Rather than give a series of unrelated examples of sources and possible uses of external information, I thought it more useful and I hope more interesting if these could be within the context of a real life case history, albeit of necessity an extremely short one. I shall therefore use the Dorothy Perkins retail fashion chain as a framework for this paper. Although the sources and applications of information are by no means exhaustive, they are at least genuine and practical. I emphasise this point because the collection of information is easy - its utilisation however is often more questionable. To be of value, external information has to be relevant to internal and controllable situations and has to be interpreted and used in conjunction with often very sophisticated internal information and used by expert and discerning internal management. That management should know what it is looking for and should be seeking a steering mechanism rather than a totally new vehicle.