Researching Industry

Researching Industry

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Contents     2
Introduction     3
Procedure     4
Market Survey     7
How the Survey is conducted     9
The Survey     9
The Results     9
Survey Conclusions     10
Final Summary     12
Appendices     13
Bibliography     14


The purpose of this report is to research a local ward in the Southend-On-Sea area and investigate the enterprise possibilities for a small or medium sized business.

I intend to prove by statistical analysis, sampling from a target population, and by calculated judgments that a particular business will or will not be successful in the chosen area.

I intend to compare an area with regional and national averages to determine the backgrounds of local residents. By exploring the statistical data available for a given ward, I will be able to make sound decisions based on this reliable information. The data collected will tell me the amount of employed and unemployed residents in the area. What type of work the employed residents do and an idea into the financial status of the populace.

Once I have an idea as to who lives in this area, I will be able to choose what business enterprise maybe successful in that area. Then I will analyze economic trends over the past year to see if the business I am proposing is stable. I will then survey the local population to obtain opinions of the enterprise.

After completing this research I will then analyze the data collected and draw provable statistical analysis to the feasibility of the business proposition.


The Victoria Ward of Southend-On-Sea Essex, has a below national average of working people. The Census of Population (2001) displayed results stating that 71.6% of all people are in employment. However the Victoria Ward of Southend –On- Sea, only displayed 66.3% of people working. The census also showed that whilst Southend in general has unemployment base similar to the national average of 5.8%, Victoria Ward had a much higher ratio of unemployed people. In fact this figure was declared to be 9.3%.

(numbers)     Victoria
(%)     Southend-on-Sea UA
(%)     GB
All people
Economically active     4,077     73.1     77.1     76.0
In employment     3,696     66.3     72.5     71.6
Employees     3,285     58.9     62.5     62.6
Self employed     411     7.4     10.0     9.0
Unemployed     381     9.3     6.0     5.8
Economically active     2,281     79.8     83.8     81.4
In employment     2,038     71.3     78.0     76.0
Employees     1,701     59.5     62.6     63.1
Self employed     337     11.8     15.5     12.9
Unemployed     243     10.7     6.9     6.5
Economically active     1,796     66.1     70.1     70.3
Employment     1,658     61.0     66.8     66.9
Employees     1,584     58.3     62.4     62.1
Self employed     74     2.7     4.3     4.8
Unemployed     138     7.7     4.8     4.8

Further investigation into these figures show that only 31.5% of the residents are employed in professional or managerial positions. Once again according to the Census of Population (2001), the national figure for this sector of employment is 40%. The same census shows that Southend in general has 40.3% of its employed people working in these positions.

(numbers)     Victoria
(%)     Southend-on-Sea UA
(%)     GB
1 Managers and senior officials     393     10.6     16.0     14.9
2 Professional     264     7.1     9.9     11.2
3 Associate professional & technical     509     13.8     14.4     13.9

A further indication as to the employment placements of the residents in this area is that 13.9% are in ‘Elementary Occupations (EO)’ compared to11.

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8% nationally.

(numbers)     Victoria
(%)     Southend-on-Sea UA
(%)     GB
8 Process plant and machine operatives     331     9.0     6.6     8.7
9 Elementary occupations     512     13.9     10.1     11.8

A summary of these occupations can be seen in the Standard Occupational Classification 2000 (SOC2000)
. These occupations cover employment that requires little or no formal qualifications.

Out of the residents in this ward, 4% are claiming Job Seekers Allowance. The national average is 2.2%

(numbers)     Victoria
(%)     Southend-on-Sea UA
(%)     GB
All people     222     4.0     2.5     2.2
Males     179     6.2     3.6     3.1
Females     43     1.6     1.3     1.2

What can we conclude from these statistics: -

&#8226;     The Victoria Ward has a higher than average level of unemployed.
&#8226;     The Victoria Ward has less than average working people.
&#8226;     The Victoria Ward has fewer than average &#8216;professionals&#8217;
&#8226;     The people that reside in this area are often employed in occupations that cover a lower remuneration band.

I have therefore deduced that the Victoria Ward is an area of Southend that has a population with lower earning potential than other areas.

