Project 2: Case Study Natural Weigh Ltd.
Set: 23 Nov 18 Due: 7 Dec 18
Read the following Case Study, and answer the questions.
Natural Weigh Ltd., owned by Chloe and Robin Masefield, is the first zero waste shop in Wales, providing shoppers with an alternative to plastic packaging when doing their regular shopping.
Natural Weigh offers a flexible and environmentally friendly concept whereby customers simply fill their own containers with as much of what they want and pay for it by the weight. All of Natural Weigh’s stock is organic and additive-free to help people lead a healthier lifestyle while supporting a healthier planet.
What they did
With backgrounds in marine science and environmental policy respectively, Robin and Chloe set up Natural Weigh as a response to the ever-growing problem with plastic packaging in everyday life: “Plastic waste is one of the biggest threats to wildlife and our natural environment, not to mention the health concerns. Plastic packaging costs money and resources to manufacture in addition to the costs incurred by local authorities to collect and send it to landfill. But it is our natural environment that pays the ultimate cost, with plastic smothering our wildlife and choking our seas.
The grocery retail sector is the largest source of plastic packaging. There are very few shops where customers can choose to refill containers or use compostable alternatives to plastic.
This is all beginning to change, and Natural Weigh aims to offer an alternative – our purpose is to provide customers a chance to choose a plastic-free option when doing their regular shop. We sell organic, additive-free food from hoppers straight to your own containers, enabling people to live a more sustainable life. After all, there’s no ‘Planet B’.
We are not business people or retail experts but have a passion for our natural world and want to make a difference. Having both worked in the environment sector for many years, we have seen first-hand the pervasive nature of plastic pollution. We believe it should be easy for consumers to shop sustainably and that everyday choices make a difference.”
Natural Weigh were recently visited by HRH The Prince of Wales which received wide media coverage. In addition, the shop is set within the Corn Exchange complex in Crickhowell, saved by the local community who raised funds for the conversion of the former pub into local, independent shops and accommodation, rather than the planned national supermarket chain: “This remarkable story of the local community coming together to make a difference is one of the reasons we chose to open Natural Weigh here, and we are fortunate to have secured one of the shops in the Corn Exchange. We are delighted to be part of this town, contributing to keeping the high street alive.”
What would they do differently?
“Ask for help earlier. We did a lot of research on our own before opening and didn’t really commit to getting any outside advice (apart from family members) until the business was already pretty much underway. It would have been great to have been able to do some of the Business Wales training courses when we had a bit more time.” – Chloe Masefield, Owner
Their proudest moment in business
“To be honest, we are motivated by our customers. Every day we have people who come in and are impressed by the concept and the set up in the shop. I think though that it is our regular customers who really make it worthwhile – people we see week after week, who enjoy the products we sell and who are committed to reducing single-use plastics. These people make everything we do worthwhile and are a huge boost to us whenever we need a bit of motivation, and we are proud of the changes we have enabled them to make.”
Following the help provided by the Welsh Government’s flagship business support service, Natural Weigh are now in the process of recruiting 2 new employees.
Chloe Masefield said: “Engaging with Steve Maggs at Business Wales represents a real turning point for us in terms of running our business. Although we were managing it okay as it was, we were floundering when it came to us looking at any changes, such as employment. Steve, through Business Wales, was able to put us in touch with individuals who could help us with recruitment, ensuring our business’ sustainability, looking at training courses and helping us with marketing advice. He has been an excellent source of support, knowledge, information and contacts and we are incredibly grateful to Business Wales for this.”
- Perform a SWOT analysis for Natural Weigh.
- In your opinion, what was the main catalyst for Chloe and Robin to start this company?
- What is the Unique Selling Point of Natural Weigh?
- Show the journey of Chloe and Robin and Natural Weigh in the context of strategic planning. From which strategy did they start, and what strategy are they implementing now?
- What could be the most useful strategy for Natural Weigh in the future?
- What were/are some of the major challenges for Natural Weigh in terms of strategy implmentation?
- How often should Robin and Chloe check their strategy for Natural Weigh?
- What items should be checked when monitoring strategy?