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The main objective is to therefore maintain a stable level of market share or even to increase it. It is best that Kohl's activates in a stable environment. Therefore, given the latest economic trends that affect the global economy it is expected that the company will register sales and income decreases, the same as its competitors.
Therefore, it is recommended to implement strategies that allow the company to maintain low costs, so that prices will not be increased. This way, the company is able to ensure the same number of customers as before the financial crisis.
Such a defender type company should best rely on long-term planning, given the slow modifications that characterize the macro-environment. However, it is recommended to implement a short-term strategy also, in order to overcome the negative aspects that emerge because of the financial crisis.
The company's strengths are:
The company was established a few decades ago and the fact that Kohl's has continuously developed since its beginning proves that stability is one of the most important strengths a company could have. Even more, given the financial crisis that characterized the global economy, customers will appreciate stability. Customers are now oriented towards higher quality and higher priced products. Kohl's has acknowledged this orientation that is followed by the company's strategy.
The company's weaknesses are:
Large number of employees
The company is operating approximately 1003 stores nationwide that require many employees at store level and at corporation level. This means that the company does not have a flexible organizational system. Also, given the fact that Kohl's is a defender company, its strategy is a long-term one. As mentioned above, given the new economic trends, such a strategy might not be effective.
The company's opportunities:
New outsourcing countries
It is recommended that the company maintains prices as low as possible. This means that the company's products require production and transportation that can be achieved at low costs. Such production outsourcing countries include Vietnam and Bangladesh.
The company's threats:
Although the company may not be severely affected by the financial crisis in a direct manner, it may be affected indirectly through its customers that may choose to cut back on unnecessary goods.
In more normal and stable economic circumstances, it would be recommended that the company develops a long-term strategy based on growth and international expansion. However, given the financial crisis that characterizes the global economy, it is recommended that Kohl's follows a short-term strategy until economic matters return no normal and the macro-environment will be more stable.
It is expected that customers will change their purchasing priorities in the next period of time and will not focus on items like apparel, footwear, or small electronics. Therefore, it is recommended to lower the prices for the most purchased products at Kohl's. However, such an action must be implemented without diminishing quality.
As mentioned above, it is expected that customers' purchasing priorities will change in the next period of time. The company should remove its focus from expensive, luxury products to other products that have more frequent usability and that are purchased in larger quantities by customers.
The standards of quality must be maintained at the same level as before. It is not recommended to involve in any research and development activities right now or to launch new innovative products. It is likely that such products will not rise customers interest in such economic instability.
As mentioned above, it is recommended that the company tries to lower its prices, at least for the moment, so that the number of customers will not decrease. This strategy can be applied to the company's own brands especially. Production outsourcing destinations like China and India have increased the manufacturing and transportation costs. Therefore, such countries may not represent such a cheap alternative. However, the company should take advantage of other alternatives represented by emerging outsourcing possibilities like Vietnam, Bangladesh, or some African countries.
The distribution process will probably not suffer significant modifications. However, it is recommended to reduce costs wherever possible. The distribution process must also become more flexible.
It is not recommended to invest a great deal in the promotional strategy in these times. The company must prove its solidarity with its customers and the hardships they are going through because of the financial crisis. Therefore, luxurious and expensive promotional strategies may not be the best alternative. Print ads and mail advertising are the recommended methods for the company.
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