The Consumer Prices Indices (CPI), is the main national measure of the trend of UK inflation. The CPI includes the Retail Price Index (RPI). This RPI gives the main changes between monthly prices of a selection of items. These changes are calculated after Random Sampling of the population. The Office for National Statistics states that in the calculation of the RPI &#8220;The spending patterns of two types of households are excluded: pensioner households which derive at least three quarters of their total income from state pensions and benefits, and high-income households, defined as those whose income lies within the top 4% of all households. &#8220;

I have already shown that the residents in this area are not high-income households. That said, it also means that they are typical of the households that the calculation for the RPI is sampled from. Therefore it would be prudent to assume that any change in this index has a definite effect on households in this area.

The Focus on Consumer Price Indices (October 2004) p.6 shows that the RPI has risen in the last 12 months by 3.3%. The main contributing factor to this is housing costs; however food, clothing, motoring costs and leisure costs all had an impact. Of course wages are also rising, The Labour Market National Survey (2003) p.8 declares that the Southend on Sea area has seen a rise of 2.4% over 2002 figures. This is fairly comparable to the national average rise of 2.5%.

The facts that concern this ward in Southend indicate that the residents are generally not as financially stable as the national average. This would then lead you to conclude that any enterprise in this area would need to cater for the lower wage family bracket.

A business that assists families in the necessities of life would be expected to be viable. However a business that focus&#8217;s on leisure activities would not be expected to draw much income from the direct neighborhood.

Market Survey

The above report has shown that the Victoria Ward has a population that is not affluent. The local businesses in the area are: -

&#8226;     A Newsagent, selling newspapers, magazines, confectionary and a small selection of canned goods.
&#8226;     An Off License, selling Alcoholic drinks cigarettes & a small selection of canned goods.
&#8226;     Around 2Km away is a garage/mini-market selling a reduced selection of supermarket goods.

Apart from the above, the nearest food shop is around 5Km away. This is the only place in the vicinity where fresh fruit and vegetables are available on a daily basis.

Considering the population: -

(numbers)     Southend-on-Sea UA
(numbers)     GB
All people     9,342     160,259     57,103,923
Males     4,463     76,749     27,758,419
Females     4,879     83,510     29,345,504
Source: 2001 Census of Population (Table CAS002 - Sex and Marital Status)

It is easy to see that these facilities are not sufficient to cover the needs of the residents.

The food industry is an area that due has steadily increased. Figures taken from the UK Economic Accounts Published in September 2004 Economic Trends show a steady increase.

Taking a base year of 1990 we can see an increase of 20% until the year 2003.
The graph Fig.1 shows the trend of expenditure rising steadily over a 13 year period. The figures seem to show a steady rise. However it has to be confirmed if the rise is consistent or suffers from elasticity. I have therefore calculated the standard deviation of the 14 year period. (Refer to &#8216;Final Expenditure Dataset for complete SD breakdown). The SD is £3655 m. This is in the region of a 5 &#8211; 7% change on the yearly figures.

Year     Food and drink
1990     51192
1991     51288
1992     51858
1993     52885
1994     53401
1995     53413
1996     55142
1997     56133
1998     56896
1999     58660
2000     60620
2001     59974
2002     60724
2003     61777

It is therefore reasonable to conclude that the Food industry is remarkably stable and increasing at a steady rate.

I therefore propose to investigate the feasibility of a Mini-Supermarket (PriceBreakers), being built in this ward. This facility will sell competitively priced quality food to enable local residents to complete their &#8216;weekly shop&#8217; without the need to travel the 5Km or so to the nearest Supermarket.

The project business would be large enough to accommodate a variety of fruit, vegetables and canned goods. This would mean an area that is accessible to the major road networks and have sufficient parking spaces for customers. The Victoria Ward has such an area.

Due to the type of work were limited skills and training is required, the workforce can include local residents. The area has sufficient low income or Benefit families to presuppose that recruitment would not be an issue.

I will formulate a questionnaire to survey a selected target population. This sample would be local residents who have families. These are the type of people I would expect to benefit from such a venture.

After sampling I will tabulate the results. When all the survey answers have been collated I can draw the information needed to see if the proposed enterprise probably will or will not be successful.

How the Survey was conducted

A Survey is to discover if a set product or enterprise has the potential to be successful in a given area.

