I have been asked to investigate the marketing opportunities for Venetian Ices’ Ice Cream parlours and vans in the Scunthorpe area. This task was set to me by the managing director at Venetian Ices Ltd. My report must be submitted by the 18th March at the latest because at this time a decision must be made whether to build a new parlour or invest in some new ice cream vans.

ProcedureI carried out some desk research by looking at existing research already done by other ice cream companies looking at opportunities in the area. I also carried out some field research by making a questionnaire asking about people’s ice cream consumption and whether they would be interested in a new ice cream parlour in the area.I carried out a questionnaire to help me find information about possible locations, peoples feelings etc. The main reason for the questionnaire was to discover if there were a demand for ice cream in Scunthorpe, this would help us in deciding whether to build an ice cream parlour here or not. For my research I first went looking at the market for ice cream, I had to know if there was a market for ice cream in Scunthorpe. I also researched the competition in the Scunthorpe area. I then researched possible locations where the new ice cream parlour could be renovated or constructed. The ideal place is near a populated area, possibly involving retail, where people can drop by anytime they want.

I researched into empty shops or sites in the Scunthorpe area, where the ice cream parlour could be constructed.FindingsFrom my questionnaire I found that the people who mostly ate ice cream when out were in the age ranges 17-30 and secondly 31-46 years age. The younger generation tended to buy more luxury brand ice cream but more of the 31-46 years and 60+ years said they visited Blyton. This is expected as more people in these age ranges have children and grandchildren and Blyton is a good place for a daily visit.

Most people buy tubs of ice cream for home from supermarkets and very few bought the ice cream from a parlour. Most people in all age ranges said they would visit an ice cream parlour if one were opened in Scunthorpe. My questionnaire is at the end of my report.

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The main competitors would not be Blyton or Sargeants as they are not in the Scunthorpe area. The competitors would be places like Supermarkets in the area e.g. Tesco, Safeway, Asda, Morrisons and Iceland. Lesser competition would be things like newsagents selling ice-lollies.

The big supermarkets sell things like own brand ice cream, as well as Walls tubs and luxury tubs like Haagen Daas. They also sell things like ice-lollies and ice pops. I think the supermarkets would be my main competitors as they are countrywide businesses and they have more money to spend on advertising and promotions.I am looking for an existing building that would be suitable for renovation in the commercial areas of Scunthorpe.

If there was also space to build in the commercial area then that might also be a viable option. The building could be one floor or two-floor layout as the parlour design can vary to fit to size. Obviously it needs to be of an adequate size to seat the public and meet their needs. Places that I think contain suitable properties are:* Ashby High Street – I think this place would be good as there are no current parlours in Ashby.

However I don’t know if Ashby would be commercial enough because there are no major attractions or clothes shops on the high street. A property on Ashby High Street however, maybe quite a reasonable price and an adequate size so I cannot rule it out.* Southgate Mall – This would be an excellent place for an ice cream parlour as the indoor atmosphere would allow it to have tables outside the shop for customers whatever the weather. The property would also be big enough and would provide a very good business opportunity.It is placed near the entrance to the main retail area of town as most people come in through South Gate Mall because of the bus station and car park. In the mall there are also big shops like JJB, which would attract customers to the place.

* The Parishes – This would also be a very good option for building the parlour. The parishes is due to open soon and would give time if the board of directors permitted to build a completely new parlour in this area. We would then have choice of size (to a degree) and of floors. There are going to be a lot of new big name shops in the parishes area as well as a cinema which would attract people not just from Scunthorpe but from all over the region. I think this would be a very good opportunity for Venetian Ices and by far one of the best possible locations.* Church Square – This would be a very bad place for the parlour to be as there are lots of youths there who are into the gothic scene.

I think this would influence a lot of people not to visit the parlour. It is a good place for somewhere like club 2000 which only opens at night as the youths are not there at night time.* Lakeside Retail Park – This location would be quite suitable for the parlour as it has people visiting the retail park for all sorts of reasons. A bad point would be that the parlour would face up to competition from Burger King and McDonalds.* Skippingdale Retail Park – The parlour could be built here, as it would provide a good place with lots of retail that attracts customers. There are also currently no food outlets in this area so there would not be much competition.

* Scunthorpe High Street – This would be a good option as there is an empty property left by the shop ‘Superpound’. This near McDonalds however so there would be some competition that shop as well as El Toro’s further down the street. The property is quite big so it would have enough rooms for tables and a bar/serving area.* Gallagher Retail Park – This is the site currently under development facing the Scunthorpe United Football Ground. It would be a good place to build the parlour because it would attract lots of customers with the opening of the area.I think that the best location is The Parishes.

If the parlour were to be built there not as much money would be needed to spend on advertising because of the advertising of the rest of the parishes. Here are some examples of some marketing techniques and sales promotions we could use:1. Local radio – This is always a favourite as it is cheap, easy and would be quite cost affective as we are not broadcasting to people outside the region, just mainly the potential customers in the region.

It could be done as either a commercial or we could sponsor a particular part of a radio show.2. Local Newspaper – We could put an advertisement in the Evening Telegraph or the Target. It would be again quite cheap to use and would reach potential customers across a wide range. We could also run a competition in the paper and our name associated with it would be free promotion.3. Leaflets/Flyers – These could be given out at an event or delivered through people’s doors.

To make it more appealing we could attach a coupon to the flyer saying 50p of such and such an item. We could also do this with the newspaper.4. Internet – We could use our Internet site to promote the opening of our new Scunthorpe Branch. I think this would be very cost effective as it costs very little money to run and if we were also advertising on another site to visit our site it could bring potential customers to our branch.

ConclusionFrom my findings I can see initially that people of all ages eat ice cream. This is very helpful to us as not all age groups use places like McDonalds and other fast food groups according to my desk research. Most people consume about 2 tubs a month. I drew a graph of my results of where the ice cream was bought.

It shows that the majority of people buy their ice cream from a supermarket while very few people bought it from the ice cream parlour itself or a mobile service. I think from these findings that for the parlour to sell ice cream it would be not a good idea to keep a lot in stock. From my findings I also found that Chocolate, Vanilla, Lemon and Blackcurrant were among the most favourite. From this I can conclude that it would be good for the shop to stock more of these flavours at first and then go on sales figures later on.

Finally my last graph I drew shows that the majority of people 38/50 said they would use an ice cream parlour. This is a good sign for the parlour. People mainly said that the packaging would influence their purchase and that people preferred luxury ice cream. These are good findings from the parlour and I conclude that the packaging would have to be attractive and we would have to have a range of luxury flavours in stock. However we would be under pressure from the local supermarkets in the area: Tesco, Asda, Morrison’s and Safeway as these all sell own brand and luxury ice cream at very competitive prices.

RecommendationsI think that a new ice cream parlour should be built in the Scunthorpe Area. I also believe it should be located in the Parishes as it will attract lots of attention when the parishes opens and is located near a cinema. If we target the people coming out the cinema, possibly by working in conjunction with the cinema then I believe it will be beneficial to us.

Also if we decide to open in the parishes advertising costs will be cut as the advertising of The Parishes is also underway on a large scale. The parlour stands to make a lot of money if placed here because of the people attracted from around the region.The parlour could be marketed by local radio and newspaper. I think that a competition should be held in the newspaper sponsored by Venetian Ices so that we can have maximum advertising.

Also for the opening vouchers and coupons could be handed out near the store to influence people to go in and eat. For the radio we could sponsor a radio programme and have a commercial running. The type of station we would have to use would be a commercial local station such as Viking FM or Lincs FM. I think we have a very viable chance of building and marketing a new parlour in the Scunthorpe Area.