Lewis Group Sustainability Model The Lewis Group Essay

Download this Essay in word format (.doc)

Note: Sample below may appear distorted but all corresponding word document files contain proper formatting

Excerpt from Essay:

Lewis Group Sustainability Model:

The Lewis Group is a retail furniture company operating in South Africa that sells its furniture to low-income customers. Notably, approximately 60% of the company's merchandise is being imported from some countries in Brazil and China. As the leading retailer of household furniture, home electronics, and electrical appliances, The Lewis Group sold its products mainly on credit through Best Home and Electric, the Lewis, and My Home Brands. The success and profitability of the Lewis Group is associated with the scope of its business and its business model. Currently, the company has more than 600 stores throughout the main metropolitan areas and has a strong presence in the rural areas in South Africa. Moreover, 56 of the firm's stores are located in the neighboring southern African nations like Namibia, Botswana, Swaziland, and Lesotho.

The Lewis Group Business Model:

The Lewis Group business model basically revolves around creating value for its stakeholders in order to promote its productivity and success in the market ("Integrated Annual Report," 2012). As a result, the firm has an increased commitment to a decentralized and store-based business model that helps in ensuring sustainable performance through every market condition. The company's business model is based on the principle that furniture sale and provision of credit are mainly interdependent. Notably, the Lewis Group has adopted and implemented this model since the inception of the business. However, every aspect of customer relationship is handled by the stores' staff while provision of credit is handled centrally in order to promote consistency decision-making and wise credit risk management.

Through the business model, the Lewis Group personal and relationship-based interaction with consumers produces trust and confidence. In addition to this, it also creates high levels of loyalty and recurring sales. During the recent economic slowdown in the past few years, Lewis Group's business model has proved to be resilient and suitable for the firm's target market since customers are increasingly attracted by the merchandise offering and then depend on credit provided by the retailer. Together with its clear strategic focus, the proven and resilient business model of the Lewis Group has facilitated its positioning in the growth section of the South African consumer market. Consequently, the group continues to be attractive to potential investors who are looking for equity exposure to the local retail sector.

Lewis Group's Position in the Sustainability Space:

According to its annual report, the Lewis Group has not yet done enough or a lot to ensure sustainable operations since it has mainly focused on carbon emission reporting. The company's position in the sustainability space is reflected in its report on environmental sustainability. In this case, the company recognizes the need to launch and maintain environmentally sustainable business practices to ensure that it meets its responsibilities in sustaining the environment where it operates ("Environmental Sustainability," n.d.).

The Group achieves this objective through executing an Environmental Management System that helps in identifying the direct and indirect environmental impacts on the company. The system is also critical in development of an environmental policy that is achievable and relevant, creating stakeholders' awareness through suitable level of reporting, and improving the direct effect of business activities where it's economically feasible. Through environmental principles, economic pillars, and commitment to being a responsible corporate, the Group's environmental practices will evolve.

The relatively poor position of the Lewis Group could be partly attributed to the fact that South Africa's retail sector does not perform well in terms of sustainability ("Supermarket Sustainability," 2012). This is despite of the fact that this sector is located at the center of consumer goods value chain, which gives the industry players the power to influence the other elements of the value chain. There are huge differences in the quantity and quality of information in the sustainability reports of many companies since they use different metrics that make it difficult to compare information. Therefore, there is an increased need to report various aspects that give investors a clear view of a company such as environmental and social impacts of the firm, governance process, risks, strategy, and financial data and results (Merwe, n.d.).

Similar to the largest retailers in South Africa, the Lewis Group does not perform well with regards to sustainability. The inability of the firm to perform well in sustainability measures is partly attributed to the fact that it does not have warehouses given that every store holds its stock in the outlet or in a central warehouse store that is usually located close to various outlets around it.

As one of the major players in the retail industry, sustainability of the Lewis Group in South African operations is one of the fundamental needs of accountability. According to Chamberlain (n.d.), distribution of products is a basic process in the retail sector that requires fuel-efficient and improved low-pollution methods. This is primarily because of the risk that retailers pose to the environment, which increases their responsibility to nurture it.

Incorporating Sustainability in the Lewis Group's Business Model:

Since the Lewis Group performs poorly in relation to sustainability, there is need to incorporate sustainability in its business model. This can be achieved through implementing sustainability strategies that delve into the challenging industry. Morton (2012) states the need to know that green furniture is a vague term that incorporates everything such as recycled content, lifecycle and durability considerations, and low-VOC finishes. These eco-friendly measures provide several benefits including durability and longevity, no or low-VOC levels, easy replacement and serviceability of major parts, and ability to be modified or reconfigured.

The Lewis Group can incorporate sustainability into its business model through positioning itself in four quadrants i.e. eco-efficiency, eco-branding, beyond compliance, and Environmental Cost Leadership to place itself at a competitive advantage. These four quadrants are vital and important to transform a firm's environmental investments into sources of competitive advantage. The Lewis Group can position itself in the four quadrants by adopting them as part of its environmental policy in its corporate strategy. These quadrants should be included in the environmental policy and business model based on the structure of the industry, organizational capability, and its position within the industry structure (Orsato, 2006). Moreover, Lewis can position itself in the four quadrants through conducting a comprehensive analysis of the components in competitive environmental management in order to find opportunities. This will enable the company's management to identify areas with which the company can focus its environmental initiatives in pursuit of competitive advantage.

