An analysis the service marketing issues affecting JD SPORTS within the SPORTING retail sector

It is the intangibles of the business’ operational model that provides JD Sports with its current number two position amongst competition. However, in a market environment in which services are highly homogenous amongst competition, JD Sports must emphasise quality in order to maintain a proper brand reputation and build long-term brand equity.
Interaction with staff members within the organisation and the service environment (servicescape) will dictate the depth of relationship with the brand that is perceived by customers (Berry and Carbone, 2007. Grace and O’Cass 2004). This is one of the fundamental challenges for JD Sports: establishing a relevant service marketing model that will enhance long-term brand loyalty which translates into higher profitability and better opportunities for brand expansion into other product lines. Chaudhuri and Holbrook (2001) iterate that brand loyalty is the foundation of being able to establish premium pricing models and also generates essential word-of-mouth advertising needed to gain ground with important target markets. Gounaris and Vlasis (2004) iterate the benefits of achieving brand loyalty to include higher revenues, less vulnerability to a variety of different competitor-generated marketing rivalry, and favourable word-of-mouth advertising.
JD Sports, however, has not been able to successfully translate its service marketing model into a viable service methodology to enhance brand loyalty. In this market, it is quite simplistic for competitors to replicate existing service models and merchandise offerings, making it an intricate process of determining an appropriate service quality standard that will not be easily replicated by competition. “A strong brand is the only asset a company maintains that cannot be copied” (Nandan 2005, p.271). Further, empirical study results illustrate that brands which focus on establishing a brand image generate more loyal