Tuthill’s Swords Limited is a private
company that was set up in December 2000 that specialises mainly in greeting
cards and toys. Tuthill’s have 12 stores in total in different areas all over
Dublin and also stores in Navan and Kildare. They also sell newspapers,
lottery, cigarettes, confectionary and seasonal products such as Valentine’s
Day hampers, Christmas decorations and Mother’s Day gifts.
The company employ on average between 5-9
staff members per store which would include Store Manager, Supervisor and
numerous Sales Assistants. The Store manager’s general duties would consist of
delegating tasks to Sales Assistants under direct orders from the owner Mr.
Jason Tuthill, ordering stock from the warehouse, cash office duties and
running the store in general on a day to day basis. If the Store Manager is
off, the supervisor would step in and take over the Managers duties until their
Tuthill’s warehouse located in Clondalkin.
As the company have one large warehouse, it enables them to buy their products
in bulk and distribute them between all their stores. Typically, how it works
would be the buyer would source the products from different countries like
China for example and order a large amount of goods to be delivered to their
warehouse rather than getting them delivered to individual stores. They would
also order high quantities of goods from well-known suppliers such as Hallmark,
ICG and Cadbury’s. Every week or so, a manager from each store would visit the
warehouse and put an order in for the stock they feel they need or think might
sell well in their store. The reason for doing this is to prevent over stock
and it enables managers to push for extra stock on the products that they think
are selling well and any products that are not selling, can be sent back to the
warehouse to be distributed to a different store where the market might be
slightly different considering it being a different area.
Mr Jason Tuthill, his Personal Assistant,
HR Manager and Payroll Executive all work closely together in the head office
which is also situated in Clondalkin. They would all be in constant
communication with each of the stores to ensure everything is running smoothly.
As the store sells quite generic products,
it finds itself in constant competition with many other stores operating
nearby. Only last year Dealz opened a new store within the mall which meant
Tuthill’s inevitably took a hit as they were selling greeting cards for over
50% cheaper but fortunately Tuthill’s are renowned for their greeting cards selection
and also have many loyal, regular customers. Where Tuthill’s would differ from
other competing stores and why profits have continued to soar, more so over the
past 2 years in solely because of the personal touch it has in comparison to
other big branded stores. Mr Tuthill listens to his customers and is always
first to have all the new trends and by being actively involved with each of
his stores, it enables him to have a much more personal relationship with his
customers and it also boosts staff morale.
customers with a satisfactory experience is paramount in running a small
business as customers are the only factor that enables the shop to stay open.
Each member of staff are meticulously trained in customer relations so they can
assess and deal with queries and complaints in a friendly and professional
Resources is responsible for all aspects of managing the staff members who work
in the company, some of their general day to day duties would include
recruitment of new staff, employee training, back to work meetings, weekly
rota’s, disciplinary action which would sometimes lead to dismissal.
leading key function to most businesses and most certainly to Tuthill’s
Newsagents is the purchasing department as they are responsible for sourcing
stock, managing product quality and getting the stock for a good price.
It is imperative that the store has impressive merchandising
skills as it is one of the most important factors in running a busy successful
retail business. Each store has a similar lay-out with high walls and high
counters filled with confectionary to maximise the amount of stock out on the
is the process of presenting products for sale in a retail environment in ways
that influence shoppers’ buying decisions.” (Chron.com 2018)
The finance department is responsible for critical tasks
including wages of staff members, cash flow and financial statements.
Marketing: Although the store fails to have any social
media presence or any form of online advertising, they make up for it in terms
of in-store promotions and special offers which entice the consumer into the
store leading them to purchase other items that they had no intentions of
The following organisational chart was done to show to structure
of staff levels in Tuthill’s Newsagents. As Tuthill’s have 12 stores in total, this
organisational chart would be a complete replica for every store that Mr Jason Tuthill
owns. By having an organisational chart, it helps staff on all levels to fully understand
who their superior is and who delegates information or orders.
analysis of Tuthill’s Newsagents:
following Swot analysis was done on Tuthill’s Newsagents Swords to evaluate the
strength, weaknesses, opportunities and threats the company could potentially
face. By doing this, it helps identify internal and external problems they may
face but also could highlight areas that prove to be successful.
presence online/social media
tills and computing systems
Location – Tuthill’s Newsagents is situated right in the
centre of Pavilions Shopping Centre in Swords which attracts thousands of
customers daily, because of this they would receive a lot of passing trade.
Merchandising – The layout of their store and stock is done
in a way as to maximise the amount in which a consumer will spend.
No online advertising – As they don’t have any form of
website or social media page, they are restricting their customers to passing
trade or word of mouth.