The Lewis Group can also incorporate sustainability in its business model through framing sustainable development as a multi-dimensional opportunity. Many organizations have been unable to deal with sustainable development in a strategic way because of focusing on it as a one-dimensional opportunity (Hart & Milstein, 2003, p.56). In most of its sustainability operations, the Lewis Group has mainly focused on eco-efficiency, Beyond Compliance, and Environmental Cost Leadership. Throughout its history, Lewis has been able to transform its costs into profits through identifying hidden environmental opportunities. Secondly, the group has also focused on increasing the efficiency of its organizational processes by involving customers and the society to recognize their efforts. Third, the Group's environmental cost leadership has involved obtaining premium for ecologically-focused products. However, the firm can create more sustainable value by focusing on eco-branding, that involves managing the entire lifecycle of the product and involving stakeholders. This is primarily through product stewardship that ensures the integration of stakeholder views into the business and is mainly driven by transparency, civil society and connectivity. This strategy could be beneficial to the firm in its sustainability initiatives since it extends beyond the company's boundaries unlike pollution prevention that focus on internal operations.

This strategy creates more sustainable value, especially shareholder value since it involves integrating the voice of the shareholder and other stakeholders into business practices through increased interaction with…[continue]

Cite This Essay:

"Lewis Group Sustainability Model The Lewis Group" (2012, August 25) Retrieved December 8, 2016, from http://www.paperdue.com/essay/lewis-group-sustainability-model-the-81745

"Lewis Group Sustainability Model The Lewis Group" 25 August 2012. Web.8 December. 2016. <http://www.paperdue.com/essay/lewis-group-sustainability-model-the-81745>

"Lewis Group Sustainability Model The Lewis Group", 25 August 2012, Accessed.8 December. 2016, http://www.paperdue.com/essay/lewis-group-sustainability-model-the-81745

Other Documents Pertaining To This Topic

  • Elites in Engineering in the

    Engineers should focus on the improvement of the performance of the economy. This relates to the transformation of the theories of controlling the world and adopting new frameworks in the operating in conjunction with the planet. New engineers need to adopt and implement new theories of focusing on the economic, social, and political concepts in relation to both technical and nontechnical disciplines (Cameron 2010 p.40). Leaders in British Engineering According to

  • Environmental Systems in the Past

    Although the research tools provided by the ISO 14001 framework are both qualitative and quantitative, this approach is consistent with the guidance provided by Neuman (2003) who points out that, "Both qualitative and quantitative research use several specific research techniques (e.g., survey, interview, and historical analysis), yet there is much overlap between the type of data and the style of research. Most qualitative-style researchers examine qualitative data and vice

  • Cultural and Construction History of

    Thomas Aquinas led the move away from the Platonic and Augustinian and toward Aristotelianism and "developed a philosophy of mind by writing that the mind was at birth a tabula rasa ('blank slate') that was given the ability to think and recognize forms or ideas through a divine spark" (Haskins viii). By 1200 there were reasonably accurate Latin translations of the main works of Aristotle, Euclid, Ptolemy, Archimedes, and

  • International Business Expansion Process International Recruitment...

    international business expansion process. International recruitment and selection brings a number of challenges for business organizations. They not only face difficulties in hiring the desired skillful staff from the host country, but may also have to deal with severe financial and cultural diversity issues. Through this research study, an effort has been made to highlight the major challenges and issues which make the international recruitment and selection process more complex

  • Governmental Appointments With the Changing

    Transparency, when implemented effectively, can establish trustworthiness (Dodge, Ospina and Foldy 295) which can either facilitate or impede the political appointment process. The strengths of Fung, Graham and Weil's targeted transparency model is the specific targeted component of the model. Transparency in and of itself is often ineffective. The authors' model increases the possibility that the information disclosed can be utilized in the decision making process. This doesn't mean all

  • Australian Health Care V Purpose

    The idea of poverty and hunger in Australia is quite a contentious issue. There is no doubt that there is hunger -- most in Aboriginal communities. However, Australian politicians argue that relative measures of wealth and poverty are meaningless and hide the abject conditions of many Australians. Statistics also show that 13% of Australians live in poverty, 3% of Australia's children. It is not so much that the poor as

  • Healthcare Disparity in Georgia

    Healthcare Disparity in Georgia HIV infection continues to be a substantial trouble in Bibb County, Georgia. This illness substantially impacts lots of areas and Bibb County shares among the greatest HIV rates in America. One reason Bibb County deals with greater rates of infection is due to the high minority populace. Likewise, high levels of poverty and joblessness can make it tough for an individual to keep his/her health plan and

Read Full Essay
Copyright 2016 . All Rights Reserved