The enterprise I am researching is a Mini-Supermarket. I intend to go into the ward and question my target population. In this particular instance I believe the one-to-one market research approach will be the optimum way of gathering the required data. This is due to the fact my target population has fairly narrow boundaries. A survey carried out by post, telephone or on-line can be completed by population outside of your boundaries. The boundaries are set as the product I am offering, although a necessity for all residents will particularly be of interest to the family group.

The survey will be Quantitative as this describes research that results in definable measurable data and Qualitative research which measures people&#8217;s motivational factors.

The Survey

The Results

The survey was conducted in the vicinity of the proposed enterprise. The object was to collect primary data from people walking by. I introduced myself as a researcher and asked if they were local residents. An affirmative answer led me to inquire if they were able to spare a few moments and answer a few questions concerning a business being considered in the area. The results were collated and entered into a spreadsheet to analyze the answer trends.

Survey spreadsheet

Section 1 tabulates the 16 questionnaires collected. The digit &#8216;1&#8217; is entered in the cell representing the selection chosen. For example, Survey number 1, Question 1, the residents answer was &#8216;Average&#8217;. Therefore a &#8216;1&#8217; is entered into the cell representing Selection 3. When questions were requiring more than 1 answer, then a descending scale from 4 to 1 is entered. All data is entered for all questionnaires.
Section 2 uses formula to gather all the data from the 16 questionnaires.
Section 3 analyzes the collated points and firstly display&#8217;s the highest to each question and then shows which answer it relates to.
Section 4 shows what answer is the most popular from the surveys. This is the Mode answer.
Section 5 is all the questions and answers form the survey.
Sheet 2 (Graphs) of the spreadsheet shows all answers to the survey in bar graph formation. This is a very quick visible way to see what answer is the most popular.

Survey Conclusions

There are many ways to analyze data collected. The optimum way for this research is to find the mode answer. This is the answer that is most common.
For example question 3 of the survey is asking &#8220;What would you most like about this project? The graph below shows that 8 people or 50% of the researched people thought that value for money was an attractive side of the venture.

Going through all the results we can reasonably deduct that:-

The initial thoughts of the residents were that the project was &#8216;average&#8217; (question1). The residents are attracted by price and value for money, however poor quality would be a negative factor (questions 7, 3, 9, 12 & 13).
On average the target population spends between £41 - £50 per week on canned goods, fruit & vegetables (questions 11 & 14).

Extra services that would be welcome would be primarily the opportunity to purchase fresh bread and the shop to be having late night opening (questions 18 & 19).

Certain questions are of a qualitative nature. These try and find out what makes someone want to buy something. The motivational factors to ensure that this enterprise would be successful are mainly price, quality & value. The replies from Q7, Q13 & Q17 indicate that the target population would be drawn to a shop offering these services.

As with any new proposal some negative feedback is expected. However the area that concerned local residents was ultimately transportation issues. Question 4 asked of this concern.

It is quite visibly a concern over HGV traffic in area and the increase in general traffic. However through careful association with the local council, I am sure this issue could be quite positively resolved.

Final Summary

The task was to research a deprived area in the locality and propose a business enterprise.

After extensive study of the Victoria Ward in Southend, it has been proven that: -
&#8226;     The residents have a higher than local and national unemployment status.
&#8226;     The employed people in the area on average are working in lower paid employment.
&#8226;     There are less &#8216;professional&#8217; persons living in the area.
&#8226;     The area suffers from a lack of quality food shops.

After studying economic trends it has been shown that: -
&#8226;     The RPI is increasing.
&#8226;     That people in this area are part of the population the RPI & CPI are calculated from.
&#8226;     That the Food Industry has seen a steady rise since 1990.

The survey that was conducted was somewhat small to base firm concrete judgments on. The majority of residents were genuinely motivated by quality, value and price. These lead me to conclude that the indications are that the proposed PriceBreakers mini-supermarket would be a successful venture as long as the basic remit of lower prices and value for money was adhered to.


Final Expenditure dataset.

Market Survey.

Actual Survey results

Collated Results (Survey Results)

Graphs (Survey Results)


Census of Population (2001)

Standard Occupational Classification 2000 (SOC2000)

. The Office for National Statistics

Focus on Consumer Price Indices (October 2004) p.6

The Labour Market National Survey (2003) p.8

UK Economic Accounts Published in September 2004 Economic Trends table 2.6 Household final consumption expenditure.

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