Crafting and Executing Strategy: The Quest for Competitive Advantage, (18th ed.) by Thompson Jr, Strickland III, and Gamble. Published by Irwin McGraw-Hill.
• Go to www.bestbuy.com, click on the investor relations section, and explore Best Buy’s latest annual reports and 10-K filings to see if you can identify the key elements of Bust Buy’s strategy. Use the framework provided in Figure 1.1 to help identify these key elements.
• What approach toward winning a competitive advantage does Best Buy seem to be pursuing? Select a strategy from pages 4-9.
• Go to www.nytco.com/investors and check whether the New York Times Company recent financial reports indicate that its business model is working. Can the company’s business model remain sound as more consumers go to the Internet to find general information and stay abreast of current events and news stories? Is its revenue stream from advertisements growing or declining? Are its subscription fees and circulation increasing or declining?
Give specific financial information from the investors reports.
• Based upon the strategic group map in Illustration Capsule 3.1, who are Nordstrom’s closest competitors? Between which two strategic groups is competition the strongest? Why do you think no retail chains are positioned in the upper right corner of the map? Which company/strategic group faces the weakest competition from members of other strategic groups?
• Review the information in Illustration Capsule 4.1 concerning the average the costs of producing and selling fair-trade coffee. Then answer the following questions:
a. Companies that do not sell fair-trade coffee can buy coffee direct from small farmers for as little as $0.75 per pound. By paying substandard wages, they can also reduce their labor costs of roasting and bagging coffee to $0.70 per pound and reduce their overhead by 20 percent. If they sell their coffee at the same price as Just Coffee, what would their profit margin be and how would this compare to Just Coffee’s. Show your work.
b. How can Just Coffee respond to this type of competitive threat? Does it have any valuable competitive assets that can help it respond, or will it need to acquire new ones? Would your answer change the company’s value chain in any way?
• Harley-Davidson has chosen to compete in various country markets in Europe and Asia using an export strategy. Read the sections of its latest annual report at www.harley-davidson.com related to its international operations. Why does it seem that the company has avoided developing production facilities outside the United States?
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