Compare and contrast the strategic management of the following companies:
- Walmart, the world’s largest retailer who specializes in being the low-cost provider;
- Nordstrom, the largest volume fashion retailer in the Western United States.
While there may be other factors, the most obvious and significant difference between these two retailers is their very different position on price and value. Some aspects of each company that you could consider in your analysis follow.
Mission Statements: Compare Walmart’s and Nordstrom’s mission statements. What do they say about the companies? How does the mission statement affect your impression/expectation of what the customer experience might be for each store? If you have ever shopped at either, did your experience match your expectation created by the mission statement? Why or why not? Refer to Chapter 2 of the course text for Walmart’s mission statement; for Nordstrom, use the following:
In store or online, wherever new opportunities arise, Nordstrom works relentlessly to give customers the most compelling shopping experience possible. The one constant? John W. Nordstrom’s founding philosophy: offer the customer the best possible service, selection, quality and value.
Price Points & Positioning: How do the companies’ selected price point affect the following:
Their image to their customer? To competitors?
Their relationship with their employees?
The customer experience for purchases? For questions? For problems?
Competitive Strategies: Which of the five generic competitive strategies do each use for their:
For their retail stores?
For their online stores?
Why might they use a different strategy for their “bricks-and-mortar” versus their online stores?
How does each store respond to competitive threats?
Long-term Strategies for Growth and Sustainability: Where are the opportunities for growth for each store? Are these growth opportunities sustainable? What factors affect growth and sustainability for each store? Note growth can refer to sales/revenue, volume of sales, number of locations, market share, number of employees, etc.