Summary Started in 1862 by German immigrants, FAO Schwarz is famous for its high-end, one-of-a-kind toys sold from its store front in New York City’s famed Fifth Avenue. Through the years FAO Schwarz enjoyed success after success, expanding beyond its original New York location, and eventually running over 40 stores nationwide. In 2004, however, after battling large chain stores like Wal-Mart and Target, for customers FAO, Inc. closed all of its stores. Several reasons led to the demise of this iconic brand, including selling mass produced toys like Sesame Street figures for 300% more than the likes of Wal-Mart. FAO Schwarz also moved away from its core business model of providing unique, handcrafted, high-end toys catering to the elite customer.
It didn’t help that a lot of their online competitors copied BN’s method of buying gemstones from their suppliers for specific purchases. New Entrants: This is a weak force. When looking at the high costs to enter, as well the significant brand loyalties that already exist, the competition for new entrants keeps most new entrants from being successful. Buyers: This is only a moderate force, since jewelry tends to be custom, and therefore, people expect to pay higher prices than they might for other things. Most jewelry stores’ prices aren’t greatly different from others’ and buyers have very little influence on prices due to the high cost of raw materials to make the products.
Throughout John Updike`s short story "A & P" the protagonist Sammy, a young 19 year old male, is constantly judging the cliental who walks into the grocery store, A& P. For example, when three girls walk into the store with nothing but their bathing suits; Sammy’s mind begins to be very active when he is judging the girls. As Sammy watched Quennie “buzz” over to her friends, it made his stomach (and who knows what else) rubs the inside of his apron (Updike 2). Sammy also observed the women in the store turn away when they noticed the girls almost as if they knew what would happen and were ashamed for young girls (Updike 2). At which point, Sammy views all the older, less attractive shoppers as “sheep” pushing their carts around in a herd, or as “house slaves in pin curlers” (Updike 2). Through the choice of words by the author in these references from the book, the reader is led to believe that women were generally portrayed as passive individuals, known to stay at home, cook for their husbands and care for the children while the men were active at work.
Credit segment: It included Sears’s proprietary credit cards which can be used by customers to purchase goods and services from the Retail and Services businesses. Service segment: Composed of businesses that performed home remodeling and appliance repair Wal-Mart is one of the world’s largest retailing powerhouses functioning in three different formats, namesake discount stores, Sam’s Club membership warehouses and Wal-Mart supercenters. • Business Strategy: Wal-Mart is a discount store and it gives large discount on the products it sells. They maintain a very razor thin margin and make the profits through volumes. Hence the tagline “Always Low Prices “ Sears on the other hand does not follow a policy of discounts.
Blue Nile, Inc. (Case Study) Submitted by A-Game 1. Five Forces Analysis Overall, the competitive forces on the industry are only moderately strong with rivalry competition having the biggest impact. The five forces are looked at individually below. Buyer Bargaining Power Buyer bargaining power is low, but growing in the online jewelry retail industry. The increasing power stems from the buyer’s switching costs to competing brands being extremely low.
In this case, Blue Nile had to compete with online and offline traders. The recession hit the jewelry business real hard but Blue Niles business model kept them functioning through the hard times. In addition, many of the online retailers employed Blue Niles business model purchasing stones from suppliers only when an order for a specific stone was received and quick delivery when purchased. Suppliers: Supplier bargaining power is weak in this industry. Blue Niles economical supply chain and comparatively low operating costs allowed it to sell comparable-quality jewelry at substantially lower prices than the leading competitor.
There was not one dominant player within the industry; they were more equally balanced thus increasing rivalry. The High fixed cost for running a discount store resulted in an economies of scale effect, this can be seen when Wal-Mart decided to gain economies of scale by building their own distribution centres to add value. Going public in order to finance the extra storage was important for Wal-Mart to utilise capacity as efficiently as possible, they did this by creating distribution hub around 15-20 stores. The increased rivalry continues, this was due to the low levels of product differentiation and little in the way of own branding, products were standard in nature through all discount stores. Also the low switching cost and consumer awareness of shopping around to find the best bargains increased competition around stores to capture customers.
Wal-Mart: “Everyday Low Prices” in China Wal-Mart, what started out as a few small discount centers in areas where no big retailer was willing to operate, has since grown into one of the top retailers in the world, boasting the top revenue in the retail market and being the once “most admired” company in the US according to Fortune magazine. Wal-Mart’s success can be attributed to a few different strategies, such as the commitment to sell name brands for less than competitors, availability, service, and cost control. Wal-Mart has used a strategy of going into communities in which there would be no real retail competition, essentially where it would be unrealistic for consumers to shop elsewhere. Also by providing a mass variety of goods, Wal-Mart has developed a one stop shopping center, providing convenience to buyers, in particular families. By driving down the costs from their suppliers and overhead as much as possible, it resulted in some of the lowest prices possible for consumers, in which they kept at low prices all the time, as opposed to constant fluxuating prices with sales and promotions.
GE’s Two-Decade Transformation: Jack Welch’s Leadership GE Change Issues: Welch’s Early Priorities: GE’s Restructuring • In 1981, CEO Jack Welch challenged each to be “better than the best” and set in motion a series of changes that were to radically restructure the company over the next five years. • #1 or #2: Fix, Sell, or Close. Welch set the standard for each business to become #1 or #2 competitor in its industry or to disengage. GE managers struggled to build #1 or #2 positions in a recessionary environment and under attack from global competitors. Scores of businesses were sold, including central air-conditioning, housewares, coal mining, and eventually even GE’s well known consumer electronics business.
Since then there has been a large number of tire recalls and has been a major problem for the tire industry for over 25 years. This recall financially weakened Firestone and resulted in their merge with Bridgestone. In 1990, the Firestone Tire & Rubber Company was purchased for $2.6 billion by Bridgestone USA, Inc. In 1998, Sam Boyden sent an e-mail to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) advising them about the potential dangers resulting from recent Firestone tire tread failures. No actions began to take place until 2000 when news reporter, Anna Werner publicized this story on television.