Seasonal – Throughout the peak season i.e. Christmas,
Valentines etc Tuthill’s would see a massive increase in profits due to selling
their own stock which they have bought in bulk for lower prices like hampers,
cards, gift sets and toys. During off peak season, profits go down immensely
due to only selling cigarettes, newspapers, call credit and lottery which they
don’t receive much profit from.
Introducing new products – Instead of solely relying on
seasonal stock to generate profits, with the right stock they could potentially
be making money all year round. Current popular trends would include household
décor, beauty products, tools and books.
Upgrade tills and computing
systems – At present, most items in Tuthill’s have to be manually priced and
entered into the tills when a customer is purchasing them. By upgrading the
systems, it would reduce the amount of staff required and also reduce queue
times for customers.
Competition – Tuthill’s is in constant competition with many
other leading brand stores in Pavilions Shopping Centre such as Dealz, Flying
Tiger and More for Less, all of which sell similar products but at a much
Shoplifting – One of the company’s largest stock loss
problems is due to shoplifting. As the store has limited security it enables
shoplifters to take what they want with very little chance of getting caught.
Analysis of Tuthill’s Swords:
The PEST analysis is used to try and find internal
and external forces that can affect any type of organisation. By looking
directly into factors such as Political, Economic, Social and Technological it
can help an organisation adopt new strategies for success by manipulating these
factors to their advantage. As Tuthill’s is a privately owned small business,
it can face numerous amounts of different problems due to the fact that they
only sell a limited type of stock and tend to order most of their products
Regulation – Increased regulation
around health and safety, employment laws, finance bills, and environmental
issues can all impact the costs of running a business. Implementing policies
and systems to be compliant can be administrative and costly, especially on
Small/Medium sized entities. Minimum wages, how waste is disposed, increased
paternity/maternity leave are all examples of regulations over the last number
of years that have increased the cost of doing business. In low margin
environments, continued adverse regulation can erode the profits and benefits
of running a business. Alternatively, the creation of micro entities and
increased limits for small entities has seen more companies removed for the
requirements of statutory audits, under the Companies Act 2014 and Companies
Bill 2016. These impacts can positively impact on small businesses.
Corporation tax policy – Irelands
favourable corporation tax rate of 12.5% has come under increased pressure over
the last number of years from Europe, as it is seen to create a competitive
advantage, especially in the Foreign Direct Investment space. The tax issue
last year surrounding Apple Inc and their tax return to the Revenue has put
this topic under the spotlight again. Political pressure could force changes in
current corporation tax rates.
Interest rates – Low interest
rates, as we are currently experiencing make it cheap to borrow money. This can
give small businesses access to cheap finance allowing them to expand or grow
the business. Alternatively, high interest rates can create barriers to access
finance and to the costs of overdraft, which is a common facility to
Minimum wage increase – As the
minimum wage has seen yet another increase in the budget in 2017, it is likely
to have a negative impact on profit margins. At a consequence to rising wage
costs, generally staff’s working hours will be cut or even some staff could be
let go as a result. Alternatively passing these increased costs on to customers
could lead to a reduction in revenue.
Customer behavioural attitudes – Carrying
a high level of new trending products can increase sales. The customer can
always try new products whilst still having access to the high selling
continuous products, and all for quality prices. Customer attitudes have
changed, and are always seeking the “next new thing”. Being future oriented in purchasing
stock allows the company to meet this customer behaviour, whilst ensuring affordability
and value for money for the customer.
Changing demographics – *Swords, one of the top 3 fastest growing towns in
Ireland (cso.ie, 2017) has seen its increase in population
largely due to immigration into the country. Large numbers of close communities
exist that do not speak English fluently and therefore gravitate to their native
speakers. Employing non-nationals with languages other than English as their
native tongue, increases your customer service, and ultimately your customer
Online shopping – *At present 66% of Irish businesses have a website
and 21% have e-commerce facilities. (Tiernan and Morley, 2013) As online
shopping becomes more and more popular, it is decreasing the amount of foot
traffic a traditional store would receive. Dunnes Stores and Tesco are both
examples of shops who provide online shopping and efficient delivery, because
of this it is almost impossible for a store like Tuthill’s to compete with them.
Self-service check-outs – In
today’s economy, most stores are joining the new trend of having self-service
check-outs in the hope of achieving better consumer satisfaction, efficiency
and to lower staffing costs and while it has achieved most of them objectives,
there are still many problems that they are going to continually face such as
theft, less staff/consumer interaction and the costs of initial installation,
updating software and maintenance. *Self-service
technology reduces front-line staffing costs and increases efficiency by
redistributing displaced staff into other service-dominant areas of the
business, but it creates unintended costs. These business costs can be direct,
in the form of theft, but also indirect costs, such as reduced customer
satisfaction and loyalty. This is something that some supermarkets are focusing
on today. *(Theconversation.com 2017)