Without that strong rise, overall sales would have fallen, the trade body said.
However, one seven-year-old entrant to the British high street managed to achieve 55pc sales growth during the key
Christmas shopping month with no online business at all.
Tiger, a homeware brand first started in Denmark, added five new shops in England in 2012, taking its total to 18.
It plans to add as many as eight in 2013, with demand for its cheap but good-looking products showing no signs of
slowing down. All the shops are profitable.
Philip Bier, managing director, says he will be disappointed if the company does not achieve like-for-like sales growth
of between 2pc and 3pc in 2013, on top of opening new shops.
“To be successful now, you need to offer good value but also a pleasant experience,” he says.
“Without both, your relevance on the high street disappears.”
He cites the success of John Lewis, which he admires very much, and Apple.
“Everyone has said that the electronics industry is finished on the high street but if you walk into an Apple store, it’s
“People want to go and speak to the bright youngsters who can answer their questions, and spend time in a beautiful
building, and they probably end up paying more for something than they would online.”
Tiger is not competing for the same levels of spending as Apple, with most of its products costing between £1 and £3.
The company’s diverse bestsellers range from a display frame for vinyl records to a head-massager, candles and
Dutch waffle biscuits. It does not sell large items of furniture but homeware and office goods such as kitchen utensils
and storage boxes that can be carried away.
Its stores are located on busy high streets where people can pop in on their way to work.
“Very high footfall is essential for us,” Mr Bier says.
The Tiger brand has about 200 outlets around Europe, including three in Scotland. These are run by the Danish
parent company.
However, in England the business is a 50−50 joint venture between Bier, who is originally from Denmark, and Tiger.
Tiger’s founder sold 70pc of his stake to private equity company EQT VI in October, and the deal completed at the
start of January. It’s too early to say how private equity ownership may change the business, says Mr Bier, but he
sees no reason for slowing the pace of expansion he has undertaken since bringing the brand to England in 2005.
All of Tiger’s shops are in London and the South East. Mr Bier has no plans to expand to other parts of England in
the near future.
“There are 60 Tiger stores in Denmark, which has a population of 5.5m people,” he says.
“We have 18 and there are 20m people in the south-east of England. There’s capacity for at least 50 stores in this
Location is critical to the success of Tiger’s shops, because of the need for a high volume of customers to buy its lowcost
goods. Its high street presence is also its biggest marketing tool.
“We’re spending a lot of time looking at locations, it’s the critical decision,” says Mr Bier.
“We’re signing up to 10-year leases, so, if we get it wrong, we have a problem.”
The company does not yet have any shops in central London because of the high rents but is on local borough high
streets and in shopping centres in other parts of London, such as Wandsworth, Hammersmith and Lewisham, as well
as in commuter towns such as Croydon and Basingstoke.
“It’s not that I don’t think we would do well in the big northern cities or the Midlands but it would involve infrastructure
investments that we don’t have to make when there’s so much to go for here,” says Mr Bier.
The company has so far funded its expansion through its profits and some borrowing, “but not much”, says Mr Bier.
As for the internet, which many British retailers are looking to as their saviour, Mr Bier does not rule out going into
online sales at some point.
The company has a website where you can browse products and find out where the shops are located. However for
now, high street shops offer the biggest opportunity.
“With a transaction value of, say, £7 and items which are quite bulky and fragile, the delivery becomes complicated
and expensive, and it doesn’t particularly lend itself to web shopping,” says Mr Bier.
“A lot of our business is impulse shopping. People come in and think that’s a great gift or that looks fun and then
they’re filling up a basket.”
Starting in the UK in 2005 means Tiger predates the current British passion for all things Scandinavian, particularly
Danish TV shows, but it is capitalising on it now.
“Scandinavian design, particularly in interiors, was always considered to be desirable but expensive,” says Mr Bier.
“IKEA has done a lot to address the perception of high price, as has H&M, and I hope Tiger will, too.”
Part B: Block 1 mind map
This part of the TMA will be marked out of 20 marks.
Create a mind map to explore your understanding of an area of public and non-profit management. This will focus on your
work from Block 1 Sessions 17 and 18. For this mind map you may choose to build on the work you have already done on
the pros and cons of competition and choice in public services (in Activity 18.1).
Guidance notes
Part A
Question 1:
This question asks you to identify and describe relevant theories, concepts and ideas from Block 1 for two of the following
three business functions: marketing, operations or finance. Marketing is covered in Sessions 4 to 7, Operations in
Sessions 8 to 12, Finance in Sessions 13 to 16. Start your answer by explaining briefly, in your own words, the concepts
and ideas you have chosen that you think will be most applicable to the case study. There is no set word limit for any one
question, but the marks allocated to each question will give you a clue.
Question 2:
Source: Wilson, A. (2013) ‘Online? It’s not really our top priority; A Danish homeware chain, Tiger, is flourishing without the internet’, The
Daily Telegraph, January 12 [Online]. Available at
(Accessed 20 January 2017).
TMA 01 Copyright © 2017 The Open University
A key objective of this question is for you to apply the theories, concepts and ideas you have outlined in Question 1 to the
case study context. It is important here to demonstrate how the various concepts make sense of the case detail. This is
the largest part of the TMA, so you should give a little bit of detail here.
Question 3:
This question asks you to identify two issues. Suitable issues may be where the competing functional concepts and ideas
are in conflict with each other, or to suggest different future directions for the company. Equally, issues may arise where
your analysis of one functional perspective constrains what can be reasonably achieved by the other functional
perspective. Your suggestions need to follow logically from your answers to Questions 1 and 2. Your answer to this
question should probably be no longer than 100 words.
Part B
Within this activity you should clearly show the benefits of competition and choice in the public services for customers,
while also clearly pointing out the drawbacks. You should imagine that the mind map will be used to support a
presentation on this subject so it must be clear and illustrated by examples. For example: a choice of hospital in which to
have an operation may be good as it permits patients to go to an institution that is highly rated, however, if all patients do
this then this may mean that the hospital becomes overloaded, while others are left with empty beds.
Marking criteria
Your tutor will mark your assignment using the following criteria:
your understanding of relevant concepts from B207 Block 1
your application of these concepts to the case study information
your ability to communicate effectively: clarity and economy of writing, and clarity of structure
your ability to select information from a case study and develop arguments based on that selection
good academic practice: citing and referencing of ideas taken from all sources other than your own thinking,
including the case study and the B207 materials.
Submitting your TMA
You need to submit a single file for your assessment, including both parts of the assignment in one document.